In 2005, T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell published The China Study, a book based on a 20-year study concerning optimal diets for a life that’s longer and of better quality. By 2013 it had been on The New York Times Bestsellers List and had sold well over a million copies. Its popularity, a precursor to the health drive that was about to kick in full gear. Then came the wellness based literature, health websites, and doctor-hosted TV shows that swept the nation. Athleisure boomed in 2015 followed by the quick rise of wearable technology and fitness-inundated social media. As information became readily accessible, the consumers focus zoomed in on life longevity, disease prevention through apparel in particular. Yet despite the many waist-trainers, weighted vests and sauna-belts promoting quick fixes disguised as health tools, their impracticalities along with lack of medical approval create hidden dangers.
In 2016, Dr. Mehmet Oz testified in front of Congress for his promotion of a “miracle diet pill” due to a class action lawsuit against himself. According to their website, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not approve or give accreditation to such products and for good reason. Established in 1938, the federal agency is dedicated to overseeing and regulating the safety of drugs, tobacco, and medical products to name a few. In order to protect the consumer, the F.D.A. expresses that to make health related claims, companies must fulfill certain criteria proven by scientific research prior to being approved. A topic as serious as one’s health puts pressure on the wellness industry which is why companies like Hologenix spend years working towards the necessary F.D.A. approval.
In July 2017, the F.D.A. designated of Hologenix textile, Celliant, as a medical device and general wellness product. A combination of the words cell and reliant, Celliant is a vasodilator and responsive textile that uses the wearers own energy to help regulate blood flow. But how does a fabric do all that?