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Outerwear

The Positive Impact of Apparel Decorating on Mental Health

Our mental health is more complicated than just being happy or sad. The struggle is real. And sometimes, it can be hard to express that struggle with others around you. Luckily, there are many ways to express yourself without using words. Like decorating apparel? Yep! You guessed it! In fact, creative processes, like making art, have been shown to improve overall mental health and wellbeing.



What is Apparel Decorating?

Apparel decorating is the creative process of turning blank apparel, such as t-shirts, handbags, hats, and more, into a unique art piece. There are many ways to do this! Vinyl transfers, tie-dye, sublimation, screen printing, embroidery, textile paint, and more. 

Decorating apparel is more than just making art. Here are some of the best ways it can have a positive impact on mental health — for both you and the community.

Creative Pursuits Help to Express Thoughts and Feelings in Constructive Manner

Creativity isn’t limited by time, rules, or social norms. It allows you to express yourself in new ways without fear of judgment by others. Art therapy is a recognized treatment for many mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, because it is so freeing. Some of its benefits include reducing stress and anxiety, funneling anxiety into a productive outlet, improving cognitive function, and creating a sense of purpose and accomplishment. When you finish a piece, even if you’re a newbie at it, you feel a sense of pride.

Art also helps funnel negative feelings into positive outcomes. Turn your anger into a messy piece, or express your worries through design. Art helps turn those negative feelings into positive ones. It’s a way to express yourself that allows you to let go of those feelings so that you can focus on self-healing.


Fished Products Help Raise Awareness of Mental Health

We’ve all heard the phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve,” but with apparel decoration, you can do just that. Help raise awareness for mental health struggles. Create a piece in lime green for general awareness, a semi-colon pattern, or a phrase that relates to your struggle.  

Wearing these designs out in the open helps to raise awareness. You may get questions about what a specific design means, or seeing your design may encourage others to research more about a specific illness. By expressing yourself through your clothing, you’re creating a self-made billboard of awareness that breaks down walls. 


Seeing Products Made by Others Who Struggle With Mental Health Helps Decrease Stigma

There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health struggles. Wearing apparel that shares your struggle or your journey can help to break that stigma. Not only do you raise awareness for specific causes, but you help to make it clear that mental health isn’t something that should be hidden and forgotten. By seeing you proudly show that it’s OK to struggle, you can help others realize that they’re not alone and encourage them to reach out and connect.


Apparel Decorating Creates Connections Between Artists and the Community

Humans thrive on connections and community. However, mental health struggles can keep people feeling isolated. By creating and sharing your apparel designs, you can help create connections between art, artists, and the community. Share your work on social media, raise funds for a good cause by selling uniquely made pieces, or offer products to your community that they can wear and share. By sharing your creations with the people around you, you help create a connection and break down isolating walls.

Apparel decorating is just one way you can help break stigmas and raise awareness. Get those creative juices flowing, whether it’s doodling, writing, making statement apparel pieces, or just wearing a green ribbon on your shirt. YOU can help positively impact those around you. If you haven’t already, check out our mood-inspired apparel decoration project that anyone can do!