express service society

New streetwear line raises money for virtual reality therapy for the elderly

Loneliness, anxiety and depression were rampant among seniors long before COVID-19 hit, but the pandemic has exacerbated these issues, which often go unnoticed and unaddressed. Express Service Society is a new initiative dedicated to raising awareness and finding innovative solutions to some of the most pressing issues elderly people face.

As a Toronto-based palliative care physician working during the pandemic, Dr. Ginah Kim has witnessed the struggles of seniors firsthand, and how they have only worsened with the inability to see their families due to visitor restrictions.

 

express service society
Dr. Ginah Kim © Didier Tovel

Determined to help ease the suffering of the elderly in a unique and creative way, she joined forces with music producer Didier Tovel to form Express Service Society and design a line of unisex streetwear as their first project.

Featuring jackets, shirts, hoodies and fleece-lined tracksuits, the streetwear line is not only stylish and comfortable, it also has a good cause behind it. All proceeds from the collection will be going towards research and funding for personalized virtual reality (VR) therapy for the elderly at Toronto-based hospitals and long-term care homes.

 

express service society
© Matt Barnes

Dr. Kim says virtual reality is a powerful tool for elderly people in their last stages of life who may be grappling with fear or uncertainty, but it’s often underused due to cost and availability issues.

“We believe that the isolation, loneliness and depression experienced by the elderly and palliative care population particularly during the pandemic requires urgent attention,” Dr. Kim says. “As a palliative care physician, I felt there was more that could be done to support these individuals throughout such unprecedented times, and VR therapy programs have incredible potential to address this growing concern.”

Designed with the help of creatives from around the world including the U.S., France, Germany and Canada, the pieces range in price from $35 to $160. Shop the collection now at expressservicesociety.com.

Article exclusive to TRNTO