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Gymshark Deload ‘Safe Space’ Pop-Up Barbershop Opens

Gymshark has opened the doors to new pop-up barbershop, Deload, a ‘non-judgemental safe space’ for men to open up, offload and have a chat with professional mental health-trained barbers, while receiving a free trim.

The barbershop in east London’s Shoreditch will be open from 12 to 17 July, and will be hosting panel talks across two evenings. Representatives from Calm, Lions Barbers, Curfew Grooming, and Gymshark athletes and influencers will be covering topics such as ‘Be the Mate You’d Want’ and ‘Building Real Strength’.

A Gymshark spokesperson said, “We want to talk about men’s mental health. We don’t talk about it enough – an awful lot of men are struggling,” adding that this is what inspired the retailer to launch Gymshark Deload. Deload is an innovative mental health initiative platform, that encourages young people to focus on their mental as well as their physical wellbeing. It provides content, stories and advice from wellbeing experts and medical professionals. “We found that people talk to their barbers more than their doctors, than mental health professionals. So we found this to be an authentic way to create something branded and work with Calm to make a difference for men’s mental health.”

All the barbers are mental health trained, courtesy of Calm, so that they can open up to the 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 a trim and don’t want to get into anything too heavy they can,” the spokesperson added.

Calm says: “Too often men feel there is a lack of safe spaces to really get stuff off their chests. That’s why for many the barbershop is more than a place to just get your haircut – it can be a haven for banter, friendships, and even a space to open up or confide in someone.

“And with 84% of men in the UK bottling up their emotions, our partnership with Gymshark aims to help normalise what to some people might feel like tricky conversations about mental health and spread awareness of CALM’s lifesaving work.”

Gymshark will also be selling exclusive Gymshark Deload Barbershop merchandise in-store, with all proceeds going to mental health charity Calm.