Yoga teachers across the country are calling out Lululemon for their coal-powered factories that directly go against the company’s public branding.
Lululemon’s motto, “Be Human, Be Well, and Be Planet,” is the exact opposite of what the company is doing. The brand relies on coal-powered factories in Asia to create its incredibly pricey apparel along with serious human rights violations.
Now, a climate campaign is targeting the multibillion-dollar company for its inconsistencies in its public branding. The Guardian reported that 477 yoga teachers and over 500 yoga students across the country have signed an open letter to ask Lululemon to source its products from factories using renewable energy.
The letter titled: Practice What You Preach: Open Letter To Lululemon comes from yoga teachers and practitioners who are concerned about the state of the planet, climate change, and human communities. The letter asks Lululemon to publicly commit to phasing out coal and switching to 100 percent renewable energy for its supply chain by 2030.
“Before yoga was a commodity that Lululemon could profit off, it was, in ancient times, the original philosophy of decolonization, which aimed at interrupting systemic harm to make room for independent persons,” said Dr. Shyam Ranganathan, Yoga Philosophy. “If Lululemon wants to make money off of yoga, it ought to embody the practice of yoga, and do its part to disrupt climate change by, for starters, divesting from coal.”
Lululemon is one of the largest and fast-growing fitness apparel brands in the world. The company makes it seem like they are conscious and sustainable, but there is a large disconnect between what they say they value and what they do. Their use of coal is contributing to the climate emergency, driving biodiversity loss, and it still seems profit is the only thing they care about.
Source: Barbara Shaw/YouTube
Yoga teachers around the globe signed the open letter, including South Australian yoga teacher and current lululemon ambassador Prasanna Djukanovic.
“Yoga teachers and students are consciously siding with the planet. lululemon need to lead in response to the climate crisis and reduce the harm their products are doing,” Djukanovic said.
Although Lululemon has a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the facilities it owns and operates by 60 percent by 2030 it is not enough. Lululemon is responsible for emitting 20,374 tonnes of CO2 through activities it could directly control, according to CDP. The company’s supply chain makes up 381,797 tonnes of CO2e.
A report by lululemon says that its emissions per dollar have risen by 4 percent since 2018. The company reported expected net revenue of $7.9bn for this year, with annual revenue growing by about 26 percent. The company aims to double revenue between 2021 and 2026, but they must put climate change at the forefront of their company’s decisions!
In addition to climate crimes, the company has also been found to violate numerous human rights. Lululemon leggings can be quite expensive, yet their workers are paid around £85 a month, which is less than a pair of leggings. Women factory workers in Bangladesh said they are beaten and physically abused. The pressure to hit targets means workers are forced to work overtime and feel unable to leave their workstations.
One woman said, “He slapped me so hard my cheeks turned red and everyone asked me what happened. I couldn’t tell them the actual story. I just told them I had allergies.”
Read the open letter here and sign to speak up!
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