Gymshark has opened the doors to its new pop-up barbershop ‘Deload’ for the week, where sportswear giant is providing a “safe, nonjudgmental space” for men to open up, unload, and chat with professional barbers trained in mental health, while receiving a free cut.
Located in London’s Shoreditch, Gymshark will host panel discussions over two nights, with representatives from Calm, lions groomers, curfew toiletand Gymshark athletes and influencers, who will cover topics like “Be the Partner You Want” and “Building Real Strength.”
The Retail Gazette visited the store to better understand why Gymshark decided to open Deload.
A Gymshark spokesperson says: “We want to talk about men’s mental health. We don’t talk about it enough, a lot of men are struggling.”
They explained that this is what inspired the retailer to launch download gymshark, an innovative platform for mental health initiatives, encouraging young people to focus on their mental and physical well-being. Provides content, stories, and advice from wellness experts and medical professionals.
“We found that people talk more with their hairdressers than with their doctors, than with mental health professionals,” adds the spokesperson.
“So we found that this is an authentic way to build something of a brand and work with Calm to make a difference in men’s mental health.”
Gymshark did not rule out more permanent initiatives and the spokesperson said it “definitely wants to continue the conversation”.
Brands have faced increasing pressure to support their workforces as cost of living the crisis continues and the British are dealing with skyrocketing energy bills and high prices in grocery stores.
Gymshark says retailers need to step up to ensure mental health isn’t swept under the rug.
Along with the show’s talks, the barbershop will also host a panel of “intimate discussions” allowing people to open up.
The spokesperson explains that men find it difficult to open up to friends and that it is important that Gymshark and other brands play host to deep conversations, rather than keeping them superficial.
“Brands need to make sure they dig into this. They should definitely do it authentically throughout the year,” adds the spokesperson.
On the first day of the salon, the feedback so far has been “unbelievable”, with the shop packed with customers.
With all trained mental health barbers courtesy of Calmthey can open up to customers using certain cues and questions.
“If they want to open up, they can or if they just want to have a quick chat and adjustment and don’t want to get into anything too heavy,” the spokesperson adds.
Calm says, “Too often, men feel like there’s a lack of safe spaces to blow off steam. That’s why, for many, the barbershop is more than just a place to get a haircut: it can be a haven for jokes, friendships, and even a space to open up or trust someone.
“And with 84% of men in the UK repressing their emotions, our partnership with Gymshark aims to help normalize what some people may feel like difficult conversations around mental health and spread awareness of CALM’s work to save lifes”.
Gymshark will also be selling exclusive Gymshark Deload Barbershop products at the store, with all proceeds going to the Calm mental health charity.