––Bright shirts mean a bright future for the tradie with a mission.

 

Millennials, Daniel Allen & Ed Ross expect tradies to turn up the volume on the conversations about mental health by turning up the volume of their shirts. And their progressive social enterprise, Trademutt is just the tool to help.

 

High vis is one of the great Aussie icons, but founders of Trademutt––shirts for tradies, by tradies, reckons they’re still just not bright enough. And Daniel Allen plans to bring conversations about mental health into the spotlight by first, brightening up the pretty dull worksite.

In 2016 life for Carpenter, Daniel, or Dan as he prefers, was cruising along just nicely, pretty typical of a twenty-something male. That was until one of his best mates, also a tradie, also named Dan, shockingly took his own life. It was a “life changer” for Dan. Not only did he have to face the devastating loss of his mate––the charismatic, easy-going, always up for a laugh, Dan––but within the grief, he took stock of his own life and mental health, and decided he really wanted to make a change for the better.

Suicide is a huge killer for men in Australia, in particular Millennial men. In fact, the number one cause of death for Australian men aged 15 to 44 is suicide. Number one cause of death! That’s insanity. Dan didn’t understand how prevalent suicide was among in his peers until he was rocked by it personally. It was then the very important conversation around mental health got real. And he couldn’t ignore it any longer.

Lucky for Dan he found someone equally as passionate in friend, Ed Ross. The two put their heads together, searching for a way to bring more awareness to these statistics and start the conversation around mental health for more young Australian men. And in doing so, hopefully help bring the horrific numbers down. They also wanted their own life to have more purpose, which incidentally, is highly combative in fighting poor mental health.

A pair of Carpenters, perhaps it was a no brainer for the pair to come up with something for the worksite. Dan, well aware of the lack of ‘real’ conversation that go on between blokes on a site decided it was time they stirred up conversation among tradies. And also drop some cheer into the pretty drab working conditions a tradie is subject too––their high vis vests sometimes being the brightest thing in their day.

And there was the lightbulb moment.

Trademutt was born. Dan and Ed and Trademutt redesigned workwear for tradies. Bright, almost obnoxious, patterned work shirts made for the building site, made tough––like so many Aussie males believe they are supposed to be when it comes to their mental health. Trademutt make shirts so bold the issue of mental health is impossible to ignore.

Trademutt’s tagline is, “Built tough so you don’t have to be.”

The purpose of the loud workwear was two pronged; to brighten the place up, and to start a conversation––every piece of workwear has the logo, “This is a conversation starter,” in the hope the shirts will get men talking. And it’s worked in both respects. Trademutt has become a highly successful business, and the pair were also nominated for their service in mental health, via Trademutt’s foundation, “TIAC––this is a conversation starter”.

Dan‘s vision was simple, to get men to talk about mental health. And according to the success of him and mate, Ed’s brand, Trademutt, the quickest way to do that is chuck ‘em in a cool shirt. Simple. The Trademutt marketing plan was even simpler; to get real, and talk about the hard shit. And boom, you have a Millennial side-hustle success story.

The two chippies started their business with social enterprise in mind, they weren’t looking to change their career, they just wanted to do something more. Trademutt business model revolves around social enterprise and involves donating money to mental health awareness and a “slushfund” to subsidise those who might not be able to afford the shirts.

Trademutt’s doing well, but the boys don’t have any plans to give up the tools.

“We wouldn’t care if we were swinging a hammer for the rest of our lives, if we saw our shirts on a few people’s backs, and they started having a conversation and we broke down the stigma, we would be very, very happy men,” Dan says.

Bloody good on ‘em!