Hug for your head: Hat company committed to breaking down mental health barriers

Jun 23 2021, 10:35 pm

Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.

WIRTH Hats is a Vancouver-based company that not only supports a cause, but the cause was also the inspiration behind the idea. Co-founder Ben Miller was directly affected by a tragedy and felt compelled to prevent it from happening to others.

Wirth Hats is committed to breaking down the barriers for mental health support services, and through the sale of hats, they are helping fund counselling sessions for those in need.


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A post shared by WIRTH Hats (@wirthhats)

Vancity has been supporting people in our communities since 1946, like local entrepreneurs. As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to the WIRTH team about overcoming tragedy to honour a fallen friend.

“WIRTH Hats was born in memory of co-founder Ben Miller’s friend Jakob Wirth,” they told Daily Hive.

“Jakob had a dream of creating a hat company. For him, hats weren’t just an accessory — they were the perfect addition to an outfit and a central part of what could make someone feel unique.”

Sadly, Jakob was never able to live out his dream; in 2014 he died by suicide. In honour of him, Ben created hats to share with friends and family — a reminder of Jakob and a reminder that mental health affects us all,” they added.


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A post shared by WIRTH Hats (@wirthhats)

Now, WIRTH Hats aims to reduce the stigma on counselling through the sale of hats and to share the story that has already impacted so many individuals. Through their efforts, the team helps provide financial assistance for counselling to those who are unable to afford it.

Jakob and the many other individuals who struggled with mental health are the inspiration behind the brand,” they told us.

The inspiration the WIRTH team is able to find is a signal to others that there is inspiration out there. Any business or company can make a difference like this, and many local Vancouver ones do. WIRTH hopes to inspire more than just their customers, but other business to call awareness to their own causes.


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A post shared by WIRTH Hats (@wirthhats)

Ben and the WIRTH Hats team want fellow entrepreneurs — and the public — to learn that mental health affects us all,” they said. “And that a small product, like a hat, is an easy way to remind yourself to check in on your loved ones,” they added.

The hats serve more than just a reminder to check in as well. WIRTH allows their customers to put their money somewhere that could help, or save, a life.

A variety of hats are available at,” they said. “Fans may purchase hats at retail price ranging from $55–65 CAD or opt for a 1-for-1, which allows your hat to pay for an entire counselling session. To date, WIRTH Hats has sponsored over 4,000 counselling sessions and hopes to continue providing support for people in need,” they added.


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A post shared by WIRTH Hats (@wirthhats)

This entirely unique pricing system is put in place to sell hats, raise awareness, and give people the chance to know exactly the effects their spending money can have.

WIRTH Hats is unique because it aims to educate, stake a stand and make a difference,” they said. “Counselling for many is unaccessible, and WIRTH strives to make it more attainable and help those who otherwise can’t afford it,” they added.

It’s been a challenging year for any business to make profits and reach their customers, but it presented a particular challenge for WIRTH. It’s been an emotionally challenging year for everyone, and the need for counselling has been in incredibly high demand. WIRTH wants to help as many people as possible, and they continue to try by selling these stylish hats.


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A post shared by WIRTH Hats (@wirthhats)

The challenge about operating during COVID is keeping up with demand,” they said. “According to Statistics Canada, since Covid-19 began, fewer Canadians reported having excellent or “very good” mental health — 55% in July 2020 compared to 68% in 2019. Over the past year, WIRTH has seen a 1,000% increase in the demand for counselling support — making their fashionable hugs for your head all the more important,” they added.

You may have seen these hats on the heads of the people of Vancouver and wondered what the story is behind it. Now that you know their story, and their goals, now all you have to do is grab a WIRTH hate for yourself.

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