• Mind Your Fashion founder and Brisbane retail expert Jude Kingston.
    Mind Your Fashion founder and Brisbane retail expert Jude Kingston.

Australian not-for-profit Mind Your Fashion is calling on fashion retailers and businesses to assess the mental health of their staff. 

Mind Your Fashion is dedicated to raising awareness of mental illness in the fashion and creative sectors and is developing an industry accreditation scheme to validate businesses that prioritise the mental health of their teams. 

"The message will be strong and clear – This is a safe place to work," Mind Your Fashion founder and Brisbane retail expert Jude Kingston said of the accreditation program. 

Kingston added that the launch of the organisation was founded on her own personal experience in the industry. 

"I have experienced first-hand the effects of mental illness.

"I know and understand all too well the impact this has on your life; the feelings of loneliness, isolation and loss of confidence that comes with it.

"I have witnessed many of my colleagues experience the same with lasting and damaging effects," she said. 

Kingston said that the impacts of COVID have exacerbated mental health concerns in the industry and now is the time for businesses to act. 

"In 2019 I was invited to speak at New York Fashion Week.

"It was a wonderful experience but it also highlighted to me that mental illness in the fashion and creative industries is in fact a global issue.

"It highlighted a need to talk about and raise awareness of the impacts and the behaviours within the fashion industry – from ‘fat shaming’ and abusive treatment of professional models, right through to the way our retailer are failing to equip young workers to deal with the shopfront environment.

"There’s no doubt that the added stress of COVID, enforcing mask mandates and other restrictions, plus the pressure to sell more stock has pushed many fashion retail workers to the brink. 

"Mental wellbeing is just as important to a business as safety.

"Caring for people working in the fashion industry is as important as caring for our planet," she said. 

To help raise funds to support its mission, Mind Your Fashion has launched a new fragrance dubbed 'Courageous' in partnership with the House of JAJI Parfumerie. 

100% of profits from the sale of the fragrance will be donated to Mind Your Fashion. 

Courageous is available at The Atelier Ascot, or online via the Mind Your Fashion website for $185. 

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