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Founded by Chip Wilson in Vancouver, Canada in 1998, lululemon is a yoga-inspired, technical athletic apparel company for women and men. What started as a design studio by day and yoga studio by night soon became a standalone store in November of 2000 on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Lululemon’s first designs were made for women to wear during yoga. Through plenty of feedback from their guests, ambassadors and elite athletes, Lululemon now design for yoga, running, cycling, training and most other sweaty pursuits for women and men.
Lululemon’s sustainability and social impact strategy is organized into three interconnected pillars, each with a vision for success, goals and commitments, and strategies: be human, be well, and be planet.
Lululemon source their products and fabrics from 26 countries around the world, including the U.S.A. In 2020, they’ve partnered with 55 active cut-and-sew facilities, and all of these facilities are regularly assessed. As of Fall 2016, they are certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). As of Spring 2017, 100% of their down product is certified to the RDS. This ensures Lululemon down doesn’t come from live-plucked or force-fed geese and all the down supplied is a bi-product of the food industry that would have otherwise gone to waste. With the support of CANOPY, a not-for-profit environmental organization, Lululemon developed a plan to protect ancient and endangered forests through mindful fabric choices. Now, the brand does not source any fabrics from ancient or endangered forests.
Lululemon have signed the Responsible Sourcing Network’s Cotton Pledge to end forced child and adult labour in the harvesting of cotton and are in the midst of transitioning to 100% non-mulesed wool.
Lululemon require that suppliers subit their waste streams, reduction targets and management systems, through the annual Higg Facility module. We encourage reduced waste and using fabrics in other ways where possible, and support through a product and fabric donation program for some regions.
By 2025, Lululemon have made the commitment to using at least 75 percent sustainable materials—including fibres that recycled, renewable, regenerative, sourced responsibly, or some combination. Lululemon have committed to using 100% renewable electricity for their owned and operated facilities by 2021 and over 90% of their damaged and excess products are resold, donated or recycled. A small amount of hard-to-recycle items are sent to a waste to energy facility to generate electricity.
Here to Be is lululemon’s social impact program. Together with their partners, they disrupt inequity in wellbeing through movement, mindfulness, and advocacy. We work with global, national, and local organizations and provide support that includes funding, connection, and amplification.