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When Ben Miller started Wirth Hats in 2018, it was about more than just creating a hat company. He was honouring the legacies of Jakob Wirth and Philipp Altenburg, two close friends he’d lost to suicide. Naming the company for Wirth, who’d long dreamed of creating a line of hats, Miller says that he wanted to inspire a sense of hopefulness from these tragedies. “We want to walk the line between the sad, the hard, the true things that are going on within us but also the fun, the light and the happy,” Miller says. “Wirth wants to exist in both of those arenas because that’s life, that’s the full human experience.”

Wirth’s hats are all made in Richmond, B.C., and include baseball caps, bucket hats, toques and more. The brand’s bestselling Doc’s Cap, an olive and tan oilskin style, is named for Miller’s father, a doctor and early supporter of his son’s vision. Wirth also collaborates with artists, such as Annie Chen, Taka Sudo and Anthony Joseph, on customizing one-of-a-kind styles that are sold by raffle.

Part of Wirth’s broader mission of empowering conversations about mental health is to connect individuals with free counselling services. “It makes a world of difference when we’re able to at least share because it’s so human to talk about these things,” Miller says. When shopping Wirth’s website, customers can select to pay two prices: the classic payment, where a portion of proceeds goes toward counselling, or the slightly higher one-for-one option, funds from which pay for someone’s full counselling session.

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Wirth, wirthhats.com.

alexa mazzarello/Handout

Doc’s Cap, $65.

Connor McCracken/Handout

Buckets-O-Fun Cap, $65.

Tom Jones/Handout

Pine & Dandy Cap, $55.

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