Lululemon. Just the name evokes a whole slew of feelings: most negative and derisive for myself. Even if you don't practice yoga, you've likely heard the brand name, seen the pants (maybe you own a pair).
Lululemon is becoming the Walmart of the Yoga world.
When I make that comparison, I AM referring to cheaply and non-environmentally friendly made materials (overpriced), made on factory, cheap (and arguably unsafe and unfair) (child) labour and shipped across the world in huge, polluting container ships and trucks.
The coup de grace; Lululemon's outrageous, insensitive and often offensive advertising tactics within stores as well as directly from former CEO, Chip Wilson.
Lulu and I broke up about five years ago, not long after the sold the majority of their shares to American stakeholders and changed their clothing from "Made in Canada" to "Consciously Formulated in Vancouver, Made in China". Weirdly, Lulu's popularity has continued to grow. It's like no one else got the memo that trashing the planet and being offensive and sexist just isn't cool.
The latest fiasco: offensive comments regarding the female body made by former CEO Chip Wilson (video interview here), is just one more reason why hip yogis don't wear Lulu. When asked about recent complaints regarding Lulu's new pants (a response to last years see-through mess), Chip responded with:
"There's always been pilling.The things is that women will wear seat belts that don't work (with the pants), or they'll wear a purse that doesn't work, or quite frankly some women's bodies just actually don't work for it"
"Even our small sizes will fit an extra large. It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there, over a period of time..."
I'm sorry, adult women's thighs are supposed to touch. It is an anatomical reality. Many body image and eating disorders organizations are concerned about the "Thigh Gap" trend. Yep. There is a scary trend where "thighspiration" pins on pinterest, tumblr and the interwebs encourage girls and women to lose dangerous amounts of weight to try to achieve an (unachievable) gap between their thighs.
So, according to Chip Wilson, Lulu pants are for prepubescent girls who aren't fully developed yet, or women who are dangerously unhealthy. Right.
Instead of feeling like the Lulu logo is a status symbol, I now feel ashamed when I'm sporting my old Lulu clothing... it's a symbol of all that is wrong with the yoga corporate world.
There are so many other, environmentally friendly, options out there for yoga clothing! A quick search and you can quickly find some alternative options, many of which are most likely carried in specialty stores in a larger city centre near you.
Say NO to body shaming, to clothing made from non-eco material, to clothing made by people in factories under unsafe and underpaid conditions. Say NO to Lululemon.