For serious fashionistas, showing up to an event wearing the same outfit as someone else is almost seen as a sin. In wellness, however, this might be viewed as a step to building a strong community. Case in point: Sporting an identical pair of leggings as a fellow yogi is a good thing –– it creates a "tribe" culture, said Tamara Hill-Norton, founder of London-based athleisure brand Sweaty Betty, which is exactly what her brand has tried to foster.
Building Sweaty Betty's community hasn't just been about growing a digital fan base, but creating in-store opportunities, like free yoga classes and weekly guru-led wellness talks. The brand just celebrated its 20th anniversary, so you might say the plan is working out well.
Nike is also looking to strengthen its community by opening a new flagship store in New York City, where loyalists can engage with the brand by personalizing their footwear or meeting with on-staff experts to pick out their perfect pair of kicks — and of course, an athleisure ensemble to match.
Even beauty brands have tapped their communities to find out what their fans want. In the case of Korean brand Peach and Lily, loyalists are looking for clean beauty products –– and it has created a line in response.
Meanwhile, wellness conferences like the new Wellspring event (founded by the team at Wanderlust, a global yoga and wellness hub) look to establish a sense of togetherness –– and not just by having its attendees bond at the event. Many of the various panels and lectures at these events center around how to make wellness more inclusive. It's a big goal, but at a time when wellness risks being seen as aspirational only for the well-to-do, it's an important one.
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