Remember those simpler times when all you had to do to get ready for a workout was to put on a worn-out T-shirt and some old sweats? Well, no more. Thanks to companies like Lululemon, now members of the #fitspo lifestyle want to be Instagram-ready when they exercise.
There’s no shame in wanting to feel stylish, and Lululemon sure knows how to take advantage of our desire to look our best while holding downward-facing dog. The company managed to build a cult-like customer following by targeting young, self-sufficient women and giving them the opportunity to not only feel comfortable while working out, but also be able to go out to dinner right after their yoga class. Despite its effective marketing strategy and impressive earnings, though, Lululemon is often seen as one of the most bizarre companies out there. And for good reason.
For instance, did you know Lululemon's founder reportedly liked the company named because he believed Japanese people wouldn't be able to pronounce it? We kid you not. Or that the company once claimed its pants were made with seaweed, which turned out to be a lie? Yikes! Don’t worry, there’s more. We’ve gathered a hefty list of facts about the cult-like yoga brand to try and figure out why so many people call Lululemon weird. Read on.
Chip Wilson, Lululemon’s founder and former CEO, once said he thought children in third-world countries should be allowed to work in factories so they could earn wages. According to Canada's The Tyee, the statement was made at a conference back in 2005.
Wilson argued that “even in Canada there is a place for 12- and 13-year-old street youths to find work in local factories as an alternative to collecting handouts.”
In a fascinating blog post published on the company’s website, Wilson wrote: “The pill immediately transformed the sex lives of anyone under the age of 40[. ...] Women’s lives changed immediately. Men’s lives didn’t change however and they continued to search for a stay-at-home wife like their mothers. Men did not know how to relate to the new female. Thus came the era of divorces.”
He then went on about how women started smoking to appear successful and how “[...] Lululemon was formed because female education levels, breast cancer, yoga/athletics and the desire to dress feminine came together all at one time.” The company has since removed Wilson as an author.
According to the company’s official website, the name Lululemon was chosen from a list of multiple potential names. Wilson once said he liked the name because he thought Japanese people couldn't say the letter "L" and it was funny to watch them try.
He eventually denied making these claims, but you know how it is - once it's on the internet, it's out there forever.