Wellness tips from Sardinian Shepherds

It’s not often you get to go and immerse yourself along with 600 other industry contemporaries to hear international thoughts and industry leaders discuss the shaping of the $4.2 trillion wellness industry. So, when Debbie, our MD, retuned from her annual, very intensive, three day jaunt to the Global Wellness Summit in Italy, we were eager to hear her takeaway (and see what sample goodies she would come back with).

Debbie was brimming with information and anecdotes, so once the raffle over who was going to get the de-stress roller and make-up bag was resolved, she was able to share what she’d learnt with our team. Perhaps most interesting of all was the inspiration to learn from the lifestyle and environment of Sardinian centenarians that live a longer, healthier life. The presentation by Dan Buettner, founder of the Blue Zones concept, home to the world’s longest living man, Sardinia’s practices on wellness have made them one of the world’s happiest and healthiest nations. This got Debbie thinking, does she actually want to live to over hundred? Or more importantly how can we live “well” longer? Other than the obvious factors like exercising and maintaining a balanced diet, what else can we do to improve the quality of life in places where the lifestyle is different to Sardinian shepherds? We decided that we do like some of the Blue Zone’s suggestions: celebrating elders, drinking a glass or two of red wine daily, laughing with friends, and drinking goat’s milk. Which according to the Sardinians, help keep us living in good health into our hundreds. The trending hashtag over the few days was #HappinessTravel which is aimed at encouraging people to visit the world's happiest nations – we have no doubt this will include the Sardinian Shepherds!

Whilst munching the chocolates from Sammy Gharieni (thank you, Sammy!) Debbie told the story of Italian fashion designer, Alberta Ferretti’s, somewhat perplexing keynote about the Intersection of fashion and wellness, and she wondered what was the takeaway here?  Although Ferretti certainly made a valid point that a creative collaboration between these industries could be a powerful one, it seems contradictory that this idea was presented with a backdrop of Ferretti’s fashion collection, presented by wafer thin models, dressed in not much else but absolutely beautiful lace. Particularly in a world with selfies and modification apps, the ceaseless clickbait and endless lampooning of gorgeous “wellness celebs” is indeed an issue to discuss in the context of wellness. The power of fashion to influence and inspire is evident, as is the power of exercise and mindfulness to improve mental health and body image issues. Debbie suggested that this might be a conversation to be explored further in next year’s summit.

Debbie’s key message from the summit: fashion businesses must exploit their position as industry mentors and employ responsible ‘wellness’ work ethics so the industry can transform into an integrated, collaborative model that will make wellness fashionable, which can be heralded as the honourable trend of the future.  Keep an eye out for future blogs coming soon exploring, in more depth the themes and questions we raise here.

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