Humans of TradeMutt is a celebration of our community, shining a light on the incredible and relatable individuals who are leading by example and paving the way for others like them to feel supported to talk about the tough stuff.
This is Carl Farthing.
“With the realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world” – Dalai Lama
Ever since Ed and I founded TradeMutt, the idea was simple: I wear a TradeMutt shirt and by doing so, I am sending a message to anyone that I come across that I am open and approachable to having serious conversations. I will show empathy, compassion and I will not judge, no matter what you are going through. It is a simple approach but one that was designed to create a real human connection and allow people to connect on a deeper level.
And then Carl had these incredible words to say:
Mental health is an issue ... a HUGE issue ... and the stats are appalling, particularly within the construction industry. But it has a history of silence and that’s what makes it dangerous.
Ed and Dan from TradeMutt are working hard to change this. With the outrageously loud shirts they’ve created, conversations are being started and people are talking.
The more people talk, the more comfortable they are in opening up about how they’re feeling, which is awesome - the issues are becoming less silent.
Initially, I bought some shirts because I wanted to support the cause, but I’ve found that wearing them has actually helped me too.
I generally don’t like attention. I’m not a fan of groups of people and I’d rather hang out quietly in the background and do my own thing. But there’s no hiding while rocking one of these bad boys.
I can feel the looks when I’m in public (on and off-site), but I no longer care. I own it. I lift my chin, and I strut (maybe not that dramatic, but it feels like it to me). I feel my own anxieties fade and I have a newfound confidence in myself. I very much like that.
We all have our demons in varying degrees - our self-doubts, anxieties, fears, the dark spaces that we go to in our minds. But once we realise that “it’s OK to not be OK” then we’re closer to realising that there are ways out, and people/organisations /systems there to help us.
So, go and start some conversations. And check on your mates. Even the happy ones - they might just be better at hiding their struggles.
The day that Carl posted these powerful words, something changed for both Ed and I that made us realise that Trademutt was about far more than just allowing people to feel supported and providing an ear to listen. These shirts made people feel confident. That is more powerful than anything else in the world.
When a person feels confident, there is no stopping them. In fact, I think it’s the single best thing that anyone can do for another person – help them to feel confident.
The feeling that Carl talks about is real – you can feel people staring and taking a second look. But you quickly get over that and the feeling shifts towards one of wanting someone to come and ask you about the shirt. After all, when you’re standing up and standing out for something so important, you begin to feel a huge responsibility to be the custodian of a message that could save the life of anyone you come across. That requires confidence.
Thanks to Carl and his wise words, we now take on the responsibility to ensure that anyone wearing a TradeMutt shirt walks with the confidence that they deserve because when a person discovers self-confidence, they can change the world.
Carl is pictured here in the high vis MFG next to his great mate Larn sporting the Einhorn. You can find Carl on Instagram using the handle @ctfbuilder
I feel the shirts have helped me in the same way. I’ve always been shy and try my hardest to blend into the background but they’ve changed that completely.
If I’m not feeling too great one day I’ll chuck on a shirt and I’ll feel better.
Aswell as having people open up to me while wearing the shirts, they’ve helped me open up more to other people too.
Great article mate. This is a fantastic thing you guys are doing and I’m proud to be part of the process. It’s changing lives.