The year is 2023 and the need to find beauty from inside out is ever so prevalent. However, this has not been a new path for the model Elle Macpherson, who launched her line WelleCo nearly 10 years ago, and has been ever growing supporting the internal conversation of love and the gut for the strength of the outer body.
Named “The Body”, by TIME magazine , Macpherson’s illustrious modeling career had the Australian beauty graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine’s annual Swimsuit Issue 6 times, though her later path would ultimately inform the woman she has become. Now a business focus entrepreneur who was an initial adapter of the model designer title, Elle encapsulates what it is to be a Girl Boss in todays market of fashion and beauty. In the celebration of spring, as we all prepare to show off our bodies to the sun, we got to chat with the quintessential “Body” about health, wellbeing and all the fun of the creative process.
The dialogue of gut nutrition and wellbeing is the hot topic of 2023 with adaptogens being the most relevant topic though you began this quest nearly a decade ago. How did the company come to start and how do you see it expanding now the public is ready to embrace this method.
In 2014, I launched WelleCo — the tangible result of my heartfelt aim to bring everyone the natural solutions, wisdoms and support that I have enjoyed through my own wellness journey. In the years before WelleCo, I realized I could no longer rely solely on my genetics for beauty or a healthy body. I felt run down and irritable. I wasn’t sleeping well, I had low energy and sugar cravings, and I felt uninspired and unmotivated. Basically, I wasn’t feeling myself and had no idea why. I went to see nutritionist Dr. Simoné Laubscher PhD at her London clinic. That visit changed the course of my life.
She explained to me the importance of lowering inflammation in the body by altering my food and lifestyle. She created a potent nutritional greens protocol for me. In just a few weeks combining the greens with other life-style changes, I was feeling better than ever. The quality of my skin, hair and nails had improved, sugar cravings reduced, I regained my sense of vitality, my sleep improved, and my energy levels were higher than they’d been for a long time. I felt stronger and leaner with greater vitality. I felt like me again. It seemed truly miraculous. That potent composition of greens proved to be remarkable. Almost 50 ingredients, all carefully curated to work in synergy, amplifying each other’s effects to support all 11 systems of the body. And it was so effortless and simple — just 2 teaspoons in water every day. I was so grateful for such a transformation. That nutritional greens powder is now The Super Elixir™ — so powerful it birthed a business!
When WelleCo pioneered ingestible beauty and wellness in Australia back in 2014, nobody had heard of it. There was a lot of education to do. Fast forward almost a decade and retailers now have full sections devoted to ingestibles because the consumer gets it –– they want their beauty from within. Magazines now include ingestible beauty as a staple category in their awards –– WelleCo has earned over 30 awards in 18-months! Something our WelleCo team is deservedly proud of.
The future of ingestible beauty and WelleCo is bright. I find it really encouraging to see so many people recognizing that it all begins within. And this is exemplified by the evolving and expanding success of WelleCo and our expanding collection off Elixirs.
Has there been any specific conversations on your path towards your modeling career, beauty, and skin health along with well-being having to run around the world on constant repeat what was the trial and error in finding your best methods?
Being so busy, I quickly became adept at what I call ‘bio tweaks’ –– the everyday tools I use to enhance my wellness and optimise my life. My top bio-tweaks include:1. My wellness protocol: The Super Elixir™, supplements, elixirs, smoothies and tea make up my number one bio-tweak. On a daily basis, I take two teaspoons of WelleCo’s The Super Elixir™ in water, which I drink throughout the morning, as well as ION Gut Support. I’ll have a morning smoothie with our Nourishing Protein, and often add The Collagen Elixir to support glowing skin and a healthy body. Depending on my daily demands and inner state, I often add The Immune Elixir, Goddess Elixir or The Calm Elixir (two capsules daily with food) to my daily supplement mix. I’ll end the day with our Sleep Welle Calming Tea.
2. Cold Plunge and banyas: I like to go for a cold plunge after my workout followed by a matcha in the sunshine before getting ready for my day. I’ve just discovered the Russian Banyas, an ancient tradition of steam sauna, which I like to alternate with a cold plunge. It’s a great way to stimulate the lymph system, detox, unwind and a fun alternative as a date to connect with friends –– check it out.
3. Sungazing and being out in nature: I’m usually up with the sun. I’ll then get outside and put my feet on the earth to ground. I love being outside and connecting to nature. I choose activities where I am outside, close to nature as much as possible — hiking, biking, swimming or simply sitting in the fresh air and sunshine.
4. Breath, meditation and inner connection: Keep it simple is my motto these days. I’ve found breath practice helps amplify the benefits of all my other bio-tweaks. And it’s free and profoundly effective! My daily meditation practice includes 25 minutes in the morning –– either guided or in silence. I aim to be in the natural flow of life as much as possible.
I have ultimately learnt that consistency shapes success with all protocols and practices. When I am diligent –– particularly with my greens, getting early morning sunshine, movement, breath work and heart-centred connection –– I thrive. I have the energy and drive to meet my commitments, but I’m also able to be creative, developing new ideas and applying them to my life, relationships and business.
Your Australian heritage is very much well framed in WelleCo in the ways which the nutrient rich resources are utilized, were there a lot of natural products you grew up using that you wanted to share with the world.
WelleCo is indeed the result of my idyllic Australian childhood spent with the dirt between my toes and the salty sea through my hair. Thankfully, I grew up with plenty of fresh air and sunshine and we were often by the sea, surfing and relaxing in nature. And the environment was less toxic from GMO or pesticides and the water was clean. Fortunately, we had good, hearty soil which resulted in nutrient-dense vegetables.
In those years growing up, I learnt a lot about our natural world. Not only did it set the scene of my childhood, but it ignited in me a lifelong devotion to natural methods. For me, the sun and the sea are medicine. But we can learn from everything nature has to offer, which is why I have endless books on the subject and surround myself with like minds who also comprehend and appreciate the power of nature. I like to think that WelleCo, with all our experience and knowledge of ingredients, synergies and formulas, is like a modern showcase of nature’s perfect intelligence.
What are the concepts behind alkalizing the body that are beneficial and what was this journey like for you towards discovering this process.
For the past decade, it’s simply been the way I choose to live. An alkaline diet is about reducing the acidity in the body, which is best achieved through plant-based foods and other lifestyle choices. An alkaline body tends to have a balanced PH level (potential of hydrogen), something Dr Laubscher is very passionate about maintaining for optimal health. For me it means eating fresh organic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, nuts, seeds and unrefined, organic, high-water-content foods. Dr Laubscher suggests aiming for an 80/20 ratio: consuming 80 per cent alkaline foods to 20 per cent acidic foods. It’s also about hydration, supporting your lymphatic system, sweating, avoiding coffee and sugar and lowering stress. I have found my body is happiest with mostly alkaline foods, which is another reason I brought The Super Elixir™ to market nine years ago… these super greens are an alkaline essential.
I’ve also come to comprehend that thoughts and emotions can contribute to inflammation and dis-ease in the body so I try to remember that nourishment comes from healthy balanced thoughts and actions as well as healthy balanced meals.
It is still rather hard to find a natural supplement and ingestible wellness products that align with design and luxury. What was this process like for you when honing the aesthetics and design of the packaging? WelleCo serves as a great complement to any luxury beauty product to place on the counter.
The design process of our Caddy, for me was a highlight. I got to play with old references from the past while integrating modern design talent. I chose esteemed West Australian glass artisan Jasper Dowding for the job of bringing it to life and he did a superb job. It’s inspired by René Lalique’s iconic 1930s Guerlain perfume bottles, which I think adds a special retro luxury to our striking glass Caddy.
We wanted it to look a bit like a big, beautiful jar of face crème, suggesting that it contained the modern-day equivalent.
The way I see it wellness is the new beautiful, health is the new wealth, kindness is the new cool and inner peace is the new success.
Can you run us through the types of meals that would complement your daily WelleCo rituals? And what would you say is a no-no to maintaining the alkalinized glow?
I love a lot of Dr Sara Siso’s recipes and thrive on soups and salads and plant-based proteins — often raw in summer to preserve live enzymes. A recent favorite of mine is a miso mushroom soup with Japanese sweet potato. I highly recommend it! I also love the Ayurvedic perspective on nourishment.
I choose groceries that are locally grown and organic, hand picked from the Saturday Farmer’s Market: mushrooms, green leafy veg, herbs, nuts, seeds, low glycemic gluten-free breads, apples, papaya, mangoes, fresh chia puddings, coconut water, beautiful fresh bok-choy, bespoke honey. I love fresh, simple produce and there’s such an amazing array of plant-based meals to create at home. I never feel deprived of delicious nourishing and varied food. I also love coconut-based ice creams and milks.
Reserved has long collaborated with Helena Christiansen and our EIC Jules Wood also worked with Tatjana before her untimely passing. Do you have any fun anecdotes you would care to share from that era of definitive modeling and what ended up presenting you as “The Body.”
I Love seeing my peers evolve and adapt to the changing market and embracing intelligent ways to build their business – this is true sustainability! I believe adaptability is the new superpower. Superpowered super models adapt and evolve – I enjoy seeing them express their passions and heart felt desires, and most often this comes from balanced health, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.
Many of us have had long and varied careers – mine has been over 40 years! I was named “the body“ in 1986 by Time Magazine and I recognized at the time it could be a great moniker to build business. Subsequently, I built a body product brand and lingerie brand both called “The Body“.
Do you still collaborate with the various communities of creatives you came up with, from photographers, stylists and models?
Co-creation and cooperation is the way moving forward. I love team collaborations, often working with people I have long history with and also vibrant new talent.
What other projects do you have coming out in the future and how do you see WelleCo expanding in offerings and as an overall luxury wellness product?
Watch this space! Lots of exciting announcements soon.