Lululemon is a well-known brand. They create high-end menswear and womenswear, including leggings, sports tops, and much more.
But, is Lululemon sustainable? In this analysis, we’ll take a look at key information available to help you make an informed choice.
Let’s get straight into it.
Lululemon’s Material Choices Aren’t Always Sustainable
Lululemon has committed to including sustainable materials in 100% of their products by 2030. They’re also planning to offer reselling and repair programs by 2025.
However, these two initiatives aren’t specific or measurable.
For example, in their bestselling leggings, the brand still relies on traditional Nylon and Lyrca. In many of Lululemon’s product ranges, such as the sweatshirts and tees, the brand uses non-organic cotton instead of more eco-friendly material choices.
That said, Lululemon do set out big goals, which you can read on their Sustainability page. However, in our view, the timeline of these goals means there are still better choices.
Does Lululemon Treat Workers Fairly?
Reports in The Guardian have found that workers in factories in Bangladesh that make Lululemon leggings report being subject to abuse— verbal and physical— if they break any rules or leave early.
As well as that, the same report found that some workers in the factories producing Lululemon’s leggings aren’t paid living wages.
This isn’t acceptable for any brand today, let alone one that charges premium prices for it’s products.
So, Is Lululemon Sustainable?
Lululemon is part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and they have set goals to use more more sustainable materials, and improve labor conditions for workers in their supply chain.
However, as progress isn’t clear on how they’re faring against their sustainability goals, we’d be lying if we said Lululemon is an ethical business today.
4 Ethical Alternatives to Lululemon
The good news is that you can make a choice not to buy from Lululemon. Instead, you can choose to support ethical businesses producing high-quality sustainable activewear and know that you’re not supporting businesses with values that don’t align with yours.
Girlfriend is another brilliant alternative if you need high-quality, stylish activewear.
The brand is an ethical business through-and-through. From recycling almost 4 million plastic water bottles and using them in their clothes, to preventing over 4 million pounds of CO2 being created with sustainable manufacturing processes, it’s clear that Girlfriend is dedicated to doing business for good.
Their popular sports bras, leggings, and swimwear always include innovative materials that are kind of the planet, and on your skin, and everything is created in a Fair Trade Certified, SA8000 certified, fair wage guaranteed factory in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Organic Basics makes minimalist but high-quality basics and activewear: leggings, sports tops, and more.
The brand is a B Corporation, and invests in a green Europe-based supply chain and only works with trusted certified factory partners that are regularly visited and audited.
Organic Basics also focus on using sustainable materials: GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, recycled nylon, TENCEL Lyocell, and recycled wool, among others.
It’s a great place to find leggings, sports bras, t-shirts, and more.
prAna makes high-quality sustainable clothing for people with active lifestyles, ideal for yoga, travel, and any other outdoor adventures.
The brand uses various eco-friendly materials such as hemp, GOTS certified organic cotton, and a range of recycled materials. prAna was even the very first brand to bring Fair Trade Certified clothing to the market, back in 2011.
If you need leggings, sports tops, or any other type of activewear, prAna is a great alternative to Lululemon.
Patagonia is arguably the original ethical brand out there. It’s a Certified B Corp, a member of 1% For The Planet, and contributes to climate action groups to help find and fund actionable solutions to the climate crisis.
The brand makes a range of apparel, including high-quality activewear like leggings, sports bras, sports tops, and comfy sweatshirts and bottoms.
It’s hard to go wrong with Patagonia items, and the brand will even repair your used Patagonia gear for you.