As a yoga newbie, I couldn’t help but notice that nearly everyone in my yoga class has one of the smooth, Lululemon yoga mats. Prior to starting yoga, my only perception of the brand was that it’s expensive.
Now that I’m more exposed to the brand, I have started seeing the little logo outside of the yoga studio – from jackets people wear in the grocery store to water bottles of fellow classmates. Feeling like I might be missing out on the brand of the century, I decided to do a little research.
Turns out the founder of the company, Chip Wilson, has been known for saying some pretty inappropriate stuff – topics ranging from sexism to racism to classism (read about this stuff here, here, and here). BUT he went a little too far in 2013, and had to step down as Chairman because of some of those indelicate comments. Then just this month he officially cut ties with the company and resigned from the board.
Although I don’t yet own any Lululemon gear, I have thought pretty deeply about what it would say about me and what I’d be promoting. Are the current consumers of the products aware that the founder did not have yogis’ best intentions in mind when he created the brand? If I wore Lululemon, would it seem like I was okay with the fact that he wanted to exploit the “Power Women”? But now that Wilson is entirely disconnected from the brand, does none of this ring true?
I haven’t started filling up my Lululemon online shopping cart yet. I have a yoga mat and yoga pants that work just fine. Maybe someday if I am practicing yoga at a level that I need a fancier mat, I will consider it.
Do you own anything from Lululemon?
Did you know about Chip Wilson?
Do his actions impact your feelings about the brand?
Is the quality of the products worth the premium price?
Do you think the brand reflects who you are, and if so, in what way?