1. ECO- FRIENDLY IS NO LONGER NICHE
Your runners are made from recycled material, straws have the street cred of smoking and your colleague is living her best #zerowaste life. Everyone's on the green train: Ikea now offers a take-back service at its Sydney Tempe store (with a vision to roll it out nationwide), where you return preloved Ikea furniture (in exchange for a voucher) to be resold rather than thrown out. It's all part of the circular living movement: a focus on upcycling rather than disposing, so nothing useful goes to waste. Another way it's easy to be green? Switch to search engine Ecosia, which uses ad revenue to plant trees. Fresh. Go even further with the range of premium quality, sustainable drink bottles and cups from JOCO that are 100% BPA and plastic free. Mother Nature will thank you!
2. DIY DATA COLLECTION
Ah, for a simpler time when all we tracked was our steps. Now, our urge to know errything bout our health has us monitoring sleep, moods, periods for contraception and even our pee. The We Test (wetestonline.com) is an at-home urine test that gives you intel about your hydration. ketones, white blood cell count, vitamin C level and more. It also flags anything to see your doc about.
3. A NEW NUT IN TOWN
Expect big things from the cashew. "The last few years have seen strong growth in almond and coconut products, but this year there's been more innovation in cashew-based ones, mainly because of the richer flavour," says Bob Burke, a natural product and food consultant. Cashew-based cheese, dips, even butters and milk are available; try vegan Tasty Cream Cheese by Kehoe's Kitchen.
4. AYURVEDA GOES MAINSTREAM
This ancient Indian healing approach has become the new buzzword du jour. In short, it encompasses various practices to help us feel well, including yoga and eating styles, depending on our dosha (body type). Seriously hot right right now? Adaptogens. "These are substances and herbs that help the body adapt to different situations and emotions - most notably, stress," says holistic nutrition coach Lee Holmes. One star adaptogen is ashwagandha, considered one of the best herbs [for] pain and inflammation in the gut". Holmes says. "It's also good for anxiety."
5. WE’RE ALL ABOUT VAT (VALUE-ADDED TRAINING)
We’re demanding more from our sweat sessions than ever, whether it’s instant feedback (classes such as Orangetheory and Sydney’s Scenic Cycle give real-time performance data) or fusion workouts that mix training styles (new Melbourne studio Core+ hosts Kettlebell yoga) to provide extra fitness bang for your buck. “We’re seeking more and more workout variety,” explains Dan Conn, wellness director at Collective Wellness Group. “That’s why we’re also seeing a trend towards multiple memberships at both boutique studios and 24-hour, flexible gyms.” Speaking of which, Fitness First just rolled out 24/7 opening hours. See you on the midnight tready.
6. HAPPY ABOUT HEMP
We rejoiced when hemp-based foods were legalised for sale in Oz in late 2017. “There’s huge excitement about it – hemp seeds can be used in smoothies, salads [and] muffins and sprinkled on a meal,” says Georgie Allan, wellness ambassador for About Life. The nutritious seed contains “protein, amino acids, fibre, vitamin E and minerals”, she adds. Make hemp milk with this Hemp Foods Australia recipe: blend 2–4 tbs seeds with 1 cup water, adding a little cacao, vanilla powder or a date for sweetness. It’ll last 2–4 days. Nice!
7. SKIN POSITIVITY FOR THE WIN
The body-positivity movement is still going gangbusters and, with that, the convo around skin conditions is growing, too. Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart is open about dealing with her cystic acne, pro high jumper Amy Pejkovic has spoken about her own acne and Moana Bikini founder Karina Irby is vocal about her eczema. “Normalising eczema is my 2018 goal,” the entrepreneur posted on Insta. “Together we can normalise eczema and make others feel confident in their own skin.” You go, girls!
8. PLANT POWER HAS TAKEN ROOT
Our love of plants has infiltrated homes, hotels, restaurants and even workout spaces. Biofit, the first biophilic (a term to describe the benefits of being in nature) gym, opened in Calgary last year – think air-purifying plants, natural materials and heaps of streaming daylight. Meanwhile, there are plans in Melbourne to build metro stations with biophilic features to reduce commuter stress and boost wellbeing. Cool!
9. COFFEE WITH BENEFITS
Over your long black? Today’s wellness seekers pack their coffee with extras to max the health benefits. Just take Before You Speak (beforeyouspeakcoffee.com), a new ‘high-performance coffee’ boosted with MCT powder, Siberian ginseng, turmeric and black pepper: the company sold 33,000 boxes in its first year. Vegie java is having a moment, too: mushroom coffee is doing the rounds, while the first broccoli latte was brewed in June. CSIRO scientists made a nutritious powder from imperfect-looking brocc that would’ve been wasted, then let a cafe in Melbourne (where else?) try it out. We’d give it a shot.
10. VEGANISM AIN’T SLOWING DOWN
This year, V-menus cropped up in fine dining (international plant-based chef Matthew Kenney unveiled his first Aussie eatery, Sydney’s Alibi, in March – hey, kimchi dumplings) as well as meal-delivery services such as Soulara. Even Hungry Jacks joined the party, with a (limited edition – boo) vegan burger. Also get a scoop on Halo Top ice-cream: the two vegan flavours pack less than 1400kJ a tub. We’ll take the caramel macchiato, please. Thank you!
11. DAD TRAINERS ARE A THING
The big kicks of your youth are back. Chunkysoled retro designs have been adopted by Balenciaga (google the Triple S) and Louis Vuitton, and spotted on Bella Hadid and P.E Nation’s Pip Edwards. Need a halfway point? Nike’s Air Max 270 (seen on Stylerunner’s Julie Stevanja) combines an old-school look with the tech Nike’s known for. We also love the Asics Tiger Gel-Saga, a revamp of the 1991 runner. Think a cool, comfy dose of nostalgia.
12. THE RISE OF TRANSFORMATIONAL TRAVEL
There will always be a place for mojitos and Danielle Steel on a sunlounger, but this new breed of holiday sends you home with more than just a fridge magnet. The Transformational Travel Council (yep, there’s a council) describes the trip style as ‘any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life’. This often includes a challenging physical or cultural experience and time for reflection. Add Machu Picchu to your bucket list, and as you save, take a mini-time out in the wilderness at a tiny house. Check out some Aussie spots at unyoked.co. Major wanderlust.