The Day I Broke Up with Lululemon.

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A few years ago, I was chatting with my bestie, when she dropped the bomb, “You know Lululemon isn’t made in Canada anymore?

This simple statement changed my relationship with Lulu forever. I felt cheated, lied to, betrayed. It was over. And so began the seven stages of grief:

Shock: “What? Are you sure?” She assured me that a Yogini friend of hers had just been in the store and the tags now read, “Designed in Canada. Made In China.”

Denial: No, it can’t be true. This Yogini doesn’t know what she’s talking about. So a couple of days later, when the shock had worn off, I had to see for myself. I marched into my local Lululemon to prove her wrong, or so I thought.

Anger: OMG it is true! While walking around looking at the tags, I found “Designed in Canada, made in China.” Made in China!  As someone who is trying be socially responsible, I had been doing my best to avoid buying things made in China. The thought of some eight year old child in a sweatshop making my yoga clothes was breaking my heart.

Bargaining: Okay, but I have this gift card I was given for my birthday… I’ll just spend that, then I’ll never set foot in here again. It was a gift, after all. I can’t be rude and let it go to waste.

Depression: It had taken me forever to find cute, well-made yoga clothes that lasted. I was comfortable in my Lululemon. The store was just down the street. I even got a discount. Was I going to have to settle for ill-fitting yoga pants that don’t last? Was I going to have to wear unitards or learn to sew?

Testing: Okay, so if I wasn’t going to shop at Lululemon, where could I get my yoga clothes? I poured myself a mug of tea and pulled out the laptop. Ahhh, the power of Google. I started to search, “Yoga clothing made in Canada” and “Yoga clothing made in the USA.” Well, whaddaya know? There’s actually a lot out there.

Acceptance: After the break up, I could see things more clearly. Although I had grown comfortable and secure with Lululemon, the truth was it never really was a good match. I realized the signs were there from the beginning.

I never really jived with their message or values.

There was also a lack of larger sizes, which always bothered me, as a girl gifted in the bootie. They really only had one style of pants I could wear.

Truth be told, I was more punk rock than sporty anyway. In the long run, it was a good thing. Lulu and I were never really meant to be after all. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.

Once I broke up with Lululemon, I was free to try all kinds of cute, sustainable, sweatshop-free yoga threads.

I now wear yoga clothing I can teach in guilt-free. I said goodbye to LuLulemon and never looked back.

Where to find Made in USA and Made in Canada yoga clothes


Why I Don’t Hate Lululemon.

Yoga Doesn’t Care: A Disclaimer that should be Posted in every Studio.

Spray on Pants: Lululemon’s Latest Trend? {Jimmy Kimmel}

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Clothes.


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Author: Nyk Danu

Apprentice Editor: Megan Ridge Morris/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: courtesy of author

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About Nyk Danu

Nyk Danu, Creator of “Real Yoga For The Rest Of Us”, teaches Yoga and Meditation in person and virtually on the internet. She is a self-professed Yoga geek, Buddhist, Activist, Tattoo lover and Green tea addict . You can find out more about Nyk and sign up for free Yoga videos on her website. Connect with Nyk on facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.


51 Responses to “The Day I Broke Up with Lululemon.”

  1. kristinepregot says:

    Thanks for the information. Interesting to know. Being a concious consumer / yogini is the next wave and not just doing the asanas.


  2. Cara says:

    Agreed. There are SO many options for great, locally made clothing. Or pajamas work when you're practicing at home… but kinda hard to teach in pajamas.

  3. Sarah Kent says:

    Hey great post!

    Love how you stood by your standards and found other solutions. Amazing how we get attached to brands and how funnelled out thinking becomes as a result.



  4. Kinzie says:

    Ahhhh but I'm dying to know– what did you do about the gift card??! (This is a totally serious question. I would have been so torn!)

  5. Claudia says:

    Great post, Nyk. I've been fed up with them for a while now, way too much controversy lately and somehow it doesn't really feel like a yogic outfit anymore. Pun intended.

  6. Candrina Bailey says:

    Yes, and — even worse — their prices don't reflect that they're using less expensive labour. Nyk, I'd love to hear about where you're purchasing from now (perhaps your next Elephant Journal post?)



  7. Natasha De Graff says:

    thank you for sharing!

  8. Beverly says:

    Really enjoyed your article, thank you for sharing!

  9. Heather says:

    You are an inspiration for the rest of us yoginis! Perhaps if enough of us stop shopping there, they will go back to ethical production
    thanks for being the voice of change

  10. Rachel says:

    There are, oh, SO many reasons to ditch Lululemon and its synthetic brandism…and this is one of the best 🙂

  11. Melissa says:

    LOVE THIS. You are a woman after my own heart. Thank you for spreading the message!!!!!!

  12. A friend is the maker of US made Balini Sport – great stylish products that are not made in china.

  13. Mira says:

    You sound like a perfect customer for my line. Hemp & organic cotton, made in USA 🙂

  14. sara says:

    Thanks for a great article!

  15. Susie says:

    Love this article! Raising awareness around locally made vs not, is really important especially when many of lulu's customers are yogis, who tend to be conscious shoppers. Companies like Lulu can be very misleading by not informing their customers when things such as their manufacturing choices aren't communicated well. Thanks so much for this 🙂

    • Nyk says:

      Yes and we as consumers can be naive to the power we have to vote with our dollar. There are so many ethical choices out there we just have to dig a little an not settle.

  16. Kurt says:

    I recommend No Logo by Naomi Klien.

  17. Great article! What was with the design of the front of their leggings? Seriously a man must have designed those (sorry guys) but there was some severe camel toe issues happening there!

  18. Liz says:

    Thanks for caring about where your clothes are made.

  19. Renee says:

    Learned something new and love the way you wrote it 🙂

  20. cindie borg says:

    Thanks for a great article. I didn’t know they were made in China. My husband bought me a gift certificate for Christmas. Now what to do. My seven stages grief is just beginning. 🙂

  21. Anna says:

    Salute your social responsibility. Well impressed. Light and funny article, but gosh doesn’t it open my eyes to how, where and from whom do I shop.

  22. Amy says:

    Great support for the new economy! Thank you!

  23. Philip says:

    Way to put your dollars where your values are Nyk! You are an inspiration!!

  24. gdr23 says:

    I am in agreement and have been for years. Never supported LuLu and discourage others from doing so.

  25. Thank you for this! I gave up Lululemon quite a while ago, and it really wasn't that hard. As a yoga studio owner and teacher, I feel I always need to try to set a good example, doing the best I can to walk the walk. There are A LOT of great yoga clothing companies out there that are made in the USA and are also just downright good, mindful companies! Thanks again for letting people know this!

  26. Rita says:

    Love how you borrowed from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's model of the stages of grief – creative, humorous and meaningful! You have reinforced my respect for you and my appreciation of your strength and courage of conviction. Thanks for sharing, Nyk!

  27. Laura says:

    Thanks for taking us through your mental process. Makes me feel less silly for the times I’ve done similarly (like with Forever 21 because of their disregard for copyright law and lack of respect for artisans) and felt like that – it’s the stages of grief! ha! Fun article and definitely helpful to all the Lululemon lovers out there. Best to have all the information even if you keep shopping there.

  28. carolina says:

    Lululemon is manufacturing yoga clothing out of Asia countries and regions where Yoga, the discipline we love so much, was originated from. We should be thrilled to give back to the culture that gave us the great gift of yoga.

    • Justine says:

      Seriously? I am for supporting companies that use ethical practices and aren't misleading. For the astronomical amount of money that the consumer lays down for a few pieces of fabric sewn together, & the fact the company believes they're ifs only one cookie cutter body for each woman… I wonder what the edges are for the workers who sew their precious product together. Finally, yoga came from India, not China.

  29. elenabella says:

    Agreed! Thanks for this.

  30. Laura says:

    Just a side note, lululemon doesn’t advertise at all, not that their clothes are made in canada or advertisements boasting about quality. If one cares so much about where their clothes are made one could look inside at the tag, or asked someone that works there, or looked at their website, they frequently have employees do tours of factories to ensure ethical practices. It is never advertised that they make the clothing entirely in Canada however it is sometimes still manufactured locally. If we have so much pride in knowing where our clothes are made we could at least look inside our garments. lululemon’s garments have not been manufactured for many years in Canada, and it is displayed on the tag clearly, ignorance seems to be a rather convenient reason to make a story sound interesting

  31. kat says:

    I understand that this is your opinion, but I think it is silly not to do some research before writing an article about your ill informed opinion. Start with reading the sustainability information on their website. It is no secret that the clothing is manufactured overseas, the company is open to discussing it.

  32. Amy says:

    Lululemon has been manufacturing clothes oversees since 2005 so this is not new. They abide by a strict vendor code of ethics and have third party audits of all their factories.
    You can choose to buy locally made clothes absolutely – but to say 8 year olds are making their clothes is ludicrous. Lululemon is very transparent with how their clothes are manufactured. Get educated about their policies and then make your decision.

  33. Hope says:

    Even though, I agree with most of the article, however, I am concerned with the gross misinformation 8 year olds are employed in Chinese factories. Please carefully check your facts before reinforcing false stereotypes.

  34. Sarah says:

    What do you find are the best US/Canada made yoga clothing lines to use now!?!

    I have struggled to find something comparable, but I would like to stop purchasing clothing from Lulu. I do a lot of hot yoga so I am looking for good fabrication to absorb sweat and also be breathable.


  35. carolemerritt says:

    Roots clothes are not made in canada anymore either, but in china. The quality falls way off when they move the production overseas.

  36. Petie says:

    Much better to buy clothes made by North Americans who are among the wealthiest people on the planet, rather than providing employment to Chinese who can't afford heat, running water, indoor plumbing, or electricity without the "sweatshop" jobs you disdain.

  37. Hunter says:

    Well, when it was said that my thighs rubbing together were the problem, that was pretty much the nail in the coffin.

  38. Emma says:

    So what brands did you end up with?

  39. realisticideals says:

    "Made in China! As someone who is trying be socially responsible, I had been doing my best to avoid buying things made in China. The thought of some eight year old child in a sweatshop making my yoga clothes was breaking my heart."

    Published in Elephant Journal!! As someone who is trying to be an informed reader, I had been doing my best to avoid reading ignorant stereotypes. The thought of some writer who didn't bother to do her research before writing some prejudiced drivel that also slipped past an editor is breaking my heart.

  40. JTC says:

    Asa former lulu employee, I am never in love with the brand. I'm not a fan of lulu. The company has grown into this pretentious, self-serving, heavily political (office politics) monster, and it Never cared about the environment no matter what they tell people. But there are a few misconceptions that should be clarified:
    1. Just because it is made in China (or Cambodia, or Sri Lanka, or anywhere else but North America), doesn't mean it is made in sweatshops by children
    2. The costs of Canadian manufacture is often very high for businesses to be successful, it is often 1/3 more expensive than the US, let alone anywhere else
    3. Honestly, textile and apparel industries are way more developed in Asia than North America. Because the industries left NA decades ago but never left Asia. The machinery, technical skills and material innovation is much higher in general. US, Germany, and a few other countries have some very advance technical materials, but overall on a mass production scale, there's no comparison.

  41. Janey Bell says:

    Chip Wilson’s (founder of lulu) wife started a company called Kit and Ace. Non of those clothes are made in Canada either. $98 for “technical cashmere” which is no more than 11% cashmere and the rest is synthetic and made in China.

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