According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness industry is now worth $3.7 trillion worldwide, so it is no wonder several sectors are aligning with fashion.
The wellness industry is now worth $3.7 trillion worldwide, and with several sectors of this aligning with fashion, there’s definite potential for fashion and wellness to combine. Vogue focuses a whole section on wellness, and couture houses, professionals and brands are working within the space; yet it isn’t receiving the recognition it deserves to.
The World Health Organisation give the definition of ‘wellness’ as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing’. All three of these can be complemented by fashion and the clothes an individual chooses to wear; yet fashion isn’t, for some reason, being included in the conversation as much as it could be. As the wellness industry continues to grow, it’s about time that the fashion industry was considered a more serious partner to it.
Of course, the synergies between an individual’s emotions and the clothes they’re wearing has been studied and commented on for decades. Fashion is, essentially, the cherry on the top of the wellness cake, giving the final polish and boost for an individual to achieve the state of overall wellbeing.
What can fashion professionals do to get involved? Start small. It’s important to remember that fashion is one part of the overall package, not the entire thing – but this gives an opportunity for cross-selling and marketing. The beauty industry is the biggest sector (money-wise) in the wellness industry and so a conversation on working in greater partnership with your colleagues in beauty could be fruitful. Incorporating wellness into fashion gives freedom for affiliations and projects to take place across a variety of industries that otherwise may not be natural partners. This includes, but by no means is limited to, tourism, spas, health, complementary and alternative medicine, and nutrition. For example, an individual seeking the services of cosmetic surgery to improve their self-confidence could also find benefit in styling, in fitness and in general health as part of a ‘package’ type deal to help them find happiness.
It’s worth noting too, that the advantages of fashion joining in the wellness ‘hype’ aren’t just financial. If truly integrated with professionals from other sectors, the end consumer will benefit from an end-to-end service that delivers true value, overhauling not just a wardrobe but also social inclusion and physical and mental health. Clothing and styling can be a divisive issue but as one element of the overall ‘wellness package’, its positive influence cannot be debated. In the same way that a person’s health, socialisation and physicality need to be balanced, fashion should be included in wellness programmes in order for them to be truly all-encompassing.
Whilst fashion professionals will note the positive impact that their industry can have on an individual, it’s often not clear to the public – yet as part of an overall life experience that transforms them into a better version of themselves, they are not more likely to experience it and note (and promote) its benefits. A wellbeing experience knows nothing of age, class, race… but can be transformative for everyone. This gives opportunity too for the industry itself to improve its image and shake off preconceptions.
Fashion and wellness combined can deliver a make-over unlike any other.