Many things hail from the Great White North: maple syrup, hockey and the post-grunge band Three Days Grace. Along with some of the top rock hits of the early 2000’s comes Mean Clothing, the namesake label was founded by Three Days Grace guitarist Barry Stock. What started as a slogan on free band merch that was given away at concerts has now been cultivated into to a full-fledged clothing brand.
“Mean People Suck”
In 2004, Barry Stock stumbled upon a magazine page with the inscription, “mean people suck.” After a second of contemplation he slapped in on his guitar. Barry found himself drawn to this word; simple as it stands, but heavy in its meaning. Yet, in his eyes, he saw a positive. To Barry, it’s all about being a stand-up person, someone who says what they mean and mean what they say. Before the conceptualization of Mean Clothing as it stands today, Barry’s wife Heather decided to trade in her real estate career for the full time fashion biz. Through much positive encouragement, Heather took the concept and turned it into a full-fledged clothing company. She emphasizes that Mean is an idea and an attitude. It encompasses the idea of giving your all and being someone who keeps their word. Beyond this candor attitude remains a juxtaposition; yes, there is darkness to this word, but at the same time there is light.
Mean grew from a state of mind to a community through an unlikely avenue. It was the Three Days Grace lighting technician who was persistent in his campaign for printing t-shirts and hats bearing the word. Before the age of social media marketing, there was really no way to promote it. It was through free t-shirt and hat distribution at Three Days Grace concerts that it started gaining traction. Although, with each passing year the idea of the Mean community grew and grew. This was when Heather decided to turn this cult following into a business. She believed that they had team of people that are inspired by the brand and want to be a part of it. Each member of the Mean team has had a unique gift that they bring to the table, not unlike a band, in which every piece comes together to make a whole. Through their investment in people, they have been able to launch and create the basis for success in the apparel industry.
Toronto or Bust
As the Mean community is rapidly expanding, Mr. and Mrs. Stock were in the search for manufacturers and Mrs. Stock had her sights set on the Texworld show in New York. Day by day business demands kept compounding and as she realized her schedule did not permit travel to the Empire State. In turn, a quick google search led her to the Apparel Textile Sourcing Show Canada in Toronto. She was enthused by the concept of being able to travel and source domestically. The Stock’s believe that the future of Mean Clothing lies in more custom unique pieces. Consequently, the issue with mass production is the minimums required and the loss creative control due to accumulating costs. Luckily, they will be attending ATSC and will have the opportunity to meet an array of fabric suppliers, trim specialists and manufacturers of both domestic and international origins. With their emphasis supporting and enabling small business, ATSC will be able to put the Stocks in contact with those who can support their vision for their brand.
Mean is a word that can either be good or bad depending on each who encounter it. For Mean Clothing they are adamant on making that experience not only a positive one, but also an empowering one as well. Barry and Heather Stock have their sights set on making an impact in the apparel industry and growing the Mean community every step of the way.