Healthy Fashion: Clothing As Modern Medicine

Mark A. Carlson

Photo: Ksenia Chernaya

In this article, I will be sharing with you a few insights and the practical fundamentals of practicing fashion for human health.

What is healthy fashion?

What is healthy fashion? It is fashion used as a tool and as a healing modality. Healthy fashion awakens the soul and spirit. We can possess more energy, more strength, and more health in general when we choose to wear clothing that is good and healthy for us.

Healthy fashion is a form of alternative medicine and self-help. Fashion for human health supports the five bodies: energetic, spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental.

Healthy fashion; clothing as modern medicine is the future of fashion. What makes the concept of healthy fashion unique? It is unique because healthy apparel and healthy accessories are for human health, not just for environmental health. Healthy fashion naturally extends itself to the health of the environment. Sustainable/environmental fashion is a hot topic, and the next step that exceeds it is healthy fashion.

Fashion as modern medicine is a relatively new concept and an advanced approach to fashion. Yet currently, we are seeing new fashion trends like fashion care, fashion wellness, fashion therapy, and healing fashion. This is because there is a new fashion movement: apparel for health and healing.

Healthy fashion has existed since fashion came about, yet it really involves creating a new strategy, criteria, standards, and a fashion movement to get fashion to give back to us more than it currently does.

The Ancients used plant medicine as a form of healing. We can use plant-based fashion as a form of plant medicine because plant-based fabrics are made of plants.

Fashion for Health is a comprehensive form of health treatment. Healthy fashion is a part of our personal hygiene and a part of natural living. Healthy fashion is defined by two things: fashion that cleanses and fashion that protects. Plant-based fabrics cleanse and protect the body.

The concept of sustainability is contemporary

The sustainable fashion movement and other fashion movements are growing. People are becoming more and more eco-minded and eco-conscious. Part of the unsustainable fashion industry lacks the spirit of fashion due to it being unhealthy. Unhealthy fashion is toxic chemicals in fabrics, synthetic fashion, fashion waste, unfair trade and labor, false representations of fashion, and more.

There are many different healthy fashion practices and healthy fashion movements. One of them is ethical fashion, which is cruelty-free fashion and fair-trade fashion. Ethical fashion creates social equality to balance the planet, which is needed.

Zero waste fashion concerns fashion companies producing less waste during the manufacturing process, and fashion consumers purchasing less clothing. One example of what some zero-waste fashion companies are doing is on-demand fashion. They do not produce the garment until there is a garment order.

Upcycled fashion takes post-consumer fashion waste and changes the look of a wasted garment so it can be worn for a longer period of time. Additionally, companies or individuals will use recycled materials to make new fashions.

A few other fashion movements to mention are slow fashion, secondhand/vintage fashion, circular fashion, and eco fashion. Many fashion businesses have long-term sustainable business models and will incorporate several of these fashion movements listed above into their operations.

One of the most important fashion movements is the plant-based fashion movement because polyester is made from non-renewable fossil fuels. It may not be a good material to wear, especially because of its lack of breathability.

We have to support and promote plant-based fashion. Textile manufacturers have to produce a variety of different plant-based textiles because we can’t just produce cotton and linen alone. Plant-based fashion is sustainable fashion because plant-based fabrics and garments can be burned without hurting the environment and can be composted without any toxic fumes permeating the air when it biodegrades.

Every field and industry uses plant-based solutions. For example, some cars are made out of hemp materials, and some rubber car tires are made from dandelion roots.

Healthy fashion is a part of the sustainable fashion movement, and I would also say it is its own movement. Healthy fashion caters to the fast-growing sustainability niche within mainstream fashion and within the eco/sustainable fashion market.

The fashion industry is increasingly concerned with ethical, environmental, and health-conscious clothing. This new concept, fashion for health and healing, is not new, it is ancient, yet currently, it’s niche in the fashion marketplace and not standard commercially. Current mainstream fashion practices and their standards do not rely on or approach this healing fashion subject enough, but it will be a standard in the future.

When we understand the root of unhealthy fashion and we learn about clothing that supports, heals, and protects the body, this new “healthy fashion” standard will naturally extend itself to the environment, and it will help heal our Earth. The potential for healthy fashion is vast.

Conscious fashion design and conscious wardrobes

There is a new awakening happening on the planet Earth, triggering a need for conscious fashion and conscious people. As healthy fashion practitioners, we have a keen sense of culture, humanity, and style, and this creates more consciousness. It is conscious fashion that is representative and effective to support the global evolution of a healthier planet.

To be a conscious shopper, when we go shopping, we have to think about the garment’s color, the type of material, the style, the details, and the silhouette. We must ensure that the product is something we will actually wear. This helps support a minimal, zen-like wardrobe. If you are a collector, you will still be able to collect clothing; it will just be the clothes that you really want to wear and/or collect.

Our styles will still evolve, and we will always purchase fresh new pieces, but our clothing will be modern and timeless. This will result in less waste in the industry.

It doesn’t matter what style of clothing you wear. It doesn’t matter whether you shop mass, contemporary, ready-to-wear, or haute couture. Healthy, conscious fashion is found in all fashion markets and all style genres. Your current wardrobe is already helping you, but it is a matter of being aware of what fashion can do for you.

Healthy Materials

It is paramount to own a synthetic-free wardrobe or a predominantly plant-based wardrobe. The healthiest materials to wear are organic and certified fabrics. The healthiest dyes are those dyed with low-impact dyes or those dyed with botanical or herbal dyes. For example, natural dyes like indigo and eucalyptus, marigold, and clay.

If one is on a budget, I will still recommend purchasing non-organic plant-based fabrics over synthetic fabrics. We want to go synthetic-free and own a predominantly plant-based wardrobe.

A few healthy alternatives to conventional polyester, nylon, acrylic, and rayon include biobased nylon, lyocell, fabric blends, cotton, hemp, linen, and paper yarn, which doesn’t feel like paper. There are many alternative fabrics to choose from. These are all premium fabrics.

One of the most innovative kinds of fabric is cosmetic-infused textiles. We can enhance our appearance with cosmetic textiles. Cosmetic textiles, also called cosmetotextiles, mix cosmetics with textiles. Textile manufacturers use microencapsulation. They microencapsulate natural ingredients and herbs like neem oil, aloe, tulsi, caffeine, shea butter, vitamin e, minerals, and more. As you wear them, they are transferred from the fabric to your skin.

Types of healthy textiles

Plant-based fabrics like banana, hemp, ramie, and nettle are more breathable, supporting a person’s oxygen needs. They can also relieve stress because we are creating that plant-human connection when we wear them. For example, when we go out into nature, we are releasing stress. When we wear plant-based cellulose fabrics, we are more connected to nature. They recharge our bodies and minds too.

Healthy Fashion—trends

A healthy fashion solution is to wear luxury fashion—and it doesn’t have to be expensive to be luxurious. We all deserve to wear luxurious fashion. Some luxurious styles to wear that are comfortable and high-fashion are athleisure, loungewear, and activewear. You can find luxury wear in all style genres, but you have to look for specific garments that are luxurious.

Healthy fashion is a part of wellness trends and self-care trends. Other current healthy fashion concepts are body care, inclusivity, fashion for emotional wellness, and ergonomic clothing. Ergonomic clothing is clothing that functions and performs.

Examples of healthy fashion

These are a few more examples of healthy fashion and healthy fashion accessories: gemstone therapy. Adding precious metals and gemstones to jewelry and accessories. Some crystals to wear are rose quartz, jade, and clear quartz.

Aromatherapeutic fashion is therapeutic. We can wear mini essential oil diffusers either on accessories like scarves or jewelry like necklaces and bracelets. These diffusers are made out of natural cellulose pads or terra cotta clay. It is healthy to breathe in essential oils, and it makes you feel better.

Fashion with nature imagery and sacred geometry screen-printed on clothing is a visual healing therapy. Wearing sparkling, glittery textile prints made with crushed crystal powder and minerals like mica and bio-based glitter is therapeutic. There are thousands of different ways to wear healthy fashion. These are just a few fashion concepts that are healthy for the mind, body, and soul.

It is a part of our self-care, personal growth, and spiritual awakening to connect with our clothing more deeply and in a healthy way. Dressing for spirituality and health is a part of the new spirit of the age. It is a part of living a healthy and spiritual lifestyle. Spiritual healing fashion is spiritually intelligent fashion.

For more information about the concepts of fashion and health, check out my book, Healthy Fashion: The Deeper Truths. Healthy Fashion offers new and advanced fashion methods for human health, and it reveals the deeper truths of fashion. It will give you a deeper foundation and connection to fashion. A connection that is so deep that it heals the soul.

Fashion as an intuitive, medical initiative will move humanity into a spiritual awakening as it is a holistic, natural tool honoring all species and the environment. In this way, fashion can be a supernatural force in our lives, instilling a heightened sense of connection to the planet we belong to. It’s an alternative health practice attributed to the modern processes of planetary evolution radiating itself on multidimensional levels.

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