2013 has not been kind to Vancouver-based Lululemon. In March, they yanked a line of their popular Luon yoga pants from shelves after it was discovered they turned sheer in certain positions (think downward dog). In June, CEO Christine Day resigned. Now former employees have claimed larger sizes at the store are given secondary treatment, being relegated to the back of stores and stashed under tables.
“All the other merchandise in the store was kind of sacred, but these were thrown in a heap,” Elizabeth Licorish, who worked at a Philadelphia Lululemon for a whopping four months in 2011, told The Huffington Post. “It was definitely discriminatory to those who wear larger sizes.”
While the average North American dress size is a 12, Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson has said larger sizes are no gold mine for his company. In a 2005 interview with the Calgary Herald, Wilson claimed plus-size clothing requires 30 percent more fabric, making it more expensive to produce. “It’s a money loser, for sure,” he said at the time.
Ironically, the yogis who work in Lululemon’s PR department recommended on their website’s Frequently Asked Questions page that customers who still felt their yoga pants were too sheer may not “have the benefit of doing an in-store fit session with one of our educators to make sure the fit is right for them.” In other words, buy bigger sizes. You’ll find them in the back.