Health, wellness, and mindful living is a macro trend that will be evolved into a whole new meaning. Right now, living a healthy lifestyle is still considered a taboo/niche stage. In the coming years, this macro trend will come into the forefront of a mainstream market. Not everyone is following it at the moment, but this lifestyle choice is gaining momentum. In five years time, it will be a global phenomenon.
Currently, there are a ton of things happening in the wellness category. Organic beauty and skin care are becoming mainstream and readily available. Brands like; Yes To, Pacifica, Burt's Bees, and many others are using more natural ingredients with “transparent” packaging. Consumers are demanding for companies to not beat around the bush with what is in the products. Natural deodorant and hair care products have been increasingly popular. DIY beauty products have also been expanding in their popularity. People feel better knowing exactly what's going into their products, and using natural ingredients. A popular brand, L'Oreal is currently working towards becoming more sustainable. “Responding to consumers who want companies to be more transparent, L'Oréal has a blueprint that aims to reduce its environmental footprint, including CO2, water and waste, by 60 percent across all operations by 2020” (Brookman).
Planet awareness has always been around since the beginning of time, it's becoming more popular. We only have one planet so we have to protect it at all costs. Recycling has become one of those ways to do so and it's become a common habit globally, but there's a newfound awareness for it. According to an article we found, Switzerland is the leading country for recycling with 52% of its waste being recycled. The United States is far behind with that number, but the amount of recycling is increasing (Hoi). We are also seeing people receiving incentives for recycling. Michigan residents receive ten cents per plastic or aluminum can they recycle at local grocery stores. Throughout the world, we're seeing innovative inventions being created to reduce the pollution we've created, and enhance our recycling capabilities. The fashion industries is beginning to hop on board to recycle, as well. Fashion brands and icons are beginning to use their voice to spread the importance of recycling. Emma Watson wore a Calvin Klein recycled plastic evening dress to the 2016 Met Gala; both designer and icon wanted to prove that “rubbish” can be recycled into a beautiful garment (Sims). Also in 2016, Nike came out with a statement it would strive to create most of its gear with recycled material (Kell).
Healthy food has always been around, but we went through a bump in time where it wasn't desired. Unhealthy foods took over, causing the obesity epidemic that affected 78 million adults and 13 million children in the United States alone (Heart.org). Currently, we are seeing a push for more readily available healthy options and are willing to pay more for it. 88% of Americans were willing to pay more for foods that were considered to be healthy, this included all demographics (Gaglidardi). Global sales were estimated to reach $1 trillion in 2017, according to Euromonitor (Gaglidardi). Grocery stores are now bringing in larger organic sections. With consumers being more health conscious than ever, brands are striving to meet the demand for wholesome meals. On top of eating healthy, consumers want to continue their overall wellness by getting more rest.
Sleep is a huge part of our lives, and a lot of us have been neglecting it. Sleep Optimization must be a top priority in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Naps are more common and more encouraged than ever before. Harvard researchers have discovered that taking a daytime nap has more benefits than it does cons. In 2008, British researchers reported results of a study that compared getting more nighttime sleep, taking a nap and using caffeine as ways to cope with the afternoon hump. The nap was the most effective (Harvard Health Letter). Sleep contributes more to our health than you think, sleep deprivation can lead to hormonal mood swings, weight-gain, and even anxiety or depression. Sleep allows the brain to rejuvenate and refuel throughout the night, without that recovery period, our brains can never function at 100%. That's why a balanced sleep schedule is crucial in our everyday lives.
If one does not have time to nap, apps like Calm help you unwind and tune out during your day, reminding you when it's time to take a moment to yourself. Smartphone apps are beginning to help contribute to our health and have been increasingly popular. They have become a tool for one to help jumpstart a healthy mind and soul. Other apps like Myfitnesspal help you keep track of your food, water, and exercise intake. Technology can sometimes be seen as a hinder to mental growth or well being, but apps like these redefine what it means to be a “health app.”
Thrifting has become a huge part of the current culture. Thrifting leaves a social, environmental, economical, and a personal impact on our society (Unwrinklable). It's considered a sustainable trend because you are repurchasing a clothing item instead of buying a new product; meaning one less product to be made. It also keeps that unwanted merchandise out of landfills when being resold. Some thrift stores even pay you for your second-hand items to sell, such as; Buffalo Exchange, Plato's Closet, and CrossRoads. Others will take the profit they make from selling the used merchandise to donate to charities, such as; Out of the Closet Thrift Store, ARC, and Housing Works. Since the merchandise you buy has been pre-owned, you can get it for the fraction of the cost which makes this trend that more desirable to consumers along with other ethical benefits thrifting gives.
Athleisure wear has taken over the fashion industry. Athleisure has beat performance oriented gear in production. Athleisure has gained 17% in sales, while performance gear dropped 10% in sales (Cheng). More designers in 2017, saw their sneaker sales outreach their other styled shoes; for example luxury brand Stuart Weitzman's better selling shoes in 2017 included their sneaker styles (Cheng). Feeling comfortable and fashionable at the same time is the best of both worlds. Corporations are now allowing this athleisure fashion as a regular work uniform for its employees because it combines comfortability with a casual appearance. Tom Snyder, the former head of menswear, calls athleisure an “evolution, opposed to a trend or fad.” Diedre Clemente believes Athleisure combines durability with comfortability which is why so many Americans have let it take over the fashion industry (Green).
The idea of health and wellness has so much room to grow in the future. So where do we see Well and Mindful Living in five years?
There is an overall push for health and wellness, in an article we found, consumers just want to be happy and healthy. There doesn't really need to be a definite reason anymore (The Hartman Group). Consumers want to feel their absolute best, so why not strive for that? For starters, social media will become less of a concern to someone trying to improve their mental well-being. Too much emphasis is put on how many likes a picture gets and how many followers one has. People that want to improve their mental and spiritual health will be able to pull themselves away from congested social media and realize that they have more self worth than a number on Twitter.
Rehabilitation will be revolutionized and redefined like never before. Rehabilitation centers will adopt more mindful and spiritual practices. Meditation has currently been tested as a great stress reliever. We will see rehabilitation centers bring meditation practices in as a more natural alternative. Instead of punishment, rehabilitation will be become the better option, whether the patient attends for drugs, depression, or some underlying issue, rehabilitation will be a great option for getting a well, healthy lifestyle back in place. We also see school's adopting these practices to help students learn to deal with stress and anxiety. School can be a very stressful environment, especially if one isn't taking care of themselves like they should be. Meditation and wellness exercises help give students a healthy outlet to cope with stress, and if it's taught young it will be a lifelong skill!
The fashion industry is drastically changing and it isn't slowing down. We see recycled textiles and fashion coming into the forefront. Recycled fashion will become less taboo and more mainstream. Not only helping the fashion industry, but it will reduce the amount of waste in landfills. Fashion companies will also find more “green”, eco-friendly ways of production. A Business of Fashion article shares the same thought process.. "By 2030, it is predicted that fashion's carbon footprint will increase to 2,791 tonnes, but ethical consumerism can and will lead to a paradigm shift. Over time, it is thought, slow fashion will become the norm, with consumers wearing classically styled garments that last for 10 years” (Berezhna).
Virtual reality is already happening, but will be more mainstream in the coming years. Soon, we will also see virtual reality used as a tool for a healthy mind. Virtual reality will be used to transport someone from a hectic or even normal environment into serene relaxation. This will be an aid in meditation and mindful living. There has been a study in the Buddhist tradition, using virtual reality to aid you in reaching personal enlightenment. “Wearing a VR headset, the player enters an immersive world of geometric shapes that are controlled by one's own voice. Chanting, singing, even speaking causes the shapes to develop, grow, morph, and move. The net effect can be pleasingly psychedelic, but because VR is so immersive, it can also be more than that: it's not a bad approximation of a state of intense samadhi, such as in Theravada jhana meditation or complex Tibetan visualization practices” (Michaelson).
City Farms will be the new grocery store. Empty city lots will be put to full use, organic whole foods will be grown; promoting healthy lifestyles. City farms are also a great way to build a community within a city. People in the community work together to make this happen; more connections and friendships are made. Consumers now want to know where they're food is coming from, with City Farms that won't be an issue. City Farms offer consumers to know exactly where their food sources from.
Political movements across the world are influencing this trend by adding new ideas to the world. The effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that uses evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. Effective altruism encourages individuals to consider all causes and actions and to act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact, based upon their values. Social movements like effective altruism or MADD (Mothers against drunk driving) are changing the way people see things and how they process things.
The fitness industry has exploded economically since 2015, generating over $25.8 billions annually. The newer studios facilities such as Flywheel and SoulCycle have grow by 70%. The higher-income sector of the population are the ones getting more exercise opportunities because they are the ones capable who can afford these memberships. According to the American Time Use Survey from 2015, rich people exercise more than double time a week than the poor. The less than or equal to 25th percentile of the population exercises less than an hour a week, when people over the 75th percentile exercices over 5 hours a week.
This macrotrend is social because a lot of the things teens are going to be doing in the future are health related in large groups of people. Places like Soul Cycle or CorePower Yoga, are exercise and wellness clubs where people go for an hour-long class. Each person decides at what time of the day to go and how many times a week. People go alone or sometimes small groups of friends will go to the same class.
Mental and physical wellness are being modified by technology with the new apps that teach people how to do certain activities. There are apps that help people sleep, meditate, exercise from home, cook, and follow their day-to-day health. Technology has become essential for Millennials and Generation X, for this reason everyday there are more websites and apps helping people mantin this lifestyle.
Our macro trend is environmental because people are becoming concerned about the well-being of our planet. They are recognizing that it's up to us to fix the damage we have already caused to the Earth to ensure a healthier environment. Consumers are becoming more aware the damages that comes from pollution. Consumers are becoming aware that products that contain harmful pollutant chemicals and materials not only damage the Earth, but other inhabitants that aren't humans. Extinction and endangered animals are on the rise and consumers are realizing the importance of their existence to our society; such as the many consequences we face of endangering bees. Consumers are willing to give up products in order to ensure a healthier planet. For example, a major recent, global trend is giving up straws due to the harm it causes to the planet and animals.
Policies play an important role to align people's food choices with their desires to live healthy lives. Current policies have different goals to help people maintain a healthy life. Mandates (eg, vaccinations required for children in order to attend school, smoke-free air laws) – are policies for industries or individuals are designed to protect against the adverse effects of an unhealthy substance or environment. Restrictions (eg, prohibit the sale of alcohol to minors) are policies are designed to limit access to an unhealthy substance or environment. Economic incentives (eg, excise tax on cigarettes) aim to better align price incentives with health outcomes, encouraging higher consumption of healthy products and lower consumption of unhealthy products. Marketing limits (eg, regulation of tobacco advertising) limit advertising and promotion of an unhealthy substance or environment Information provision (eg, education campaigns to promote fruits and vegetables, requiring warning labels on tobacco products) are policies that provide the public with important health information, including encouraging healthy behaviors and warning about the dangers of an unhealthy substance or environment. Environmental defaults (eg, changing the default restaurant side dish from French fries to salad) are policies that preserve the freedom of individuals to expose themselves to an unhealthy substance or environment, but makes it easier for them to avoid it.
Our observations have put aspects of this macro trend into perspective for us. Collectively, we all gained knowledge about health and wellness, as a macro trend, from observing in different areas.
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