Goop, the wellness empire helmed by Gwyneth Paltrow, continues its march to conquer the free world. The company has been valued at about $250m (€221m) thanks to sales of Himalayan bath salts and vagina eggs to help “cultivate sexual energy”. Earlier this month it announced it’s launching a menswear label, it has just opened a shop-in-shop in department store Harvey Nichols and this coming weekend In Goop Health (the brand’s annual summit) takes place in London.
There’s a line of thinking that, in our increasingly secular world, we want things to believe in: food, health and wellness have become a religion of sorts for many urbanites. And because Paltrow was one of the first to catch onto this – Goop launched back in 2008 – she has become the movement’s high priestess. What’s less clear is why the brand continues to thrive.
These days consumers want to be well informed about the provenance and benefits of the products they buy; Goop, however, has famously played it fast and loose with the facts (it was sued for making false claims about the benefits of its vagina eggs). Additionally there are now so many well-designed and well-researched market alternatives that, on a recent visit to the brand’s Notting Hill shop, I was unmoved: it’s nice enough but the space and its (very expensive) products felt unremarkable. I understand urbanites’ need to tie their colours to the wellness mast but Goop is hardly the Holy Grail.