Blahblahlemon workout attire: or, “living conciously while shopping blindly”

I’ve always been suspicious of Lululemon’s “AMAZING” workout clothes. Sure, it’s nice to have a fairly high-rise, form-fitting tank top on when you’re bending over but guess what? Everyone makes them, and they don’t have to cost $52 plus tax.

Just to make sure I wasn’t being a totally cynical jerk, I walked into the store once and sure enough the experience did nothing to abate the sensation that we were all being had. I just wanted to run around shaking people and yelling “they’re made of people. PEOPLE!”

Regardless, you could buy something at half the price and spend the money saved doing something meaningful, which is the kind of advice that Lululemon would seem to encourage, see this “manifesto”:

so inspiring

so inspiring

while falling far short of reality.

Brand loyalty is a powerful thing. That’s why those Mac commercials starring Justin Long and the Bill Gates-type actor seemed like overkill to me. Between product placement in popular films and television shows, minimalistic product design and packaging, and the musicians who lend their talents to well devised commercials WE GET IT. Apple products are for the cool, creative, good looking people we want to be, Dells and HPs are for the office wonks we really are, so we retaliate with Droid phones marketed to people yearn to be “over” Apple (guilty!) so it’s the same old story, and I fully admit to being both a victim and a perpetrator of the problem.

It’s more or less silly and harmless, except that when you think about it, in this country some of the most meaningful votes you cast are with your paycheck. And unfortunately, there are a lot of brands that promote unity with the earth, holistic living, blah blah blah while making money hand over fist through child labor, cult like tactics and oh, yes, wildly lying about stupid stuff like clothes made out of seaweed.


If you have $100 to spend on yoga attire, there are many more ethical and affordable options. For example finding clothes in a pile of hobo urine on the street, which I think is what I’m going to do after watching Never Let Me Go and getting really depressed about disposable human beings and how that relates to labor practices that enable the production of cheap goods for wealthy, privileged consumers. Two of whom, let’s face it, are probably you and me.

Now do I make ethical consumer choices all the time? Not necessarily. However, I find it particularly rankling when a company’s brand is at direct odds with its practices. Does Ann Taylor sell scarves produced by children in Indonesia? I have no idea. Probably. But they aren’t selling themselves as mindful, so while I may not bother shopping there, I’m also not going to bother blogging about it either. The day they start deceptively packaging their clothes as part of some kind of holistic & earth friendly ideology, IT’S ON ANN TAYLOR.

If you simply must have the Lulu clothes, I’m not going to give you any grief about it. Just don’t be hoodwinked by their (admittedly wildly successful) marketing campaign, or believe you are supporting a company with lofty values or practices. It’s all talk and they are laughing like Buddha all the way to the bank.

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