During the early 2000’s, I was working my way through university and could only justify paying $100 for a pair of yoga pants because they were made in Canada, and I was supporting local workers.
However, around 2004 I discovered that Lululemon had just expanded their production to China. Opening up shop in China and charging the same price, for the same product and obviously paying these workers lower wages, I didn’t just think it was right.
Therefore, I wrote a disgruntled email to Lululemon headquarters and received a generic email response thanking me for my business and explaining the growth of their company, etc. How are they now any different from Nike, I thought? Well…at least they continue operate their main factory in Vancouver, I rationalized.
Lululemon has even infiltrated the Hollywood crowd, as seen purchased by Cameron Diaz.
Recently, the company’s profits have tripled in the last quarter.
According the the Vancouver Sun:
For the 13 weeks in the quarter, sales were $138 million US, up from $81.7 million US during the 13 weeks ending May 3, 2009. At the same time, costs of the goods sold increased only 37 per cent, from $46.7 million US to $63.9 US. As a result, profits jumped from $6.5 million to $19.6 million during the quarter, or 28 cents US a share compared to nine cents US a share a year earlier.
I like the description written on Wikipedia regarding what Lululemon Athletica has now become:
Originally marketed as yogawear, today the brand is best known by fans as very-well-fitting workout clothing that is more likely to be worn to and from the gym, on airplanes, and at home.
It’s so true! I never travel on international long-haul flights without my black Groove Pants, which I’ve had for over 7 years and they still look great. Seriously. I attribute my pants’ longevity to the fact they were actually manufactured in Vancouver! And I never put them in the dryer 😉
What do YOU think about Lululemon attire and their business practices?