Press release: Lululemon under fire from yoga teachers over fossil fuels
Wednesday, September 14, 2022: Lululemon’s reliance on fossil fuels exacerbates the climate crisis. A group of concerned yoga teachers have joined forces to demand change.
Over 500 yoga teachers from 30 countries have signed an open letter to Lululemon, urging the athleisure giant to publicly commit to quit coal and transition to 100 percent renewable wind and solar power across its supply chain.
Lululemon’s marketing claims its clothes are ‘designed by yogis’ and aims for all products to be designed sustainably. However, almost half of the energy powering Lululemon factories comes from burning coal, the largest driver of the climate crisis.
“Almost half of the energy which powers Lululemon factories comes from coal,” said Action Speaks Louder Head of Campaigns Laura Kelly, “Lululemon will tell you not to worry about any of this, because they have a plan to reduce emissions from fossil fuels. But unfortunately, this is another marketing moment where the gap between appearance and reality bites.”
Within the letter, the yoga leaders state ‘Lululemon’s reliance on coal as a source of energy is extremely harmful to people and the environment, particularly in countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, where its products are made’ and call for the company to ‘ immediately phase out coal and source 100 percent renewable energy such as solar and wind from your factories and across your supply chain.’
According to Living Yoga’s Sierra Hollister, herself a former Lululemon ambassador, “Lululemon is uniquely positioned to make good on their core value “taking personal responsibility” and also move industry standards by committing to quit coal and utilize renewable energy in their manufacturing plants. With the climate crisis threatening every aspect of life on earth, it is more important than ever for each of us to do everything in our power to turn the wheel and step away from business as usual – which is literally killing us.”
Fossil fuels like coal cause dangerous climate change and air pollution that is responsible for the deaths of millions of people around the world each year. Nearly one in five premature deaths globally are attributed to air pollution that’s caused by fossil fuels, according to a 2018 Harvard study.
Lululemon claims to have an emissions reduction target of 60 per cent, but if you check the details you’ll find a ‘lulu-loophole’. The commitment is an ‘intensity-based target’ and based on Lululemon’s plans to double revenue by 2026, will actually allow the company’s overall emissions to increase.
The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis, with greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) estimated by Stand.Earth to be between 5-10% of the global total, exceeding both the aviation and shipping sectors, with projections of a further 30% growth in emissions by 2030.
“Lululemon has built one of the world’s fastest growing apparel brands by promoting personal well-being that can be achieved through yoga. Yoga leaders around the world are saying very clearly back to Lululemon: get serious about protecting the well-being of both people and planet by shifting its factories off coal, investing in renewable energy, and advocating for the rapid transition from coal to renewables in countries where its factories are located,” said Gary Cook, Global Climate Campaigns Director at Stand.earth.
For yoga practitioners and teachers who want to take action
James Lorenz (Australia) +61 (0) 400 376021 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Pomilio, Erikson Communication Group | email@example.com