Next wave of post-containment well-being hits UK

LONDON – Wellness in the UK has entered the mainstream and evolved far beyond matcha latte, yoga and Gwyneth Paltrow.

In the post-containment era, as people have been given the chance to slow down and rethink their life priorities, spending time and money on self-care has become a priority.

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The definition of self-care itself is also rapidly expanding to include sexual well-being, sanity, and spirituality, going far beyond the surface cosmetics and green juices it started with.

It’s much more common now to talk about the power to manifest, the healing powers of crystals, or the sound bath hosted by one’s favorite sportswear brand without people rolling their eyes or dismissing any of the above. on it like “woo woo”. And it’s not just happening in markets like LA, which have traditionally pioneered all things wellness, but around the world.

In the UK – where the wellness conversation has always sparked a lot of skepticism – a new wellness and fitness club is slated to open in Notting Hill, offering everything from cardio dance to dance workshops. demonstration and facial fitness classes, while the ground floor space of Selfridges has just hosted a crystal pop-up, alongside buzzy accessory brands like Jacquemus and Amina Muaddi.

“People are happy to talk more freely about how the pandemic has affected them. They took more time for themselves and looked to learn new skills, ”said Kirstie Gibbs, founder of jewelry brand Alkemistry who worked with Selfridges to transform part of her accessories hall into an“ apothecary of magic crystal ”.

“We launched our Cinta collection to provide a portable reminder for people to take the time out of their day to practice protest. It’s positive to talk about the benefits that can come from healing stones, symbols and coins that remind you to practice positive thoughts, ”Gibbs added.

A slew of social media influencers and content creators, who first rose to prominence in the fashion and beauty spaces, are also turning to post-lockdown wellness, sharing more personal content online, promoting products and stories with a deeper meaning attached to them and launching new brands addressing different aspects of wellness.

Estée Lalonde - Credit: Courtesy of Mirror Water

Estée Lalonde – Credit: Courtesy of Mirror Water

Courtesy of Mirror Water

One of them is Estée Lalonde, a London-based designer who recently launched Mirror Water, a platform dedicated to all things personal care, selling products ranging from newspapers to bath salts and posting content on everything. , from burn-out to culture and therapy.

For Lalonde, there was a clear opportunity to create this new brand and an online space “where people feel heard and seen”, given this shift in perception of everything to do with well-being.

“In my industry, I have noticed that there has been a huge change in people’s attitude towards personal care. In general, people seem to take their personal well-being more seriously and find interesting ways to do it from the comfort of their own homes. The pandemic gave us time and space to realize how fast we were going and how beneficial it would be to slow down and become more in tune with ourselves, ”said Lalonde.

On a personal note, focusing on the wellness area also meant an opportunity to create something that she was truly passionate about; offer authentic content and differentiate yourself at a time when the influencer landscape was changing rapidly.

“Ever since I started creating content over 10 years ago, I’ve always thought it was my calling, in a way, to discuss and share my mental health journey online.

Mirror Water Products - Credit: Courtesy of Mirror Water

Mirror Water Products – Credit: Courtesy of Mirror Water

Courtesy of Mirror Water

“The real reason I think my online community has grown is because of my honesty about the ebb and flow of life – not necessarily because of my skin care tips,” said Lalonde, who has over 694,000 followers on Instagram, as well as a popular YouTube channel. “One of the great things about the early days of YouTube was the authenticity, transparency and honesty. I think we’re going back to content more like this.

In response to this new landscape, Lalonde created Mirror Water to offer a ‘more realistic approach’ to wellness, one that doesn’t require you to eat healthy and exercise all the time, through articles. in line ; a series of “Monologues” videos where different personalities can share their inner thoughts, and a first line of products that focuses on the bath as a ritual of personal care and includes bath oil, bath salts and balm for the body.

“Our products are there as a tool to help you on your journey and hopefully help you relax after a long day,” added Lalonde.

As the conversation about wellness evolves and new brands and concepts emerge, sexual wellness is seen as the last piece of the puzzle.

Kate Tikhomirova, a London-based fashion influencer, founded Quanna alongside Dmitry Loktionov to tackle the subject by offering all-natural CBD products.

As people open up to new definitions of personal care, there is a huge opportunity to add sexual wellness to the formula, according to Tikhomirova, as the market is filled with “substandard products and ingredients that contradict the sense of intimacy ”.

The company’s first product, Oomf, is a natural water-based lubricant that is sold online and at retailers like Selfridges. The idea is to expand distribution across Europe and the United States in 2022 and use the products as a tool to educate customers about sexual health and start open, stigma-free conversations.

An image from the Quanna campaign - Credit: Courtesy of Quanna

An image from the Quanna campaign – Credit: Courtesy of Quanna

Courtesy of Quanna

“Due to poor sex education in school, or even lack of counseling from general practitioners, many of us have ignored this part of our lives. But now we are all re-evaluating our priorities and topics like intimate care are less and less stigmatized because after two years of physical disconnection, we humans crave privacy. So there is immense potential in the intimate care space, ”Tikhomirova said, foreseeing a future where the market offers better quality products and society offers less judgment and shame when it comes to buy such items.

As the market evolves, it will also become more common for creatives to talk about their latest Gucci bag as well as more in-depth conversations about their mental health, sexual experiences, or spiritual practices.

“Often a conversation starts with talking about a lipstick, for example, and ends with a discussion of personal confidence. I love this connection and for me beauty, fashion and wellness have always been a type of connector for discussions of more personal experiences, ”said Lalonde.

Tikhomirova confirmed that it’s time for women to explore all the different aspects of their personalities instead of over-organizing their brand identity online.

“Fashion will always be the cornerstone of what I do, but it’s not all I am. I am also a sexual being and have a passion for the power of plants, so I intend to use my platform to educate about CBD while sporting a cutting edge look because why not? [We should] stop filtering based on what is ‘on the mark’ and be allowed to scale beyond those selected tags. “

Quanna Co-Founder Kate Tikhomirova - Credit: Courtesy of Quanna

Quanna Co-Founder Kate Tikhomirova – Credit: Courtesy of Quanna

Courtesy of Quanna

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