Shortly after the brand unveiled a new line of running shoes, locals ran out of patience because of Lululemon’s reliance on fossil fuels.
About 10 protesters rallied at the company’s Kitsilano store in Vancouver to demand that it switch to cleaner energy instead of using coal to generate electricity. Signs called for them to “go coal-free by 2023” and declared, “Lululemon: made with coal.”
An analysis conducted by Stand.earth found that Lululemon’s Blissfeel women’s running shoes – which were only recently launched – are made in factories in China that get 66% of their energy from coal. Only 9% comes from renewable energy sources. Most of their businesses now rely on a coal-fired electricity grid, further contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
“To the chants of ‘No Coal,’ activists hosted an aerobics workshop on Lululemon’s climate failures,” organizers told Stand.earth in a statement.
“Participants did group stretching exercises, tracked human footprints on the sidewalk, and gave out fake charcoal in front of the store. Others held up banners that read, “Feel Bliss?” with an image of coal pouring out of Lululemon’s new Blissfeel shoes while nearby one of the ‘coal’ filled shoes has been placed on a white pedestal.”
Erdene Batzorig, a Vancouver resident and digital campaigner at Stand.earth’s Fossil Free Fashion campaign, says Lululemon should start using clean energy as soon as possible.
“Lululemon’s new line of women’s running shoes may be dubbed ‘Blissfeel’ because of the way it feels on your feet, but the carbon-fired manufacturing of these shoes is far from a blessing for people and the climate,” said Batzorig.
“This is especially true for women, who often bear the brunt of Lululemon’s climate and air pollution — especially in countries like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh — where the products are made.”
At the same time, Lululemon presents itself as a “healthy lifestyle” brand and sustainability leader.
“Lululemon is notably absent from collaborative efforts signed by other fashion brands, including competitor Nike, to encourage fashion-producing countries to scale up renewable energy,” the statement said.
By relying on coal, organizers say the brand is increasing demand for the resource.
Daily Hive Vancouver contacted Lululemon for an interview and will update this article.
Stand.earth has been calling on Lululemon to take more climate action for over a year.
When they exhibited theirs Fossil-free fashion Scorecarding fashion companies for their efforts to address climate change, they gave Lululemon a D- for “failing to take meaningful steps to work with suppliers to increase the use of renewable energy in its supply chain phase out coal or advocate for sourcing renewable energy for its factories.”