Lululemon was, for several years, revered as one of the leaders in fast expansion and growth. They had the so called “Apple effect” over all of the younger half of society. The “Apple effect” is the cool factor that completely encapsulates a whole generation, lululemon was that company for the women’s athletic apparel industry. They essentially created an entire new industry, the “athletic leisure” industry. They were nearly unstoppable until about 3 years ago when their founder and CEO Chip Wilson say some very shocking and inappropriate things about the effect a woman’s weight has on the lululemon fabric. This wasn’t a subtle thing that was just a blip on everyone’s radar, this had huge implications on lululemon’s business over the course of the next 3 years.
In my opinion and in the opinion of many other people, the comments by the CEO are not the only reason why people stopped buying their product. I think that people just simply took a little bit of a closer look into the company and why it was all that great and found some things that weren’t as pleasing as they might seem. According to several blogs about Lululemon I wasn’t the only one who thought about it this way. Kimberly Lo of the elephant journal said “In a nutshell, the combination of shoddy workmanship and poor working conditions of its workers was the reason I stopped buying from there.” However by digging a little bit deeper I found that Lululemon’s production wasn’t quite the only thing that was wrong with the company as a whole. After a reading a blogpost by Elizabeth Licorish of the Huffington Post I started to get very concerned about the way employees were treated at Lululemon.
Elizabeth worked at Lululemon in 2011 as a job in-between jobs, she hoped it would change her lifestyle for the positive. She soon realized that the not-trying-to-be-cool-but-is-cool culture that lululemon had was extremely false. The workers there were forced to eat healthy and were shamed for drinking anything other than water. She talks about an experience she had with another coworker who called her out for drinking anything but water. This blogpost really opened my eyes about lululemon who I once put on a pedestal. They have so much more wrong with their company than a CEO who makes generally sexist remarks on a regular basis. This has changed my opinion about lululemon drastically.
Links to blogposts: