Healthy Control: The Economy of Wellnesshttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Core_post_header2-1.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Updated Sept 2020
Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. After a good 8,7,6, 5 hours of sleep you get up just in time to shower (most days), make a smoothie or pour a cup of coffee to go, and begin whatever manifestation of hell most closely resembles your commute to work. And let’s be clear, the work from home thing hasn’t necessarily given people more time. You may need to only pull yourself together from the waist up, but the expectation is that you are always accessible and always on, nowhere to go, glued to your laptop.
In-person or online the workday is then filled with the stuff you need to do to help your company and get paid. Sometimes you work through lunch, work late, UberEats dinner, smell your clothes to make sure you have something clean for work tomorrow, watch an episode of whatever you’re currently obsessed with on Netflix, brush your teeth, realize you didn’t work out today, do squats in front of the bathroom sink while brushing your teeth, go to bed, and try it all again tomorrow.
The wellness part of our lives has to quite simply fit in. Some of us are better at prioritizing wellness (mental, physical, and otherwise) than others. Either way, wouldn’t a little help be nice? Something that allows us to better incorporate important aspects of wellness into our existing lives? We’ve identified a few brands working to give us more of the control we seek in some form or another.
Get Confident Get Moving
Outdoor Voices isn’t your mama’s athletic brand. It might be similar in purpose – fitness that fits into real life – but these apparel pieces are much more stylish. In the swell of performance-charged athletic wear Outdoor Voices has carved out a prime place in the market for laying down its yoga mat with a message that elevates real, everyday fun and activity for everyday people. Though the lineup may be well designed and splashed with bright colors, let’s be clear, this isn’t athleisure. The goal of the apparel line isn’t to help you look like you just came from the gym when you sit down to brunch. As founder Tyler Haney stated in a New Yorker write up, “every product that we make is made to sweat in.”
The point is pushing away self-imposed expectations of beating someone, beating yourself, or the clock. It’s about beating hesitation instead. Beating stasis. Even if sometimes that means squats while brushing your teeth. #DoingThings
Outdoor Voices, with the quality and design of the product, with the voice of the brand, with the experience of the retail spaces, is saying, “don’t overthink this, just get moving and feel good about what you’re wearing while you do.“
For You Fertility
For women trying to get pregnant the whole trying part can be emotional (not in a good way) and the anxiety can take the romance out of the journey. Deciding to try to conceive can also mean trips to the pharmacy for ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins; wondering, which should I take and when? All this pressure, questioning, wondering, and frustration can, in turn, make it more difficult to conceive.
This conception conundrum is where the team at Natalist has built its business. Founded by a group of doctors and scientists, with experience of being moms themselves, Natalist provides a set of products backed by science to support women on their path to conception. Individual product packs are available, like ovulation tests, omega DHA capsules, and prenatal multivitamins, or one can opt for the Get Pregnant Bundle that includes those items mentioned and more, including a Conception 101 book. One-time purchase or monthly subscription available, all harmoniously designed, packaged, and shipped to your door.
Yes, some form of each of these products could be found at the local pharmacy. The difference-maker here is getting trusted, science-backed products, that don’t feel so austere, shipped discreetly to your home. Natalist has made products meant to be part of your lives not just part of a consumer transaction.
Founder, Halle Tecco mentioned in a Tech Crunch interview, “We really want to have a support platform for women who have questions or concerns, really creating a great customer experience and helping them troubleshoot if things aren’t going the way that they want them to and also arm them with information and knowledge around getting pregnant.”
It’s not hard for us to imagine a warm and welcoming brick-and-mortar experience of the Natalist brand, one that speaks to consumers who want to engage in person, ask questions, pick up products on a whim, and return to the space as desired. Might they make this jump like several other online DTC brands? We’ll see.
“77% of people globally plan to improve their mental wellbeing over the next year.” – Stylus
According to a report from Stylus, “77% of people globally plan to improve their mental wellbeing over the next year.” Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm have made it easier to access guided meditation on the go. But even with increased accessibility, it’s not guaranteed a voice alone will garner enough attention for the user to achieve the full benefit and begin to cement the habit of meditation.
Showcased at CES 2020, the Core Meditation Trainer, working in conjunction with the Core app, uses biometric signaling to guide breathing and focus. The result is a more immersive experience that can help users create meaningful meditation rituals.
Analytics within the app report back on stress levels and focus during each session and track user progress over time. Core content, like on-demand classes from expert instructors (built for use with the Meditation Trainer), provide opportunities for users to tailor and pivot meditation to meet their schedule while still seeing progress.
Environmental Health & Beauty
A group of London-based industrial designers are developing solutions to problems that may seem future-set to some but in reality, exist now, just outside our present-day doorstep.
Air pollution is now listed as one of the world’s most significant health and environmental problems. UV index ratings and skin cancer diagnosis rates are on the rise. Everyday environmental toxins are changing the way we look, age, and feel. But we can’t hide inside our homes. In fact, a growing movement of doctors are prescribing outdoor time to treat a myriad of physiological and psychological ailments.
Not exactly, but for the team at Seymourpowell it does mean an AI-powered, mist-like, protective “beauty bubble.” Their wearable device concept, Atmosphère is a futuristic-looking collar that detects levels of toxic substances in the user’s environment and disperses “atomized beauty products via a pure vapor.” The fine mist of active ingredients is designed to deliver the right treatment based on data gathered on the user’s location and physiological needs at that moment, such as access to clean air or comfortable temperature.
“Given the state of our ever-shifting urban environment, it is important for companies to consider the impact the environment around us can have on both our physiological and physiological wellbeing. Atmosphère seeks to explore how beauty brands can help not only to protect their customers from the changing climate, but also provide a more mobile offering and service that actively works to respond to a user’s environment.”– Jonny Culkin, Designer at Seymourpowell
Could this concept from Seymourpowell one day be the standard beauty, sunblock, or even anti-anxiety delivery mechanism? Either way, it’s clear that brands and product designers are thinking about ways to make wellness, in all forms, more attainable and the journey to wellness more enjoyable.