We live in a fast paced, technology-powered world, where the line between work and personal life is blurry. Sleep deprivation, long working hours and a constant demand to do more with less in our jobs is an expectation. Truth is, many of us are burnt out – a condition that will be globally recognised as an occupational phenomenon by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In a bid to balance the scales, people are increasingly investing in their health and wellness. Today, the definition of health and wellness goes beyond the lack of illness. Instead the phrase refers to a more holistic state of being, where one is physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. In fact, according to the Global Wellness Institute the wellness industry was valued at US$4.2 trillion (approx. $5.8 trillion) in 2017, up 12.8% from US$3.2 trillion (approx. $4.4 trillion) in 2015.
How are the various industries responding to this new trend? From food, beauty, fashion, travel and fitness, brands are churning out marketing campaigns that advertise an aspirational lifestyle, enticing consumers to adopt the wellness mentality.
In the past year, we’ve seen an explosion of boutique fitness studios that hold HIIT, Reformer Pilates, Boxing or Barre classes. Enter fitness apps like ClassPass which pioneered the multi-studio membership – offering the flexibility and commitment-free option of paying a monthly fee to access these studios island-wide. Aside from booking yourself into a class on-demand, ClassPass also has a dedicated “Wellness” category where one can book chiropractic or physiotherapy sessions and sports massages – a neccesity when poor lifestyle habits wreck havoc on our bodies. Core Collective (a co-working space, gym hybrid) takes it a step further by meeting your fitness and wellness needs – think personal training, nutritional advice or counselling – without you having to leave the buildling.
Out of the US$4.2 trillion value of the global wellness industry, personal care and beauty products make up a whopping US$1.083 trillion (approx. $1.493 trillion). Saavy consumers, who are increasingly educated about potentially harmful ingredients in their skincare and makeup, are seeking out products free of parabens, fragrances or synthetic colourants. Some go as far to only buy socially responsible beauty brands that are eco-friendly or cruelty-free. Traditional beauty brands like Clinique are reacting by adapting their offerings. Clinique leaped on the athleisure bandwagon with the launch of the CliniqueFit range, which caters to your pre- and post-workout needs. From sweat-proof mascara to a mattifying moisturiser that hydrates skin while controlling shine, and a colour-correcting powder that absorbs excess oil and neutralises redness, you’re guaranteed to leave the gym feeling and looking good.
Wellness tourism is not a new concept. For years, people have been traveling to the Dead Sea in Jordan to soak in it’s mineral-rich waters which reportedly help relieve skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis, or visit Japan’s hot springs where the geothermal waters help boost blood circulation and soften skin. Today, wellness tourism comes in the form of retreats to exotic locales like the Maldives or Bali, with highly-personalised and curated programmes involving activities like meditation, spa treatments, workouts and workshops – aiming to deliver a rich experience that’s aimed at improving your overall well-being. Six Senses Spa Laamu offers an Integrated Wellness programme, starting with a wellness screening, which measures key physiological biomarkers of health, from body composition to heart function and stress parameters. The results are then used to prepare a wellness programme that includes a daily spa treatment and a fitness or wellness activity, as well as suitable foods to consume during your stay. Prices start at US$892 (approx. $1215) per guest for three days.
“Tights are not pants.” – Blair Waldorf famously declared on Gossip Girl. Ever since activewear went from fashion faux pas to trendy, athleisure has become an integral part of our wardrobes. Many fashion brands are now offering activewear lines that fuse fashion and function, giving us the license to look good while we break a sweat or run errands. Cult favourite brands include Lululemon and Under Armour, but big luxury players like Fendi and Versace too have recognised the wellness value proposition. Fendi’s extensive collection includes everything from sports bras to track pants and even ski goggles, with the house’s logo emblazoned across its mirrored lenses. Versace’s also has its own gym line, think ultra-chic sports tanks, sweatshirts, leggings and loungewear that feature the brand’s signature Medusa motif.
In an era where it’s a societal norm to document our lives on social media (if you don’t take a #postgymselfie, did you really go to the gym?), consumers are more than happy to pay a premium to attend boutique fitness classes while clothed in high-end athleisure and are inclined to pick protein smoothies over cocktails or spin classes over nights at the club. Is it any wonder that wellness-related businesses are popping up with remarkable frequency? Looking great, feeling good and sleeping well is the new luxury lifestyle to flaunt. #livingmybestlife