Stephen Mai, the founder of Woo, a next-gen media brand merging content and retail, spoke to us to discuss how wellness can be reframed as feel-good culture.
"Woo is a new media and culture brand redefining wellness for Generation Z. It aims to make mental health and wellbeing solutions more aspirational, culturally relevant and democratic. It's merging things like pop culture and wellness, taking anything that Generation Z are passionate about and packaging it in a way that is relatable – not alienating or cheesy.
I’ve always been interested in how entertainment can shift cultural narratives, but the challenge for me was: how do you create a media proposition without things like advertising revenues attached? How can you scale a model without access to those funds? That’s how Woo came about. It’s a media proposition that's underwritten by a marketplace."
As the definition of nutrition broadens to include mental wellbeing, men are seeking more nuanced support and recognition from the brands they purchase.
Shedding its previous associations with yogi lifestyles and wellness retreats, meditation is becoming a routine element in people’s daily lives. As Covid-19 has accelerated its engagement and normalised the adoption of daily rituals, meditation is being reframed as an accessible activity that can also incorporate tasks like tidying and organisation.
According to research released by UCL in June, more than half of the UK population are now exercising or meditating at least once a day as a result of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Spotify is one platform supporting users in mindful practices with the launch of its Daily Wellness playlist, curated to bring meditative music and podcasts to users. With 90% of people considering listening to music as a key part of relaxation, according to a recent study by Deezer, the platform’s move into the wellness sector signifies a wider shift into the mainstream adoption of meditative rituals.
From fitness platforms to sonic escapism, global majority communities are launching transformational healing services away from their oppressors.
The wellness sector must consider historical Black, brown and POC wellness practices and lived experiences. For brands, it begins with listening and learning. We spoke to Poonam Dhuffer, founder of self-awareness and community care platform YSM8, to find out more:
"In the Western world, community care has largely been erased to sell us an individualistic ideal of being ‘well’ built upon Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. What Maslow failed to understand was spirituality, ancestral knowledge and multiple dimensions of reality. He didn’t add in the perspective of an individual within the context of community needs.
Black, brown and POC communities need to see themselves represented authentically in a way that celebrates our identities within the wellness world."
Our team are constantly striving for betterment in all areas, particularly for people and the planet. By holding ourselves and each other to account in a compassionate way, we have built a culture that allows each of us to do our best work. To this end, the team have drawn up a Cultural Charter – a statement of intent and a vision for the next stage of growth and development for the company.