It's taken us a couple of weeks of wearing tracksuit bottoms and pyjamas to fully confirm that getting properly dressed really does uplift your mood. We may have known this since our first memory of falling in love with a pair of shoes, but with the option of an adjustable waist too tempting to ignore, lockdown has certainly made us forget. 

While clothes have been giving us pleasure for as long as we can remember, it's rare to see clothes do it so directly. Project Feelgood launched last week, with an ethos to supply and spread positive energy as far as they possibly can. Their line of slogan tees – or Positivi-Tees, as coined by the CEO, Clint Garnier – are a gentle reminder to yourself (and those who view it) that a change of perception may be the solution to stopping negativity. To further force a smile on your face, £1 from each sale is donated to YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people. As we draw closer to the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, we spoke with Clint about how he's staying positive during this period.

What inspired you to start this brand?
I'm in my mid-thirties and if it's one thing I've learnt thus far in life it's that it is soooooo easy to slip into a habit of focusing on the negative. You don't even realise you're doing it half the time! On top of that, we live in a world where we are constantly hit with a barrage of depressing news 24/7 (if I hear that blasted BBC News app notification thing one more time?!) and although social media is a wonderful invention, it can sometimes be quite a negative place to hang out.

Consciously focusing on the positive and reminding yourself of all the fabulous, amazing things that life has to offer is something you have to keep working at. Because when you choose (yes, it's a choice) to embrace positivity and approach life in an optimistic way, you not only feel good but you energise everyone around you. I wanted to start a brand that facilitated this and Project Feelgood is it! Our T-shirts (we call them Positivi-Tees), are all about feeling good, sharing the love and always looking on the brighter side of life.

How powerful can a positive affirmation be? 
I think they can be life-changing. I have quotes and positive affirmations in my head that I read years and years ago that have struck such a chord with me that they've stayed with me ever since. Oprah Winfrey calls them 'AHA moments' – those moments of sudden inspiration, insight or comprehension. They're powerful because they stand the test of time too - there are quotes dating back to when Aristotle walked this earth!

During this tumultuous time positivity is needed more than ever! Is there anything you do when you're feeling low to help bring your mood back up? 
Tell. Me. About. It. Life is challenging at the best of times but these past couple of months have been something else! I'd been working on launching Project Feelgood for a year before the Coronavirus crisis and when it came along my first reaction was to push the launch back. And then a day or so later I said to myself that actually maybe a good old dose of positive energy is what we all need right now and pressed ahead with everything.

From a personal perspective, I've found it really tough not being able to see friends. I'm such a people person! When I feel everything getting a bit overwhelming, this is my checklist: 

BREATHE: first of all I remember to breathe deeply. Half the time I'm so busy running around trying to get stuff done that I think I only take little baby breaths. Deep inhalations always instantly settle me.

TALK TO MYSELF: I know it sounds weird but as I said before, when I feel low it is generally because I am allowing my brain to focus on the negative and all the things I don't have and things I have yet to do and things I didn't do quite right and that completely unnecessary argument I had 2 years ago with a friend.....AHHHHH *head explodes*. When this happens I have to take time out and literally run through a list of all the awesome, amazingness that I have around me: I'm healthy, I have the most supportive partner I could ask for, I'm surrounded by friends that make me laugh until my belly hurts! All that good stuff.

PLAY WITH MY DOG: My Norfolk Terrier, Cookie, makes my heart sing. She's got a bit of an attitude (obvs, she's a Terrier) but we love each other unconditionally.

Do you have any particular affirmations you live by?
Absolutely. The ones that always stand out the most in my mind are:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

"I am part of all that I have met" Alfred Lord Tennyson

"If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?" Rupaul

(PS - I'm a MAAAAAAJOR Rupaul's Drag Race fan!)

Shop Project Feelgood here.

More More More!

+ 50 Years and Counting: The Tiffany bone cuff originally designed by Elsa Peretti, is back with a 2020 update...

The Fendi Icons for a Collector's Wardrobe...

+ Surprise Me!