+1,500 Yoga Practitioners Worldwide Urge Lululemon To Switch from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy

Thursday September 15, 2022

Lululemon’s reliance on fossil fuels exacerbates the climate crisis. A group of concerned yoga teachers and students have joined forces to demand change. 

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — Over 1,500 yoga practitioners - 500 teachers and 1,000 students - representing more than 25 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 by 2030.  

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, 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. 

The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis, with greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) estimated 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.

"I signed the letter to Lululemon because the pollution from the production of Lululemon's apparel is a threat both to human health and climate change," Yogacharini Maitreyi, founder of the Arkaya Awareness Centre & Arkaya Foundation said. “Lululemon’s failure to address the health and climate impacts of its supply chain is out of alignment with the company’s values and brand promise. I invite the yoga community to join me in signing the letter asking Lululemon to quit coal and go renewable by 2030.”  

The yoga leaders’ letter is supported by environmental organisation Stand.Earth and corporate campaign group, Action Speaks Louder.

 

“Lululemon has built one of the world's fastest growing apparel brands by promoting personal well-being that can be achieved through yoga,” Gary Cook, Global Climate Campaigns Director at Stand.earth said. “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.”

For yoga practitioners and teachers who want to take action: stand.earth/yoga-letter 

Learn more about Stand.earth's Fossil Free Fashion Campaign and lululemon’s fossil fuel problem at  lulucoal.com.

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Media contacts: 

James Lorenz (Australia) +61 (0) 400 376021 | james@speakslouder.org 

Emily Pomilio, Stand.earth Corporate Campaigns | emily@eriksongroup.com