Lululemon Founder Criticizes Company’s Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
In a recent interview, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has voiced his dissatisfaction with the company’s focus on diversity and inclusion. Wilson, who cultivated the brand known for its yoga-inspired athletic wear, claimed that Lululemon is venturing into the territory of catering to everyone, similar to Gap, and losing its clear brand identity in the process.
Wilson particularly expressed his disappointment with the models featured in Lululemon’s advertisements, labeling them as unhealthy and uninspiring. This criticism comes as no surprise, as the founder has a history of making controversial comments. In 2015, he caused outrage by suggesting that Lululemon leggings are not suitable for certain body types, a statement which drew criticism as being fatphobic.
His remarks regarding diversity and inclusion follow a pattern of contentious statements made by Wilson. In the past, he has linked higher divorce rates to birth control pills and even advocated for child labor in certain Asian countries.
Despite his departure from the company in 2015, Wilson still holds an 8% stake in Lululemon. This has contributed to his significant net worth, which currently stands at nearly $8 billion. However, Lululemon was quick to distance itself from Wilson’s comments, stating that he does not speak for the company and that his personal views do not reflect their values.
In response to Wilson’s criticism, Lululemon emphasized its commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The brand highlighted the progress they have made through their Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action (IDEA) function. Lululemon assured customers that they remain dedicated to creating a welcoming and diverse environment for all.
As the controversy surrounding Wilson’s remarks continues, it remains to be seen how Lululemon will navigate the situation and uphold its commitment to inclusivity.
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