Looking Back: Beauty & Wellness
31 : 12 : 18

2018 was the year that we saw cannabis products crafted for women, the evolution of the spa enthusiast and beauty retail that looked beyond products.

The Trend: Female Highs

48North, Canada. Branding by Blok Design
48North, Canada. Branding by Blok Design
48North, Canada, branding by Blok Design

With countries like Canada having this year legalised the recreational use of cannabis, 2018 has marked a milestone for the drug with regards to widespread acceptance. As we look to the year ahead we will see a growing number of brands tapping into women’s use of cannabis as a health product to treat the symptoms of menstruation and menopause.

Earlier this year we saw the producer and distributor of health and wellness cannabis products, 48North, launch its new platform Latitude, which celebrates the real-life stories of women using cannabis to improve their health and wellbeing.

Another way brands are helping to drive the conversation around cannabis forward is by recognising the fact that men and women metabolise and therefore react to cannabis very differently. Based in Canada, Fleurish Cannabis has conducted extensive research to ensure that its products are specifically suited to the promotion of women’s health and wellness needs. ‘We know women prefer to use cannabis in the evening with a friend or partner,’ says founder Renée Ellison. ‘They also prefer to use cannabis that’s more fruity or floral in flavour.’

The Big Idea: Beautifying Acupuncture

The convergence of wellness and beauty has been building momentum this year, with the emergence of new hybrid spaces that combine cosmetic treatments with staples from the world of wellness. Next year, we will see a growing number of Modern Med Spas that offer a more social side to these treatments.

Wellness start-up WTHN offers acupuncture as a convenient and affordable service in a salon setting. As alternative medicines become increasingly mainstream, WTHN is demystifying this ancient Chinese practice for a Millennial audience. The salon’s treatment menu uses accessible language to help consumers understand acupuncture’s potential benefits for anxiety, pain relief and skincare. Face Time, for example, promises to reduce wrinkles, calm inflammation and boost collagen.

‘We have a national vision and a very clear target about creating acupuncture for the next generation of wellness consumers,’ says co-founder Michelle Larivee. ‘This is really the next natural frontier of wellness and recovery.’ WTHN’s frictionless online booking, check-in system and membership model also encourage customers to come in for regular treatments, much like they would for a spa or facial. A monthly membership, which entails one treatment a month, costs $75 (£58, €65) while one-off treatments are $85 (£66, €64).

WTHN, New York

The Campaign: #SheMovesMountains by The North Face

Move Mountains by The North Face

Earlier this year, the outdoor apparel company launched a global campaign tapping into the growing conversation around promoting female futures. Entitled #SheMovesMountains, the initiative reiterated The North Face’s long-standing commitment to diversity in an area that rarely represents women.

The films and print campaign profile some of the women pushing the boundaries in outdoor sport, including The North Face’s female athletes Ashima Shiraishi and Margo Hayes, who are both professional rock climbers. It also features women who exemplify the idea of discovery and exploring, such as NASA scientist Tiera Guinn Fletcher.

As part of the initiative, the brand has also been working on a multiyear collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). The partnership aims to give young girls new role models and includes the launch of adventure badges designed to empower the next generation to become involved in outdoor activities.

The Interview: Katherine Johnston on the future of wellness

Following the launch of the latest Wellness Economy Monitor, we caught up with senior research fellow, Katherine Johnston, at this year’s Global Wellness Summit to discuss how wellness has evolved over the last few years and where it is going next.

‘If you go back 10 or 15 years, when all of this started growing, people used to have a very narrow vision of wellness. It was about: ‘I’m going to go to the spa to get a massage and pamper myself’ or maybe it was just about getting fit and going to the gym. People saw it as an extra activity to take care of themselves or feel healthier. The big shift is that people no longer see wellness as an extra activity, but think of it more holistically and incorporate it into their daily lives.’

‘To be a strong company in the future, brands will need to be more conscious about doing things that are for the good of the world, and not just extracting everything they can from the world to make money. There are a lot of levels at which brands and companies can implement this, whether it be in architecture, education or the workplace. In the workplace, for example, companies need to make sure they are treating their employees properly. That isn’t just about having a wellness programme or hosting free yoga classes, it’s about paying them a fair wage and solving issues that employees face from day to day.’

Blume, US

The Space: Glossier’s flagship store

Glossier Flagship, New York
Glossier Flagship, New York

With the success of bricks-and-mortar retail no longer determined by sales per square foot, the digital first beauty brand Glossier has created an inspirational space that enables customers to experience it’s brand values on a deeper, physical level.

The two-storey space in New York’s SoHo district was originally a shoppable showroom attached to its office, but Glossier and design agency Gachot Studios have transformed it into a brand experience and community space with ‘offline editors’ who encourage customers to use the store as a place to experiment with beauty. ‘It’s encouraging people not to shop the space but use the space,' says Christine Gachot, co-founder of Gachot Studios.

The flagship offers a sensory way to shop and socialise. Its interior taps into Glossier's Millennial pink branding, while its Wet Bar and Boy Brow Room allow visitors to test out products without restrictions. Building on the hype for Instagrammable retail spaces, it also features a selfie-ready 23ft-long red sofa that doubles as a communal relaxation space for shoppers.

Download our Future Forecast 2019 report

Now that you know the best in the year for fashion, find out what is on the horizon for 2019. Download our Future Forecast 2019 report here.

Future Forecast 2019 Future Forecast 2019
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