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Let's learn together for a more abundant life

This is our take on the 6 trends we believe will have an impact on health, wellness, lifestyle & sustainability in 2023.Every trend aims to explore how we can create healthier & happier lives and habits and to expand on our own personal growth. We'll be working with experts to dig deep into each topic and to grow our understanding together – keep an eye on our Instagram for more information on live Q&A sessions with our experts on each trend throughout January.

It’s easy to overlook the interconnectivity of the systems in our bodies. After all, why would you assume that your afternoon brain fog has anything to do with your gut health or that the pervasive fatigue you’ve been feeling is an offshoot of anxiety? Our systems don’t function in isolation; an imbalance in one can cause knock-on effects in the others. As we learn more about these connections, we’re beginning to explore the link between our metabolic and nervous systems. A critical pillar of your metabolic health is your blood sugar level. When this is out of whack, the result on your nervous system is clear- burnout, agitation, hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, and the list goes on. Taking steps to support your metabolic health can directly impact the effects on your nervous system and improve your quality of life.

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Firstly, what are hormones? In the simplest terms, they’re chemical messages sent from one part of your body to another and these messages govern almost every function in your body. When your body needs fuel, it’s a hormone that lets you know that. When you need sleep, it’s a hormone signalling that too. Your growth, emotions, reproduction, and general wellbeing are all impacted by hormones. Your hormones also undergo major changes as you move through life. Puberty, PCOS, fertility journeys, menopause, and libido - we’re all affected by these changes and fluctuations.

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A focus on mental health is by no means a new trend, but this year we’ll be exploring the practical actions of what that actually means for you on a daily basis. Self-care is more than just a hashtag and caring for your mental health shouldn’t be distilled down to social media buzzwords. Important parts of making time for daily mental health practice can include exercise and yoga, taking natural supplements that support your mood and cognitive health, meditation, quality alone time and so much more. If you are suffering from mental health issues, depression or suicidal thoughts, please speak to a qualified healthcare practitioner. You can also reach out for help to The South African Depression and Anxiety Group: 24hr Helpline 0800 456 789 | Suicidal Emergency Contact 0800 567 567.

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To understand circadian health, we first need an understanding of circadian rhythms. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural clock and the way it operates a healthy sleep-wake cycle in a 24-hour period. When this cycle is not functioning optimally, you’ll notice fatigue, trouble sleeping, poor memory, trouble making decisions and a myriad of other effects. Your eyes play a major role in your circadian health. They are, after all, the literal windows to your environment that allow your body clock to know what’s up. Daily, safe exposure to natural sunlight in the morning seems to have a positive effect on your nightly sleep. Blue light exposure from screens has the opposite, negative effect, decreasing the quality of nightly rest. The importance of good quality sleep is paramount to how the rest of your day plays out. The reality of our modern lives means our circadian rhythms are not always able to function without external interruptions, but there are ways that you can support it. This includes supplementing, building healthy habits and more.

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Clean beauty seems pretty self explanatory, right? We know to avoid products that aren’t kind to animals, or that contain ingredients or use packaging that isn’t good to the environment or ourselves. That seems simple enough, but we’d like to know more. We’re delving deeper into clean beauty to fully understand the reasons behind the trend, why we should avoid certain ingredients and instead choose others. We’d like to better explain Faithful to Nature’s Ingredients Policy and why it’s the ultimate gatekeeper for anything we allow to be listed. We’re expanding our education around WHY ingredients like parabens should be avoided or what the benefits of buzzy ingredients like hyaluronic acid are. We’re also excited to explore the importance of inside and outside beauty. Great skincare regimes are obviously an important start but what about feeding your skin from the inside with collagen, antioxidants and phytonutrients?

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What is greenwashing and why does it matter? Basically, greenwashing involves making claims about pseudo-sustainable business practices or products that may be unsubstantiated, manipulative, skewed or outright untrue, to deceive customers into believing that they’re making environmentally conscious choices. It can mean omitting negative information and focussing only on certain achievements to create the impression that great strides in sustainability have been made, when in reality a lot of damage may still be done. WGSN reports that 90% of companies will fail to meet their 2025 sustainability commitments. That’s why we’re calling BS on greenwashing. We applaud every company that takes active steps towards better practices for the long-term health of our planet - but simply setting goals is not the same as taking actual, tangible action towards making a difference. In 2023, we’re hoping to see more companies hold themselves to a higher standard of transparency & real action when it comes to sustainability.

And what is FtN’s part in this? We advocate transparency as an antidote to greenwashing. Radical transparency was a founding principle of FtN - we believe you have the right to know exactly what you're buying and what’s in it. Our hyper-transparent ingredient policy is far stricter than packaging & consumer legislation, which means that even if certain ingredients at certain levels can be omitted from the packaging of a product, it still has to be disclosed when listed with FtN. It also matters to us where ingredients come from and how they are sourced. We go into extreme levels of detail in vetting the ingredients, sourcing & packaging of every single product we sell, so that our customers can trust that they’re truly making sustainable choices. Another way we’re being fully transparent is with our website filters - these were developed to allow you to search by allergies, sensitivities and your values (fairtrade, plastic-free, organic, etc.), so you can trust that you’re shopping what really matters to you. We all want to help heal the planet and that only happens when we honestly acknowledge not just the good things we’re doing, but the areas in which we can improve too. Faithful to Nature focuses on real action to improve the health of people & planet, and we’ll never talk about ways in which to do better, unless we’re actually doing them.

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