We love when brands support causes that are important to them and Madhappy, a contemporary lifestyle brand based out of Los Angeles, is leading the way when it comes to using their platform for good.
In a time when it’s so easy to just say the right thing and feel like you’ve done your part, Madhappy is all about taking authentic action. Since we’re in the middle of Suicide Prevention Week, we spoke with Joshua Sitt of Madhappy about how they’re getting and staying involved with mental health initiatives year round. Read on for our full interview here.
Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! My mission in life is to make a positive impact on the world. I co-founded Madhappy, an optimistic lifestyle label with a mission to bring awareness around mental health. Throughout this journey, I have learned so much about the mental health space and my journey within it. I’ve learned that others in my generation face similar struggles and are looking for more human interaction and community-first initiatives to speak about and channel their discomfort with society. I believe our culture more than ever craves real, authentic and transparent relationships as well as communities where they can feel like themselves. Madhappy has taught me a lot about building a brand and a team, but most importantly it has introduced me to new people and new cultures. That knowledge is what drives me everyday to keep growing my personal and professional brands to make a greater impact.
What does Madhappy mean to you?
To me, Madhappy is the essence of life. A life of optimism that goes beyond just putting on a happy face but one that preaches being okay with who you are. Being able to talk about your feelings. Being able to not feel inferior to admit that you may be struggling. Madhappy is an inclusive community where anything can be shared, and no judgements will be held.
Did you start the brand with mental health advocacy in mind or did that mission evolve over time?
No, my partners and I started the brand initially with the intention of spreading optimism during a time that street and lifestyle brands were promoting negativity and exclusiveness. It was only later that we realized the impact that our brand was having on others and the way that people were connecting with it. My partner Mason has had the biggest journey with mental health – and after seeing how big of a need it was, we really wanted to build it into our brand and its mission. There was no decision to do this, it was organic to the brand identity.
What are the best ways we can support suicide prevention?
I do not know the definitive answer to this but I believe building and fostering communities that support conversation around mental health is definitely one big piece to this puzzle. This can be done online and offline through support groups, panels, blogs and more. Building awareness and conversation to the issue is a strong step towards openness and from there we can begin to take the necessary steps to live our best life. We all have different struggles and different paths to normalcy, but the first thing we can do is to encourage people to accept their struggles and seek to find their path.
What would you like to see on the mental health front in the fashion/media industry?
I would like to get rid of the too-cool culture in fashion. There is an unsaid truth that those who are quiet or enigmatic are smarter or more powerful. Ideally, I would like to see people being more open, more inquisitive, more communicative.
I would LOVE to remove the fashion industries co-dependency on social media, most specifically Instagram. I recognize social media as a powerful tool to more quickly and widely spread a message, but I also strongly believe it has harmful effects on people’s mental health and our ability to effectively communicate off of our phones.
What are you doing for World Suicide Prevention Day?
Suicide prevention is obviously such a sensitive topic. And we know that we are not in any position to be giving professional advice. We want to just create a place where people can share their stories and not feel alone. We will be releasing content all week with professionals and highly influential people in the space. We believe that sharing these stories and creating the conversation will get our followers more informed. We are working hard with our charity partners to build out resources that anyone can access for free wherever they are.