"Chillax": What is the Trend Really About?

With the continuing pandemic and countless stressors, the youth of China are now going after a new viral trend “松弛感(song chi gan)”, which roughly translates to “chillax” or “sense of ease”, to express their desire to chill. The related hashtag has gained more than 380 million views on Tik Tok and 18 million views on Weibo.


Unlike “躺平\lying flat” and “摆烂\let it rot”, which express a sense of “not willing to care”, “chillax” is now used among Chinese young people to describe a comfortable and chill state of mind, not anxious, tense, or hard-pressed, and the calm and unhurried manner to let nature take its course, and accept everything as it happens, both the good and the bad.


When it comes to fashion, “chillax” often refers to an effortless style that doesn’t need to be perfect from head to toe but focuses more on one’s personality and comfort while dressing. The style is more likely to be featured by low saturated monochromes, neutrals, and loose fits. Chinese womenswear brand Lily has released a campaign that emphasizes the effortless office fashion for its 20th anniversary, which perfectly expresses the laidback vibes that chillax style is looking for.


From the consumption point of view, chillax can also be expressed as the drifting away from trending and luxury products, and the start of turning to products that are simple, comfortable, natural, healthy, and that can fulfill one’s real needs. Domestic second-hand trading platform “多抓鱼/duo zhua yu” is an innovative example to practice anti-consumerism and the sense of relaxation, for example, stores do not provide disposable shopping bags, customers need to use cloth, with the store display decoration showcasing a designer recycling waste items, highlighting its "natural, simple and handmade" characteristics.


In a broader sense, chillax can also refer to the easygoing approach to life, and to make peace with who you are, and to slow down from daily hustle and bustle. The idea has been behind the booming popularity of “glamping” this past summer and “stove cooked tea” this winter. For people who are looking to take a breath from weekday stress and to find their inner peace, the “chillax” lifestyle is great to stay true to oneself and mental wellness.


Posturing for a sense is opposite to having a sense of ease. For brands hoping to leverage this trend, it’s necessary to be mindful that chillax is less about doing and more about being. When it comes to the branding, staying true to the tone and message of your brand is the best way to be “chillax”. Most importantly, it is also key to understand that inappropriately and blindly promoting this sense of ease to the wrong audience can cause a backfire to the brand.


Want to know more about how to integrate “chillax” into your brand message? Get in contact with us: info@eastant.it.