The Nothern Ireland clothing brand which is encouraging us to quite literally ‘wear our feelings’

Co Armagh Feelz Clothing aims to raise awareness and get us talking about prevalent mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

By Helen McGurk
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 12:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 1:26 pm
Northern Ireland couple Priscilla Byrne and Shaun Byrne, Feelz Clothing, have produced a range of tee-shirts with feelings imprinted on them
Northern Ireland couple Priscilla Byrne and Shaun Byrne, Feelz Clothing, have produced a range of tee-shirts with feelings imprinted on them

Husband and wife team, Shaun and Priscilla Byrne have unveiled a new online brand, Feelz Clothing, which aims to raise awareness about mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

The entrepreneurial couple, from Portadown, who run the award-winning media company, Design Stics, came up with the new business idea in lockdown after Shaun suffered from anxiety and depression most of his adult life.

Shaun said he knows first-hand the stigma and trauma there is surrounding the subject and wants to try and encourage more people to start talking more openly about their feelings and challenges.

Feelz Clothing is centred around the encouragement for people to ‘wear their feelings’ – and allowing people to ‘wear their emotions on their chest’, hopefully as a conversation starter and helping to empower people through their emotions.

The design feature words such as Love, Depression, Anxiety and Hero.

Shaun Byrne, founder of Design Stics and Hype Websites explained: “We are extremely proud and grateful to be launching this new brand in the hope of helping anyone who is struggling with any type of mental health issue.

“My family and I have a lot of very sad history associated with mental health problems and anxiety.

“And, as with many families in Northern Ireland, sadly, suicide has left a gaping hole and untold trauma to my own family.

“Depression has also featured strongly in my life and has been something I have battled with for a long time.

“I have always been open and honest with my wife and family about my feelings, which has helped me so much.

“In lockdown, with many people feeling anxious and depression statistics worsening, this left both Priscilla and I wanting to do something to help raise awareness about the subject and try to encourage more openness and less silence on the subject from those suffering from it.

“As a graphic designer, Priscilla told me the type designs she would like, and I helped to formulate the messaging.

“We have used the four emotions in our design concepts; Love, Depression, Anxiety and Hero, as the cornerstone of the Feelz brand as these are the emotions most of us feel on a day-to-day basis.

“We are hoping that by purchasing and wearing the emotion, this might act as an opener to a difficult conversation that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.

“We hope that this might help people with hard, negative emotions to start to talk about them, and to realise that these feelings do not define you anymore.

“We also have a little heart logo on the sleeve of the design as a subtle way of saying “wear your heart on your sleeve”.

“Our next step is to work alongside mental health charities and other mental health champions in a bid to help spread the word and open up the conversation.

“One of our Tee-shirt designs, Depression: Survive it, don’t hide, really hits home for many people.

“We want more people to open up and talk about how this disease can effect us, and the hope is once we do that, the less control it has over us.

‘Anxiety: Stop, Just Breath” is a further design.

“More often than not, most of us spend far too much of out time worrying or concerning ourselves, it has been proven that a simple breathing exercise can curb anxiety feelings.

“Feelz Clothing, has more emotions to be added to the store, and currently T-Shirts are available on pre-order, with a proportion of the profits going to local mental health charities in the future when the brand has been more established In the marketplace.

Feelz Clothing has commited to giving a proportion of the profits to PIPs, Shaun availed of PIPs in 2012, and found it extremely helpful.

Visit feelzclothing.co.uk for further information or to get involved with the brand.

*Lifeline is a crisis response helpline available to everyone in Northern Ireland. There is immediate help by telephone at any time every day, if you’re in distress or despair or someone you know is.

Lifeline is a free, confidential telephone helpline. It is available anytime every day. Telephone 0808 808 800.

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