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Creating Tomorrow: design priorities for a post-COVID-19 world

The present might be terrifying, but we can still look to the future.


With the world changing faster than ever (a sentence I’m sure you’re bored silly of reading), this week we’ve decided that every user of WGSN should get access to it.

In the past I’ve written about new trends in sustainability, personal trips to destinations of creativity, emerging consumer tribes and much more. It’s hard now to think about writing anything that isn’t in some way related to COVID-19.

But this column is about the future, and while with vast swathes of the world now in lockdown the present feels unbelievably unstable, we will come through this.

So what can we learn from the segments of the world where green shoots are already being seen?


The traditional destination gym is still suffering, but on-demand wellness services are flourishing – a point brands in the Americas and Europe would do well to note and prepare for now. And this isn’t just about high-tech, new solutions. In fact, traditional philosophies that have shaped China’s concept of health are also enjoying a revival in a bid by consumers to relieve stress and achieve holistic wellness.

“In China, an increase in health and wellness spending is being forecast despite the economic slowdown. In fact, we believe this trend has been fast-tracked by the COVID-19 outbreak.”


Just as in the West we are beginning to see an uptick in at-home workout programmes from the millions in self-isolation, in China that is continuing even as people return to the office. But social sharing and peer approval is a significant factor – apps that allow users to encourage each other, share their workouts or even create their own ‘free playgrounds’ are standing out from what is quickly becoming a competitive marketplace.

And this isn’t just about how we exercise, but what we exercise in. Athleisure will rise again, both for our at-home workouts, but also for our work-from-home wardrobe. Make no mistake, if the days of 9-5 in the office were already numbered, they’re now most definitely over.

We won’t be in lockdown forever, but the way we work, live and play won’t ever be quite the same again.

Recommended read: WGSN Insight

The “Coronavirus: Global Change Accelerators” report will help you understand the mindset of the post-coronavirus consumer and what strategic initiatives you can start to build so that you’re ready once restrictions lift.

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The post appeared first on WGSN Insider.

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