Shirtmaker Frangipani and loudspeaker manufacturer Funktion-One have joined forces to launch a limited-edition collection of shirts, with all profits going to Music Support, the charity that helps those who work in music and live events affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction. The shirts, which are available in two colourways, feature a design based on a 3D blueprint of Funktion-One Evolution loudspeakers.
Frangipani co-founders Clem and Ben Wilmot have been long admirers and friends of Funktion-One, having spent a lot of time in fields and clubs dancing to Funktion-One sound systems. Ben explains: “Nothing beats being in front of a stack of Funktion-One speakers with like-minded individuals, having the times of our lives and dancing the night away. Our ethos at Frangipani is to make shirts that people want to live in and to bring some colour and happiness to the world and we think this is a perfect partnership with Funktion-One who do the same as us but through sound. A couple of years ago, we asked if we could make a Funktion-One inspired print and were over the moon when they said yes."
With the foundation of the collaboration in place, Frangipani and Funktion-One turned their attention to a charity partner. “The idea to work with Music Support came from Funktion-One,” recalls Ben. “We immediately knew this was a project that we wanted to get involved with and a charity that we wanted to support. This was during the ‘lockdown era’ and so many of our friends who work in the music industry were stuck at home with no furlough scheme, no access to work and facing huge uncertainty.
“We realise that this is an incredibly hard industry to work in as it is, most people only see the glamorous side of it, particularly through social media, and don't realise how challenging it is. But with the challenges of the last few years and even more uncertainty to come, we feel that the more people who know about and can get help from Music Support, the better.”
Music Support was founded in April 2016 by people from within the UK music industry. It provides help and support for those who work in UK music and live events affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction. The registered charity facilitates education and learning via workshops and training to individuals and organisations in the industry so they may be better equipped in the areas of awareness, early intervention, and prevention.
Chief Executive of Music Support, Eric Mtungwazi, says: “We are so grateful to Frangipani and Funktion-One for choosing to support us through this exciting collaboration. They are brands synonymous with music and live events with Funktion-One providing loudspeaker systems for some of the UK’s biggest events and Frangipani being worn by music icons across all genres, ranging from DJ Carl Cox to Sir Mick Jagger.”
The Global pandemic saw Music Support lose a significant level of funding at a time when the industry arguably needed it most, with an increase of 60% in volume of calls to its confidential Helpline. Music and live events continue to be hit hard by the uncertainty, isolation, and financial consequences of Covid 19, with artists and crew alike under pressure to perform at levels that have not been seen for years. This all puts a huge strain on mental health with more people experiencing crisis and reliant on drugs and alcohol to get through their day.
Eric adds: “The funds raised from this fantastic initiative will help us to continue our crucial work in supporting our peers. Our core services include our confidential helpline, managed by industry peers with lived experience which offers everything from a non-judgmental listening ear service through to referrals to expert clinicians and care providers for mental health and addiction assessments, therapy and rehab.
“In addition to this, we empower our peers to look after the wellbeing of their colleagues (and themselves) through providing training in mental health first aid and addiction and recovery. We also operate Safe Hubs, a space backstage at festivals where artists and crew can take time out and gain support from Mental Health First Aid trained staff.”
The Frangipani ‘One Love’ shirt in collaboration with Funktion-One launched last week, raising £3,500 for Music Support in the first five days of sales. It is available with worldwide delivery from Frangipani’s website in two colourways - charcoal and pink (long and short sleeve) and bright blue and pink (long sleeve only) - and limited to 160 of each shirt. All profits from the sales of the ‘One Love’ shirt go to Music Support.