Lululemon against capitalism? Now that’s a stretch!
The trendy athleisure brand known for its pricey leggings and yoga pants drew fire this week for promoting an event teaching participants to “resist capitalism.”
Online commenters mocked the Canadian company — whose stock price has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic — after it plugged the “Decolonizing Gender” workshop hosted by Rebby Kern, a yoga instructor and Lululemon ambassador.
Lululemon featured an ad for Kern’s Sept. 17 workshop aiming to “unveil historical erasure & resist capitalism” in a Sept. 5 Instagram post that also promoted four other “members of our collective.”
Critics slammed the post as ironic and hypocritical, given that Lululemon couldn’t sell its $138 tights or $148 jogger pants if it weren’t operating in a capitalist society.
“LMAO ‘resist capitalism’ what do you think your entire business is predicated off of?” one Instagram commenter wrote. “I don’t see you giving away pants for free…or even selling them at an affordable cost.”
“How exactly does a publicly traded company resist capitalism?” Chris Manning tweeted. “Will they be delisting from the stock market and changing their business model to a worker’s co-op?”
On Friday, Lululemon noted that the event was organized by a brand ambassador. It removed the post from the company’s Instagram page late Friday morning.
“This is not a lululemon forum and it does not represent the company’s views,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
Kern did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Lululemon made the Instagram post three days before it reported a $489.5 million gross profit for the second quarter thanks to a 155 percent spike in net direct-to-consumer revenue. The recent growth came as the COVID-19 pandemic led hunkered-down consumers to eschew office wear for comfier clothes.
The Vancouver-based retailer has also seen its stock price climb nearly 40 percent since early March to close at $320 on Thursday.
CEO Calvin McDonald has stood by the brand’s steep prices for its high-end casual wear last year, telling The Wall Street Journal that there was “no need” to cut them.