Clothing brand backs Lifeline
An illustrious Auckland clothing brand which knows first hand the heartache of suicide is stepping up to support a mental health foundation.
Illicit owner Steve Hodge is launching a range of T-shirts on Wednesday with all proceeds going to counselling service Lifeline.
Hodge founded Illicit in 1996 with friend and respected artist Martin Emond.
Despite a successful international career, Emond took his own life in 2004 after a long battle with depression.
Hodge said he was inspired to raise money for Lifeline after hearing about broadcaster Mike Kings’ resignation from New Zealand’s suicide prevention panel earlier in May.
King claimed the Government’s suicide prevention strategy was ‘‘deeply flawed’’ and wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health saying he was concerned about aspects of the strategy.
On top of this Hodge said he was dismayed to hear of Lifeline’s financial struggle to survive.
Last year year the counselling service announced it had enough money only to stay afloat another year, after the Government refused to offer financial support.
‘‘They literally don’t spend a penny on something as insane as kids killing themselves,’’ Hodge said.
‘‘If saving some kids’ lives is going to cost money but not make any, the Government wont be interested.’’
Hodge said this was the first time Illicit has done anything for suicide awareness.
‘‘It was just a no-brainer because of Martin’s death,’’ he said.
‘‘I knew I had the right artwork and probably some good ideas I could give them [Lifeline] for nothing.’’
‘‘Martin’s artwork always has a time and a place and this is one of them.’’
The Lifeline clothing includes t-shirts for $49.90 and hoodies for $69.90.
From each purchase $10 will go to Lifeline from the t-shirts and $15 from the hoodies.
In March Illicit also honoured fallen pilot Steve Askin by memorialising him in a series of T-shirts.
Askin was killed in a helicopter crash while fighting fires on the Port Hills above Christchurch.
About 50 per cent of the T-shirt profits went to Askin’s family.