Lululemon Founder Says Diversity And Inclusion Pushed Company To Use ‘Unhealthy’ Models

( – Yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica was founded in Vancouver, Canada, in 1998 by Chip Wilson. According to the company’s site, its vision was to not only create clothes that women could exercise in but also a community of people interested in living a healthy lifestyle. In 2013, Wilson made some controversial remarks about women’s bodies during a TV interview and was ousted from his position.

On January 3, the New York Post reported that Wilson spoke out against the company again, this time slamming Lululemon for embracing the “whole diversity and inclusion thing.” He claimed the policy led the company to use “unhealthy” and “sickly” people in ads. The former CEO recently told Forbes during an interview that the brand has morphed into the Gap, becoming “everything to everybody.”

Wilson said a brand needs to cater to a certain clientele that separates it from the competition, indicating that Lululemon’s blanket approach dilutes the brand itself. He reportedly went on to say that companies need to be clear they “don’t want certain customers coming in.” While he didn’t specify who those “certain customers” were for Lululemon, Wilson said “some women’s bodies” don’t work with the company’s pants.

A Lululemon spokesperson quickly responded to the ex-CEO’s comments, telling The Post Wilson “does not speak for [the company], and his comments do not reflect [the] company views or beliefs.” Lululemon has reportedly thrived since launching its “inclusion, diversity, equity, and action” policies. Indeed,

In June 2020, the company committed to fund its Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action policy by funding the initiative with $5 million per year, expanding company training for employees and leaders, increasing diverse representation for the brand, and using its position in the marketplace to advocate for change. Since then, Lululemon’s stock has increased by over 71%. During the third quarter of 2023, the company brought in $2.2 billion in revenue.

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