Welcome to Well Informed, our weekly roundup of all the wellness news you need to know. Have a hot tip for us? Email email@example.com with the subject line “Well Informed”
A Major Beauty Brand Goes Cruelty-Free
In a huge move for major beauty brands, Cover Girl announced last week that it is now entirely cruelty-free. This makes the makeup brand the first of its size to earn the Leaping Bunny seal which requires that companies eliminate animal testing from all steps of the supply chain. “As a brand, we believe that ethical beauty choices should be accessible and affordable for all,” Ukonwa Ojo, the chief marketing officer of Coty Consumer Beauty (CoverGirl’s parent company), told Glamour.
Read More: Glamour
Glossier Launches NYC Flagship
While the millennial pink brand has had a shoppable showroom since 2016, Glossier has been a primarily online retailer – until now. On November 8, the brand opened its flagship store in NYC’s SoHo, a two-story retail space meant to be not just a shop but a way to interact with the brand. There are experiential rooms like the Boy Brow Room (so named for their much loved brow gel), a chance to interact with the brand’s editors, and more.
Read More: WWD
Everlane Ditches Plastic
Apparel company Everlane has made a new commitment to going plastic-free by 2021. The brand has pledged to stop creating new plastic to address the global plastics crisis. Additionally, the brand just launched its ReNew collection, a 13-piece line of cold weather items for men and women, which will be made from 3 million recycled plastic bottles.
“We need to start saying no to companies that are not pushing sustainability forward,” Everlane founder Michael Preysman said, according to Elle. “Any brand that’s not thinking this way, is putting profit ahead of people.”
Read More: Elle
Not quite. But nearly 100 health departments across the country, including NYC’s, have gotten on board a new initiative to lower the sugar content in many packaged foods. The National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative asks food and beverage makes to decrease the sugar in their products by 20% by 2025, according to an article in the New York Post.
“Currently, 68 percent of packaged foods and beverages purchased in the US contain added sugar, making it difficult for individuals to reduce their sugar consumption,” the city’s acting health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, told the Post in a statement announcing the initiative.
Read More: New York Post
WeWork x Rent the Runway
Is there anything you can’t do at WeWork (ok, you can’t buy meat but that might be it)? In addition to working, working out, and even finding a place to sleep, you can now rely on WeWork for your wardrobe. Rent the Runway will soon be opening a network of clothing drop-off boxes in 15 WeWork locations across the U.S. With the boxes in placed in the lobbies of WeWork buildings, they’ll be accessible to the general public in addition to members of the co-working space.
Read More: Bloomberg
What Does the Combo of CBD and Coffee Really Do?
While cannabis became legal in Canada this week, CBD, that wellness-world darling that’s derived from cannabis but has no psychoactive qualities, is still considered a controlled substance. Across the U.S., though, you can spot it in cocktails, dinner features, and lattes. But what are the benefits of CBD when mixed into your java? One writer at New York Magazine delved deeper to find out.
Read More: New York Magazine
Brandon Truaxe is Out as Deciem’s CEO
Stock up on your affordable skin care products now: on October 12, Deciem’s CEO Brandon Truaxe was officially removed as the company’s CEO, leading fans to scramble to scoop up product in case the next announcement is about the company’s closing. After close to a year of Instagram drama (Truaxe took the reigns of the account in January and began posting everything from images of trash, to calls for help, to airing the company’s dirty laundry), minority investor Estée Lauder filed a lawsuit against Truaxe over his behavior. An Ontario judge ruled that Truaxe would have to leave his position as CEO and forbid him from posting on Deciem’s social media channels. Co-CEO Nicola Kilner (whom Truaxe fired via social media and then re-hired) takes over Truaxe’s role.
Read More: New York Magazine
La Mer Being Sued for False Advertising
You may already be skeptical of the alleged magical healing powers of pricey ($300 and up) skincare brand, La Mer. But according to Chinese beauty blogger Hao Yu, the company has made claims in China specifically to “deceive Chinese consumers.” Yu claims that the language on the brand’s Chinese website misleads customers into believing the moisturizer can heal scars from burns.
Read More: Vox
Nike Founder Donates $1 Billion to Charity
Nike founder and chairman emeritus Phil Knight, 80, has donated close to $1 billion of the company’s stock (12 million shares) to an unnamed beneficiary. The donation, made on October 3, “represents about 0.7 of the company’s outstanding shares and 3.1 percent of his $32 billion fortune,” reports Business of Fashion.
Read More: Business of Fashion
Instagram Launches Scannable Nametags
Taking a cue from Snapchat’s Snapcodes, this week Instagram released a new feature allowing users to scan the customizable codes of other users in order to instantly follow them. Codes are accessible from the three-line menu on your profile and can be scanned when other users tap and hold on your code through the Stories camera or Scan Nametag button, according to TechCrunch. You can even personalize your Nametag with colors, emojis, and more. You’ll be able to promote the follow tag by sharing it on your website, other social media platforms, or sharing via text message, WhatsApp, Messenger, and more.
Read More: TechCrunch
Instagram’s Co-Founders Call it Quits
Your Instagram feed could get a lot more like your Facebook experience. That’s because on Monday, with little explanation, the platform’s co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resigned from the Facebook-owned app as CEO and CTO. The departure leaves members of the Facebook team, who have been pushing the app more closely towards a Facebook-like experience, to take the reigns. Back in May when the co-founder of WhatsApp left the company, Facebook’s executive ranks were reshuffled which increased Mark Zuckerberg’s influence on day-to-day opps. That also led to Adam Mosseri, who oversees Facebook’s newsfeed and has worked with Zuckerberg for ten years, as Instagram’s head of product.
Read More: Reuters
Lululemon to Get Personalized
In an effort to continue to stand out among a crowded field of athleisure brands, lululemon is focusing on finding you, the consumer, the exact right item for your needs. But we’re not just talking about your size and activity plans: the brand intends to take the technology they use in their Vancouver innovation lab into stores in what will be called the “Signature Movement Experience.” A treadmill will track each customer’s pattern of motion to allow the lulu team to make specific recommendations. No word on when the company – which brought in $3 billion in revenue last year – will bring that technology to Toronto.
Read More: Fast Company
California Bans Straws in Restaurants
Last week, California’s governor Jerry Brown signed a law prohibiting full-service restaurants in the state from giving customers plastic straws unless the customer specifically requests one. The law, which will be in effect in 2019, marks the first statewide ban on straw distribution in full-service restaurants. Fast food restaurants, coffee shops, and takeout spots, however, are still exempt from the ruling.
Read More: Food & Wine
Bumble Wants to Make You Glow
In addition to helping you find love and become a CEO, dating app Bumble is launching its own skin care line. CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told Marie Claire that the brand has “spent several months working with psychotherapists and dermatologists to make serums that simultaneously solve skin and, according to the company, emotional issues.” The company will launch the line with two serums -including one called “Break Up with Bad” – in mid- to late-2019.
Read More: Marie Claire
Elle MacPherson’s WelleCo Opens Flagship Store in NYC
This week, Elle MacPherson opened the doors to her flagship WelleCo store in NYC’s SoHo. The space features an in-house nutritionist consulting area where customers can have their supplementation regimen customized. Customers will also have a chance to sample products and attend demonstrations and events.
Read More: WelleCo
Toronto’s The Quiet Company Launches Lunch & Meditate Series with Impact Kitchen
Starting September 24, meditation studio The Quiet Company will offer a Lunch & Meditate series in partnership with Impact Kitchen. The combo is available for the Find Your Impact class on Mondays at 12:15 and the Find Your Heart class on Wednesdays at 12:15 and with an upgrade to a regular class price, meditators will get a choice of a Lean or Macro Bowl at Impact Kitchen.
Read More: The Quiet Company
Gap is Getting into Athleisure for Men
While the Gap has been offering stylish workout gear for women for some time, the brand announced this week that it would be launching a new brand called “Hill City” focused on “performance activewear” for men. Hill City will launch in mid-October as an online brand and include 60 items. They will also showcase some of the items at 50 Athleta stores where shoppers can purchase the items via a kiosk that will take online orders. Last year, Gap noted that it expects Athleta to hit the $1 billion mark in sales within the next few years.
Read More: Fortune
CBD Sales Projected to Be Even Bigger
Remember that time (about three weeks ago) we reported that the hemp-CBD market was expected to reach $10.6 billion USD by 2025? Turns out those numbers might be off… by a lot. A new report out this week from cannabis industry analysts the Brightfield Group indicates that the market could hit $22 billion by 2022, outpacing cannabis sales.
One brand jumping on all the wellness trends in one is CROP Infrastructure Corp which announced the development of a cannabis-infused line of soft drinks called CANNADRINK, which will be a zero calorie, non-GMO, ketogenic-friendly line of soda and will include tea and coffee versions.
Read More: PR Newswire
SoulCycle Gets Even Tougher
This week, SoulCycle introduces its newest offering, SoulActivate, to Toronto. The class is Soul’s take on HIIT and strength training – while on the bike. Expect heart rate variation, timed interval pushes and an extra weight series with heavier weights. According to their website, “given the athletic intensity of the class, SoulActivate is recommended for riders who have taken 10 or more SoulCycle classes.”
Read More: SoulCycle
Goop Pays $145K in Settlement Over Yoni Egg
Goop has settled a $145K lawsuit concerning claims made about the yoni eggs (stones inserted vaginally) and Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend sold on its website (specifically that the eggs could balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control, and that the Flower Essence Blend could help prevent depression). The suit was filed by the California Food, Drug, and Medical Device Task Force last week, with prosecutors saying the list of benefits was “not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.” Following the settlement, Goop has been banned from advertising products “without possessing competent and reliable scientific evidence.”
Additionally, if you bought the Rose Quartz Egg, Jade Egg, or Flower Essence Blend between January 12 and August 31 2017, you are eligible to request a full refund from Goop. This also might explain the company’s announcement a few weeks ago (scroll down to our August 24 news) that they would be hiring a team of scientists to vet all product claims.
Read More: Vogue
Crystals Make a Repeat Visit to NY Fashion Week
You may recall we reported on The Row doling out crystals at their New York Fashion Week runway show in February. Another fashion house has now taken a cue from the Olsen twins – Collina Strada gifted guests a healing crystal and then took it the extra mile with a gong in the middle of the runway, and “healing music” being played as models strutted the catwalk toting prayer beads. “Through the practice of sound bath, I hope to convey that we all have the power to find our clean slate,” designer Hillary Taymour reportedly wrote in the show notes.
Read More: The Cut
California’s Next Step in Banning Animal Testing
California’s state legislature has become the first in the U.S. to pass a comprehensive bill that would ban the sale of products that have been, or include ingredients that have been, tested on animals anywhere in the state. If the bill – which specifically bans cosmetic products – is signed into law, any products that have been tested on animals would be banned from sale beginning January 1, 2020.
Read More: People
Want to Be a Mindfulness Leader? There’s a New Way to Get Certified
As workplace wellness programs continue to increase in popularity and the practice of mindfulness grows in Toronto with the opening of three new meditation studios, one company has launched a certification program to help promote mental health and safety in the workplace. Mindful Leader, available to the Canadian workforce, provides tools and strategies to support staff and improve psychological health and safety in the workplace. This certification helps organizations meet the requirements of the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
Read More: Mindful Leader
Get that Instagram Checkmark
Instagram announced some exciting updates this week coming to the app in September, including a new way to get verified, plus user transparency. The “About this Account” section will help users evaluate the legitimacy of an account, including information like when the account was created, the country in which it is based, and how many times the account’s username has changed in the last year. Users will also finally be able to request that little blue “verified” checkmark (previously it had to be bestowed by Instagram) by providing legal or business identification to the app.
Read More: TechCrunch
Should You Ditch Your Coconut Oil Habit?
You cook with it, wash your face with it, hang out on the couch while it works its wonders as hair mask, but is your fave all-purpose product not the wonder substance we think it is? In a 50-minute German lecture (that Business Insider helpfully translated for us since we do not speak the language), Karin Michels, the director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumor Epidemiology at the University of Freiburg and a professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, suggests that coconut oil is not as healthy as we think it is when it comes to ingesting it.
In the lecture she called “Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors,” Michels calls coconut oil “pure poison” and “one of the worst foods you can eat.” She deems it more dangerous than lard because it “almost exclusively contains saturated fatty acids, ones that can clog the coronary arteries,” according to Business Insider. And she’s not the first to make the claim: last year the American Heart Association updated its own guidelines to recommend that people avoid the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil.
What to do with that giant tub of coconut oil in your pantry if you’re not cooking with it? It makes a pretty excellent face mask, moisturizer, makeup remover, oil-pulling teeth whitener…’
Read More: Business Insider
Want Free New Balance’s? Head to NYC
Fashion Week is coming to NYC and with it, a chance to not only spot the fashion forward, but to be sought out as one of them. New Balance is setting up a booth in SoHo with cameras facing out in all directions to find fashion outliers – those who are doing something unique with their style. Once the cameras identify the fashion-forward, a New Balance rep will come out of the booth, explain the promo, and gift them a free pair of New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz Nubuck shoes.
“The idea is to celebrate people who go left when everybody else is going right,” Allie Tsavdarides, New Balance’s director of global marketing, told Fast Company. “And it’s a way to (hand out our) products to these people who already reflect what we stand for as a brand.”
Read More: Fast Company
Goop Sets New Scientific Guidelines
Remember the uproar around Gwyneth’s promotion of the Yoni egg? Or the public response from NASA debunking her claims that a set of energetically-charged stickers were made with the same material as spacesuits? And how about the outcry at the idea of “vaginal steaming.” A major part of the criticism lobbed at Goop and Gwyneth herself is that the company doesn’t always offer facts to back up those health claims.
As the Goop empire continues to grow, the company has announced the hiring of a team of scientists to vet claims made about products sold on its website and written about in their editorial content. According to an article in Business of Fashion, the company is seeking “full transparency” within the next six to 12 months. “We want to be absolutely bullet-proof as people now look more carefully as to what we’re doing,” Goop chief content officer Elise Loehnen told the publication.
Read More: Business of Fashion
Ditched Dodgeball? That Might Be Why You Hate Spin Class.
Could your hatred of wearing grubby mandated tracksuits and having to break a sweat playing dodgeball in between History and Math class have something to do with your aversion to fitness as an adult? Turns out: maybe. According to a study in the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, the common decline in physical activity from childhood to adulthood is even more pronounced if you grew up being, let’s say, less than enthusiastic about organized sports. The study included more than a thousand men and women between 18 and 45 and asked their feelings about gym class. Thirty-four percent associated gym class with embarrassment, 18 percent cited lack of enjoyment, and 14 percent hated changing clothes in the locker room. The study found that those with the most negative attitudes towards gym class were the most likely to dislike exercise as an adult.
Read More: The Cut
There’s Always Money in the CBD Stand
According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global industrial hemp market is expected to reach $10.6 billion USD by 2025. The growth projection is due in part to a rising demand for CBD oil in food and beverages, with the CBD market specifically called out for prime expansion across three sectors: hemp-derived CBD, marijuana-derived CBD, and pharmaceutical CBD.
Read More: PR Newswire
How About a Side of Booch with Your Booty Workout?
Health-Ade Kombucha announced a partnership with the powerhouse women of Tone It Up, Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn. The pair debuted their first co-branded booch this week: the organic and raw Bubbly Rose Superfood flavor. The new brew features hawthorn berry, mangosteen and pink rose, along with the company’s original base which mixes fermented organic black and green tees. While it’s currently only available in the U.S., here’s hoping it will make its way north soon.
Read More: PR Newswire
Bumble is Investing in Female Entrepreneurs
Dating app Bumble wants to do more than help you find a match: they want you to “be the CEO your parents always wanted you to marry.” And now instead of just making the statement a cute Insta post, they’re backing it up with actual dollars. This week, Bumble announced the launch of the Bumble Fund “to help those women largely ignored by the venture capital establishment.” The fund will focus on early-stage investments, “primarily in businesses founded and led by women of color and those from underrepresented groups,” and the investment strategy will be lead by the company’s CEO, Sarah Jones Simmer. To be considered, download Bumble, create a Bizz Profile, and stay tuned for pitch info in the fall.
Read More: Bumble
What the Lawsuit Against Nike Could Mean
Nike has been under fire since March for allegations of sexual misconduct laid out in a class-action lawsuit filed in Oregon. Claims include sexual harassment incidents at the company, emails discussing female employees looks, higher-ups publicly describing female employees with misogynistic terms in a public setting, the allegation that the company pays women less than men and that they give women fewer opportunities for advancement. Retail Dive goes into what this could mean (or not mean) for the company.
Read More: Retail Dive
Charcoal Beauty Goes Mainstream
Charcoal is beloved for its ability to remove impurities in the skin and hair through beauty products and in our guts through juices, but it’s also a pretty pricey ingredient. Thanks to Pantene, we might be seeing the start of charcoal hitting the larger mainstream. The company recently launched its Pro-V Charcoal Shampoo and Conditioner, helping to bring our fave beauty whiz to the masses, and we are absolutely here for that.
Read More: The Cut
Millennials are Here for CBD Skincare
No surprise here: in a survey of 3000 millennials in North America, more than 50% of the 1000 Canadians showed interest in the cannabis market. The survey, conducted by Intercept Group (a Toronto and Boston-based marketing agency), also showed that 49% wanted to try CBD topicals (skin lotions or oils). And they might have an easier time of it once legalization hits in October: according to an article in Daily Hive, big players like L’Oréal and Aveda have shown interest in using the uber-trendy compound in products.
Read More: Daily Hive
FDA Validates Specific Therapeutic Benefits of CBD
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug derived from pure CBD (cannabidiol) for the treatment of seizures associated with two forms of epilepsy. Epidiolex is now the first FDA-approved drug that contains a substance derived from the cannabis sativa plant, and marks the first time the FDA has validated the therapeutic affects of CBD.
Read More: FDA
ClassPass Launches Audio Workout App
Can’t workout at your fave studios in person? ClassPass has got you. This week, the company announced ClassPass Go, an app that offers guided classes from top trainers (athletes from the most popular gyms and studios in NY, LA, and SF), set to music curated by DJs and spanning multiple genres. There are already over 500 classes available on the app and more will be added each month (think: running, cycling, yoga, HIIT, elliptical and more). There are even mindfulness sessions. You’ll be able to filter workouts by class duration, experience level, and calories burned. But the best news? It’s all free, whether you’re a member of ClassPass or not.
Read More: ClassPass
Khloe Kardashian Gets into the Activewear Game
Is there any industry the Kardashians don’t have a hand in? Next up for the powerhouse family: activewear. Khloe’s denim-focused company, Good American, is adding activewear to its offerings. The line includes tops, sports bras, and leggings, all in shades of blacks, whites, and grey, with a single pop of blush pink. You can also buy matching sets of tops and bottoms in their “Outfits” section. The biggest feature of the line for the GA team though, was working on inclusive sizing that ranges from size XS to 4XL. Fabrics feature four-way stretch, compression, UV protection, and moisture-wicking fabrics.
Read More: Fashionista
WeWork Launches WeMRKT
While you can no longer find meat at WeWork offices (see our July 20 roundup), you can now purchase juices, office supplies, food, and – you guessed it – wellness products, from companies led by WeWork members in their brand new WeMRKT. WeWork allows members to apply for placement in their market, which also comes with featured signage, social media promo, special pop-ups and activations, and more. While the WeMRKT isn’t in Canada yet, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it makes its way here soon.
Read More: Retail Dive
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