We caught up with Sara from It's OKAY Project for a Q&A about the brand and Mental Health.
It’s an absolute pleasure to introduce Matt who will be answering our questions for this zine edition. We met Matt at Manchester’s Coping Festival where we got chatting about his company and we wanted to share the amazing products and work Matt is churning out.
Firstly, thank you for speaking to us today. We are huge fans of your clothing company and love the work you do. Let’s start things off with an introduction to yourself and your work.
Hey! Born and bred in Leicester UK, big up the LC, I’m a freelance graphic designer working within the fashion industry and have my own label Klatch Collective.
What was your reason for starting Klatch and where does the company name come from?
I knew from a young age that one day I will have my own brand. I spent 2020 working on some personal development and from those experiences I knew I wanted to create a brand that had meaning and gave back to a topic close to my heart, which is Men’s Mental Health. Klatch means ‘An informal social gathering at which coffee is served’. The idea of meeting up with friends, family, your community and being able to feel comfortable to talk about how you are feeling. I want to create a safe space for males to talk about their feelings, if I can do this through a conversation about my product then I’m stoked.
Do you have any particular inspirations?
My late grandad is the biggest inspiration, he was a trained tailor and used to own a garment factory in Leicester back in the 70’s. We would spend hours in his garage making t-shirts and jumpers from old cardboard templates. I know he would be looking down being proud someone in the family shared his passion.
What product don’t you currently produce, but would love to? And why?
Backpacks and man/side bags. These are products I want to work on in the near future but the design, fit and shape has to be right so it’s a long process. I personally think bags can complete an outfit. Complete the look by having Klatch headwear, socks and bag!
The environmentally friendly aspect of Klatch really interests us, can you tell us why that was a route you chose to take?
After working in the fashion industry for over 10 years I’ve seen a huge shift into using recycled materials and pre-made fabrics so I knew from the start this had to be a big part of my brand. I spent 9 months sourcing the right factory that shared the same values, from labour costs of their workforce, down to using organic cotton and recycled polyester labels in my products.
Men’s mental health is something that is at the forefront of the brand, does that come from a personal experience?
Yes absolutely, over the last 10 years I’ve gone from feeling on top of the world to feeling like I can’t make it through the day without crying and breaking down. I have participated in growing a Movember moustache for the last 8 years and after struggling mentally I found their resources super helpful, it felt right that they were the Charity of choice for me to donate 10% of my annual profits to.
We see you like to snowboard.
Do you find this helps with your mental wellbeing and if so how?
100%. I was lucky enough that my grandad took me skiing at the age of 6 and then started snowboarding around 15 years old. Being on a board and in the mountains is a form a meditation. The snowboarding community is so welcoming, much like the skate community, a place to feel safe and be your true self.
Do you practise any other useful activities that keep your mind healthy?
I do skate as well and go to the gym. For me physical health is such a big factor in how you are mentally performing, they go hand in hand. Going for a walk is incredible for your mind too, putting a podcast or music on and having time to reflect on how you’re really feeling can be a great reset button.
Ben from the project is a massive fan of your socks! What’s your favourite product you produce and why?
Stoked to hear that, I love hearing product feedback! I’m proud of all the products I release but my favourites have to be the caps, I spent a long time making sure these were right. I wanted to make sure the quality was as good as/or even better than the biggest streetwear/skate brands I grew up with.
Where do you see the brand moving forward? Are there any other projects in the pipeline?
I’m currently stocked in a local barber shop near me which is great, barber shops are safe spaces for males. The plan for the next 6 months is to be stocked in a couple more places like this, more barber shops, tattoo shops and hopefully some skate shops. I want to keep building the brand up and creating awareness for Men’s Mental Health.
Thank you so much for your valuable time spent answering our questions today. We really appreciate the work you’re doing and love the style and quality of your products. Good luck with Klatch, we can see it going very far.
You can shop their Zines here.