‘Well Fashion’ the New Smart Clothing Trend, With the Focus on Wellness and Self-care – Think Red-light Therapy and Herb-infused Fabric
- First came dry fit and antimicrobial textiles – now, clothing brands are looking to infrared technology and Ayurveda to create clothes focused on wellness
- One Hong Kong brand has a T-shirt for sufferers of atopic dermatitis, while a company in the US uses fabrics infused with marine collagen to make skin softer
“Smart” clothing emerged as a trend several years ago as many manufacturers started to focus on creating textiles that make our lives easier.
This prompted the development of fabrics that address bodily problems like sweating (see dry fit and antimicrobial textiles) or incorporate intelligent technology that can do anything from controlling body temperature to gathering information using vital signs.
This trend has now taken a new turn as wellness and self-care have come into the spotlight following the Covid-19 pandemic.
More brands are experimenting with what industry insiders are calling “well fashion”, specifically clothes that function like wearable skincare, with the added benefit of improving skin problems or promoting better health.
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“Many people look at fabrics for their aesthetic appeal, but when you realize that certain fabrics touch our skin 24 hours a day, you start to question whether it’s good for us or if it’s doing it more harm than good,” says Kenneth Lau, a maker of textiles and the company’s founder in Hong Kong.
“What about the clothing we wear? We are concerned with what we ingest and consume, as well as the skincare products we use,” he adds.
Comfiknit – the name both of Lau’s brand and its fabric – recently launched a functional T-shirt for sufferers of a chronic skin condition known as atopic dermatitis.
In order to maintain a balanced PH level and remove sweat, the fabric uses technology. This keeps the skin strong and healthy. Numerous research organizations, including the graduate school of biomedical sciences at Nagasaki University in Japan, have confirmed its properties.
“We don’t incorporate anything into the fabric,” says Lau. “To ensure that the fabric performs similarly to drugs or medicine, we use its inherent qualities. Our three-layer knit works in a particular order and sequence to create the ideal environment for the skin to function at its best. The properties are enduring, and the function is permanent.”
There are other companies besides Comfiknit that sell clothing that promotes wellness. Under Armour, an American manufacturer of athletic clothing, has introduced a line of clothing called UA Rush that features infrared technology. This technology claims to boost the wearer’s energy level, strength, and endurance while decreasing muscle fatigue.