There’s a story making its way around the Internet this week about a former lululemon employee who disclosed that shunning plus-size shoppers is part of the company’s business strategy (plus-size apparently is anything over size 12).
Sadly, the news is reminiscent of the recent Abercrombie & Fitch fiasco, in which the CEO unapologetically admitted that he didn’t want plus-size shoppers because they weren’t the “cool kids.”
But lululemon is different – lululemon has a great mission, and by all accounts, seems to be a great company. In fact, the company’s manifesto inspired us at Green Mountain to create our wo-manifesto.
To the powers that be at lululemon, I would hope a company that touts in its manifesto that “your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself” and “stress is related to 99% of all illness” would not want to create more stress for women or give them reason to dislike themselves anymore than they might already because they don’t fit the mold.
I expect a company that says “sweat once a day to regenerate your skin” to promote and enable all of us to sweat once a day.
This blog post is not a bitter commentary on the injustices of retail choices for plus-size women. Rather, I want to use this post to encourage lululemon to fulfill its destiny as the “values-based company” that it says it is.
This blog post is not a bitter commentary on the injustices of retail options for larger women. Rather, I want to use this post to encourage lululemon to fulfill its destiny as the “values-based company” that it claims to be. Community, sustainability and goal-setting are all evangelized on the company’s website.
In fact, under the website’s community section, it describes an “ambassador program” that is “extended to unique individuals in our store communities who embody the lululemon lifestyle and live our culture.”
I would argue that these women who happen to be plus-sized yogis probably embody and live the lululemon lifestyle more than many of the women who currently can pull on a pair of lulu’s yoga pants comfortably.
I don’t see any downsides for lululemon expanding its clothing sizes beyond size 12. We already know the “average American woman” wears a size 14. And we know many of these women are doing yoga. I don’t think people will stop shopping at lululemon because it’s not exclusionary. In fact, I would venture to say that most people who shop there would like to support their friends and families in living a lululemon lifestyle and be able to do it with their lulu pants, crops and hoodies on, too.
What’s your take on lululemon’s size policy?
Photo by lululemon athletica