Wellness is making its way in the fashion industry, having the concepts techie, eco and recycling as its mark of identity. In this new stage, the consumer must play a proactive role.
Wellness is reinvented. This lifestyle, which in the last years has pulled the fashion business through athleisure, opens up a new stage that relies on two pillars that are transforming the whole fashion industry: technology and sustainability. Both elements have a direct impact on the entire value chain, from the design of the garments to the consumer, who for the first time is required to be proactive in this issue with the recycling of fashion articles.
In recent years, sports clothing and footwear was the segment that has driven fashion business. In 2017, it was the category that grew the most in the world, with a worldwide increase in sales of almost 7%, to 300 billion dollars, according to the latest data from Euromonitor International.
In this context, wellness is making its way through its offer in functional clothing and the advancement of a DNA linked to sustainability, according to the Well Fashion -Way Beyond Athleisure report, prepared by the Global Wellness Summit, an international organization specialized in bringing together experts to outline what the future of the sector will look like.
Thus, wellness, a concept that encompasses the physical, mental and emotional balance that produces general well-being, continues to gain ground in the fashion industry, but with different guidelines than it has done so far. This segment also addresses the digital transformation of the value chain, and it also incorporates the keys related to sustainability, involving the process from the design to the final consumer, who will be responsible for recycling the garments and returning them to the production cycle.
In the future, artificial intelligence will be intensified in the design of personalized clothing
In this new stage, wellness, as the rest of the industry, will turn to artificial intelligence and 3D impression to give more dynamism to the design processes, since new technologies are permit making more personalized clothing and facilitating upon request production.
In addition, the use of natural fibres such as silk, linen, organic cotton, hemp, alpaca and semi-synthetic and cellulose fibres is becoming more common among manufacturers. On the other hand, the number of brands that use materials made from recycled waste and plastic to produce their garments is increasing.
Consumers will also play a key role in the future of the sector. The rules of the game of luxury will change and the eco will become a new status symbol. In this setting, many more brands based on sustainability and ethics will continue to appear.
The reuse and recycle of clothing will increase due to the growth of online platforms created with this aim
On the other hand, the report points out that there are now more apps that help users to access eco fashion in a much easier way. An example of this type of apps is Good of You, launched in Australia in 2018, which measures the sustainability of clothing. Nowadays, there are other platforms like this one, such as Done Good or Project Just.
In this new stage, smart clothes will gain importance. Functions like adapting to heat or cold, including antibacterial treatments or mechanisms to regulate the body’s moisture will escalate positions in consumption.
In addition, in this new era of wellness, the consumer will also have a proactive role. At this point, it will be imposed to give the garments a sustainable care, washing them with little water and using organic detergents, free of chemicals. Currently, new washing technologies are already eliminating the microfibres that cause environmental damage.
In parallel, the reuse and recycle of clothing will grow. In fact, the major distribution brands have already begun to involve the consumer in this practice, intensifying their campaigns to make discounts to the customers who return used clothing. At the same time, the second-hand luxury market is increasing thanks to the avalanche of online platforms, while used clothing is recycled more and more.