Uniting the lonely, one t-shirt at a time.
THE STORY OF WE ARE DARK
Throughout childhood and adult life, depression is something that has always been present for me. After moving through 3 countries, backpacking and soul searching for my tribe of people, the concept of ‘Dark’ appeared in my mind. Living in Cambodia at 30 years old still without a community, feeling isolated and alone and concept in mind, came my first shirt. A simple black tee with Dark written across the front. As I continued to travel, I found myself in Los Angeles. I wore the shirt out, I met Daniel and he was curious about my shirt, asking what is ‘Dark?’ I explained my story and our connection grew and he shared his story of how he felt that way his whole life too.
As we grew closer, ‘Dark’ evolved into
‘We Are Dark.’
We set out to create a community for those who understand and can relate to us. A community for those going through their own battles to belong to. A place where they don’t have to feel alone.
Our language was born with the intent for you to wear whatever word you are feeling, without the worry or fear of judgement from others, because they won’t be able to understand it unless they are already in the community.
Over a year was spent sourcing the materials. Quality was important to us to have our name represented in the best way possible. After many disappointing samples, it wasn’t until we moved to Hawai’i in November 2020 that we found the perfect fit. Supporting 3 local businesses on the island.
We were able to launch December 19, 2020. Through a local farmers market. We attended 3+ farmers markets a week, telling our story and growing the community of We Are Dark, while continuing to work our other jobs. 7 days a week we would, and continue, to work to make our vision of a better world a reality.
We opened our flagship store in Waikiki. Our grand opening was November 19, 2021. 11 months exactly after our launch.
So many of you have reached back out to us to share the stories and memories you have created with others from them asking the question, “what does that mean?” These wonderful moments are what keeps us continuing on our mission.
We still have moments of depression in our lives, our message is here to help you live with the darkness, not suppress, ignore or ‘cure’. But to be able to talk about it, to be there for each other. A tribe to belong to, be part of. To be able to be recognized.
We are here, We hear you, We see you.
WE ARE DARK.
A percentage of our profits will go towards creating a way to aid those who need some inspiration and enable them the ability to find their way through the darkness. The Care Packs will be completely free to everyone. Depending on our budget for the month packs will be mailed with the option to download and print for the rest of the community. Everyone will be included. Some packs will even comprise free gifts as a special thank you for your support and just one of the many ways we will be giving back to the community!
Everyone can be a part of our care packs! You can even submit your own page! You may be surprised to find you enjoy something you never thought you would before. Our idea is that rather than placing an intimidating blank page in front of you and saying "go be creative and create something"—we instead want to give you a little inspiration by having something already started that you can continue on from.
For more details on our Care Packs please click here.
Not knowing where you are going in life sucks.
Not believing you have a purpose in life sucks.
Not having a community to belong to sucks.
WE HAVE CHANGED THAT.
WE ARE YOUR COMMUNITY.
Hi, I'm Daniel. One of the two partners who created We Are Dark.
2020 was the hardest year of my life. Mentally and emotionally I faced many challenges, and I felt alone after losing the tribe I had once belonged to. That's what depression feels like: being alone. We created WE ARE DARK to acknowledge that we are not alone. We created We Are Dark to be that community—that tribe for you to belong to, so no one will have to feel alone like I did. There are so many of us going through and facing so many difficult times each and every day, despite what their Instagram's and social media accounts may be portraying. I have to say that in the past I did this myself even, only posting the 'good times', but with our brand we want to break the stigma and say it's okay to post and talk about the difficult times.
I wrote and published a book last year detailing all of the struggles I have constantly gone through my entire life. Dealing with the early divorce of my parents, coming out as gay in school, and being bullied were just a few nightmares I had to live through. This book is completely free to anyone who would like to read it. I wrote this as my own release. A way for me to deal with, rather than suppress my feelings. It was a way for me to channel my depression and overcome all of the hurt and trauma I have been through my entire life. My book is called ONE UNIVERSE, because that is what we are all living inside—this one universe. My book is inspirational and aims to give hope that if I made it through all of these REALLY difficult times, then so can you. Life on this planet is hard, but if we look past all of the negative things going on around us, there really is beauty in this world. Sometimes that's all the inspiration a person needs, is just to know it's POSSIBLE to get through the hard times. If you would like a copy of your own, it's available to download for free at: oneuniversebook.com
Hey! I'm James. The other creator of We Are Dark.
My story through life has been a very dark one, no glimmer of light in sight. I dragged myself through, no mission, no point, no reason... just... existing. at 19 the future looked bleak, until I realized I could move to another country and start a new. I struggled with my mental health the whole time and finally made it to Australia, from England. New and exciting, a new me! It was for a little while, but then the darkness seeped in through the tiredness and memories, until it consumed me once again. I'll move to Melbourne I thought, as I was living in Alice Springs... So I did, I made it to the city! Yes! New me, new environment, different people! Again, the sadness, longing feeling started again. I'll backpack the world! Go to Peru and try Ayahuasca! That'll sort me out! With no effect I still longed for something... Asia to teach English! But when I landed, I realized, I didn't need to move around so much, as 'great' as it is. The issue was my mind, and it followed me wherever I went.
Thus the idea of 'DARK' brewed in my mind. Over the course of the next 6 months I thought of ideas and what it symbolized to me. I went back to Australia, to create 'Dark'. I made 2 hoodies and 2 T-shirts. Then had a crazy idea to travel through America, visit the big destinations and photograph the clothing in each location. I landed in LA, but with a different mindset than every other place I'd been. It was to visit, and pass through, not to live, though I did like the idea. Then I met Daniel. I told him about 'Dark' and he loved it, but it was just that, a conversation. I stayed longer in LA, a lot longer. We talked about 'Dark' a lot, and he came up with the 'We Are' in front of it. I loved the idea, and understood the community it could grow into. Then the symbols came. Something unique, and our own. I sketched up the symbols over 2 or 3 days in the cafe whilst with a good friend and Daniel. This is it, we thought the hard part was over, the idea, the concept. We had it!
Oh were we wrong. Sample after sample they were awful. We spent over a year ordering samples that were embroidered and printed, to be met with the worst quality and customer experience. Maybe we just have super high standards? But I wouldn't be content knowing my name was attached to something so badly done.
It wasn't until we moved to Hawaii we found some awesome, hard working and quality people to work with. Thus 'We Are Dark' was created and operational. A brand to raise awareness for those dark days, to inspire and give hope to the world. That you are not alone.
I still have my dark days. In fact, I have them more often than not. But now I have a purpose, a reason to be here. and for everyone reading this to know that if you smile at me, I will smile back. I understand as much as anyone in the world how this feels. Spend the time to discover who you are, not always what you 'look up to be like' because the reality of those lives is not all it's cracked up to be. Find what makes you get out of bed, makes you think and makes an hour feel like 5 minutes. These are the real gems in life. Use the care packages to find something you enjoy. There is no such thing as 'bad' in creative arts. Your interpretation is important. After all, Picasso's work was considered 'awful' in his time, but look at it now.
We are here, We hear you, We see you. WE ARE DARK.
Our clothing is bold.
Our brand is bold.
Our mission is bold.
WE ARE DARK is a brand to awaken the world and put an end to suppressing the negative feelings we experience. The more you suppress those feelings and emotions, the more you will have to face and endure later in your life; only amplified because it will all unfold at once. At a breaking point.
It's okay to be sad. It's okay to be lonely. It's okay to feel lost.
We've been there. We are STILL going through our own waves of sadness. I continue to get this dark cloud that comes over me full of emptiness from time to time. I just know that it's temporary and I DO have a full life ahead of me to live. Once you acknowledge that these feelings are normal and part of life, you can finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You can finally experience the wonderful feelings this life has to offer.
After a successful launch of our Care Packs, we are continuing on towards our big vision of a beautiful future. As our brand continues to grow we want to create a non-profit organization and have creative arts centers around the world. These will be like preschool for adults. A place where you can come and learn something new and creative without the bounds of grades or being told "you're doing it wrong." Creativity is never wrong. Some of the world's greatest creations came from doing something wrong. James actually 'failed' art in school. He was told he couldn't create. After he met Daniel, Daniel inspired him and pushed him to break the boundaries he had mentally set on himself. They created this clothing brand together, and recently James won a pitch to have his short film funded and created. With a crew of 15 people his short film was born—all from his 'inability to create. Never let someone tell you that you cannot create, because you can. We all can.
Our Creative Arts centers will have different areas where you can learn anything from drawing, painting, music, photography, videography, piano, meditation, art, writing—the list is endless. These centers will be completely free to all and funded entirely by our organization. Creativity is one of the best things we can do to transform those dark times into something bright.
Thank you for your support.
Daniel and James
111 Hekili St
Kailua, HI 96734
Uniting the lonely, one t-shirt at a time.
Feel free to send us an email using the form below. We welcome any questions, comments or concerns and we would love to hear from you. We typically respond within one business day.
We are all in this: together.