Verge Meets: DAVID GANDY

You’ve teamed up with fashion brand The London Sock Company to raise awareness for male cancer, how did this come about?

We try to do initiatives for charities close to our hearts, so we came up with the idea of me taking over the customer service calls at The London Sock Company, with 10% of all sales going to the male cancer charity, One For The Boys, and we will be running this all the way through to Christmas, to raise as much money as we can.

So today I’ve been in the office taking calls from all over the world – from places like South Korea, Japan, Austria, The UK, lots of people from Houston and Texas which is great and also New York – everything has been hugely positive and I’ve really enjoyed doing it. 

Men are playing with their balls enough anyway, so if you do find something, even if it’s nothing, get it checked!

It’s been brilliant speaking to everyone – people saying well done and what a fantastic charity. It’s been brilliant because you don’t always get this sort of interaction, it’s so different to social media.

The guys at The London Sock Company approached me about four years ago and I invested with them and became an ambassador, so we all work closely together. We do a lot of initiatives which I don’t think enough brands do. However I work with M&S and they don’t talk enough about how much they do for charity, they do an incredible amount.

Can you tell us about your involvement with “One for the boys” and a bit about the charity?

There are a number of charities I work with and a number that I’m an ambassador for, that are really close to my heart. For example Battersea dogs home, where I adopted my dog, Dora.

One For The Boys is a really important campaign bringing awareness and education to catch cancer in males early. The fashion industry really supports the charity and that’s something I’ve always inspired to do – I look at how fashion can help charity and how fashion can help people and the people here at The London Sock Company are great – they help a lot of charities.

For the last four or five fashion seasons, One For The Boys has been really well supported and we as a fashion brand, are delighted to help and raise money for them.

Samuel L Jackson is a fantastic ambassador for One For The Boys. He called me once during men’s fashion week asking for help and you don’t argue with Samuel L Jackson! 

Also Dave Pickard, one of co-founder’s of the London Sock Co, his Dad was sadly diagnosed with cancer but thankfully due to early detection, he is now in full remission because it was treated and cleared so quickly.

 

Being a super model puts you in a position to use your celeb status for good, are there any other causes you feel passionate about?

Yes, Battersea dogs home, I’m their first ever ambassador for the 150-year old charity.

I work closely with another 10 charities and I’m an ambassador for another four – for example Style for Soldiers, Achievement for All, Save The Children, so they’re the ones I work with very closely to – they’re all things that are close to my heart, things that I can relate to. A lot of them are to do with children and animals. I feel like animals need defending and to be looked after, they need us to do that.

 

Men are known for not wanting to discuss their health what would you urge men to do?

Men are useless at talking and explaining things going on with them. Even if we think we should go to the doctor, we put it off. Going to the doctors for 10 minutes, or just checking and examining yourself, could save your life.

Men are playing with their balls enough anyway, so if you do find something, even if it’s nothing, get it checked!

I’ve been to the doctors and he said to me ‘David, it’s always like this, its fine’ but that’s all I wanted to know.  

Funnily enough when I started working with another testicular cancer charity, one of the ambassadors signed up and then checked himself and found a lump. Luckily it was caught early enough and he was fine. No one should ever die from testicular cancer but unfortunately people are going to get it however if you catch it early enough you shouldn’t get seriously ill or die from it.

 

Why do you feel health and cancer checks are so taboo for men? And how do you feel we could change this?

Checking yourself and examining yourself should be compulsory, you should do it once a year, much like how women are checked for cancer.

Men should really go for prostate exams, it’s not a rule that you should have to go but it should be. It would eradicate so many deaths, so many cancers would be eradicated a lot quicker.

It amazes me that we have MOT’s on our cars and if you don’t get them your car is illegal, well, stuff cars, what about us! How about getting an MOT for us men and if we don’t get checked maybe we get a fine – that might be too harsh but you understand my point.

 

Your lifestyle is understandably hectic and varied, how do you make sure you stay healthy?

I walk everywhere and that’s always been my secret. It sounds strange to people but instead of driving or getting a car, I walk for 20 minutes or half an hour, that’s been my thing for 10 years. I now have my dog which I take for a walk twice a day.

I see people in the gym who go on a cross trainer or running machine for 20 minutes and then I see them drive off – I think why don’t you run to the gym and run back again – it would save them a lot of money on gym fees.

I train and watch my nutrition a lot, it is so important. I eat a lot, probably more than people realise. Nutrition is 60% more of what you need to watch rather than gym and exercise.

 

How can people get involved with this initiative and help to raise money?

Customers can the use code: OFTB right up to Christmas and we will continue to donate 10% of any order received to support their campaign. People can also make donations directly through the One For The Boys website.