Cleanaway is proud to announce a new partnership with TradeMutt, a social enterprise that produces eye-catching workwear aimed at starting conversations about mental health in the workplace and raises funds for a mental health support service for blue-collar workers.
The waste management company kicked off their partnership with the purchase of about 1,000 shirts featuring a custom design that will raise awareness of mental health amongst their mainly blue-collar work force. It was championed by a member of the Cleanaway Hydrocarbons team, Narangba refinery operator Matt Purontakanen.
“The whole idea is to get a conversation about mental health going and it’s so important, especially in the current situation we are in with lockdowns,” Matt says.
“I have learnt to openly talk about the struggles I’ve been through and, when I hit rock bottom about three years ago, it really helped. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for the support my family and a couple of my closest friends always pushing me to talk to them, then I may not be here today.”
Former carpenters Dan Allen and Ed Ross founded TradeMutt in 2018 after Dan lost a friend to suicide.
This was a defining event in their decision to start the business and use some of the funds from sales to fund a free call and text service, called ‘This Is A Conversation Starter’, or TIACS, which has provided more than 2,250 hours of mental health support from psychologists.
TradeMutt takes its name from its focus on blue-collar jobs and a much-loved cattle dog whose limp ear inspired its logo.
The partnership was launched yesterday with an event at Cleanaway’s hydrocarbons facility at Narangba, ahead of R U Ok Day? today.
Pictured: The Cleanaway Narangba team with Dan and Ed from TradeMutt
“Our role of our operational team members is more important than ever delivering essential waste services around the country as we have found our lives change significantly over the last year,” Cleanaway EGM HR Joh Birgersson said.
“Vulnerability, stress and mental health strain is at a high point in our community and it’s crucial that we provide support in a range of ways to remove the barriers for people to reach out.
“We’re excited to announce this partnership, which is about more than just wearing a loud shirt on Fridays. It’s about creating more spaces where our teams around the country feel comfortable having a conversation. It’s about feeling seen and connecting with your fellow workers even though you may feel isolated, physically in your role or personally. Given the opportunity, we all have something to contribute to make another person feel valued, heard and cared for,” Joh explained.
“Working with a company like Cleanaway is really exciting for the whole team here at TradeMutt and their choice to work with us to create a custom design is a real sign of confidence in the shirts and their ability to start conversations at work. Their support of the shirts has also helped fund TIACS, which is a mental health service that all of their employees can reach out to, as well as the general public if they need.” says TradeMutt co-founder Ed Ross.
Matt was pleased to be part of the partnership launch: “We’re a pretty tight crew here at Narangba. We try and support each other whenever someone’s a bit down and everyone here thinks it’s a good idea. I never thought it would go this far -it’s awesome.”
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