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Lululemon founder

Lululemon founder gets backlash for saying its clothes don’t ‘work for some women’s bodies’

He also described its models as ‘unhealthy’ and ‘sickly’ looking


Surprise, surprise, another male founder of a fitness brand has made very questionable comments about women’s bodies. Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon has come under fire for making comments questioning the company’s “whole diversity and inclusion thing” in a recent interview with Forbes magazine.

Founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson said: “They’re trying to become like the Gap, everything to everybody. And I think the definition of a brand is that you’re not everything to everybody. You’ve got to be clear that you don’t want certain customers coming in.”

Chip also described the women who are used for Lululemon’s adverts as: “unhealthy,” “sickly” and “not inspirational.”

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In a statement, Lululemon said that Chip does not speak for the company and that his views don’t stand for its values or beliefs. It said it’s a “very different company today” since Chip left the board in 2015, and that he has not been involved with the company since.

“Lululemon is committed to creating and fostering an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming environment throughout our organization and across our communities. We have made considerable progress since launching our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (IDEA) function, and we are proud of the goals we have achieved. We also recognize that becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization takes time and is only possible through the sustained efforts of our leaders and our people.”

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This isn’t the first time the Luluemon founder has come under fire for controversial comments. In 2005 he claimed that he chose a brand name that included three Ls specifically because the sound does not exist in Japanese phonetics. He said at the time: “It’s funny to watch them try and say it.”

CNN also reported that he and his employees once dressed up as babies working with sewing machines to try to stay ahead of criticism that Lululemon relied on child labour. “It was just a marketing insurance policy, let’s call it,” Wilson told CNN in 2018. “Nobody could accuse us of child labour, because we agreed with it.”

In 2013 Lululemon’s black pants were recalled after criticism that they were low quality and sheer. In response, Chip said: “Some women’s bodies don’t work for the pants.

“It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time.” He later stepped down as chairman of the board of directors, but he is still the top shareholder at Lululemon with a remaining eight per cent stake in the fitness fashion brand.

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