Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lululemon, made in China. (some of it)

Anyone who lives in Vancouver knows Lululemon has made a splash among the local ladies, those butt hugging pants make even a mediocre ass look semi-sational. About a year ago my lady and her friend were in the market for new track suit jackets, so they hit the local Lululemon. Background: I know that when people were trying to justify to me that a pair of Lululemon pants is like 100 bucks and a full outfit can easily be more than 200, its OK cause they are made in Vancouver and not in a sweatshop. I was disgusted by the price (I once got a pair of Girbaud jeans for 6 bucks) but agreed non sweatshop goods are good. Current-Ground: So back to the two ladies getting a jacket, they found a couple they liked and checked out the tag, where they saw those three words women love to hear: MADE IN CHINA. So they asked the lady working there why these are made in China and her bullshit excuse went something like this..

"see, these 150 dollar jackets, well they are such high quality that if they were made locally they would be too expensive, its just the jackets though"

I refuse to believe that Lululemon would be in the poor house if they made the jackets somewhere other than a chinese sweatshop. I can't help but feel somewhat betrayed by lulu and the lemons on this one.

So I did a little dirt digging and to be honest I found more good than bad, yes lululemon shit is crazy overpriced considering all the jackets and smaller items (ie those purses and shit like that) are made in China. I found is that they do SOME progressive stuff, like the fact that the other 50% of their shit IS made in Canada (for now) and of the plethora of new stores they have openned (metro, oakridge, my colon, jkapan, etc), they are partly constructed of recycled goods and enviromental this and that. I will point out that this is more than a lot of companies do in terms of progressive steps. I guess I have to wait until Al Gore has a clothing line out to be "oppression" free.

So my point is this, buy your lululemon clothing, but if you get jackets and purses and stuff like that, you are supporting sweatshops and eating babies, nuff said.

I've been trying more and more to buy products that aren't made in sweatshops, my thinking is this, right now I am getting that options like 4/10 times, but I have to take all those 4, so next time my option to get non sweatshop goods will increase, just a year ago, my options were only 2/10, but if the consumers seek non sweatshop goods, the companies will be forced to respond.

Monologue from May in my Chat window, about how much she misses out trash TV:

May says: Meta ?
May says:Perth is so boring .. there was always something to do in Van when I got bored
May says:Like Go shopping, or Go somewhere delicious to eat or Bug you and Nicole
May says:Play with Bunny (this is not code, we have dog named Bunny)
May says:Hang out with your Mum
May says:Stroll down West 4th
May says:Help cook and clean .. Oh wait, no I didnt do that
May says:And of course there was always something trashy on tv that could entertain me for hrs

Song of the Day:
Artist: The National
Album: Alligator
Track: Secret Meeting

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I think they're onto me
Didn't anybody, didn't anybody tell you
Didn't anybody tell you how to gracefully disappear in a room
I know you put in the hours to keep me in sunglasses, I know

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I think this place is full of spies
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Didn't anybody, didn't anybody tell you
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I know you put in the hours to keep me in sunglasses, I know

And so and now I'm sorry I missed you
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And now I'm sorry I missed you
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And now I'm sorry I missed you
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It went the dull and wicked ordinary way


At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey - you said that you did some research into where Lululemon's products come from. Where did you get this info? Do they really use sweat shops? How did you find out?

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you mean by eating babies

At 2:39 PM, Blogger matterandthings said...

Hi, I have an organic cotton clothing line, and it is locally made in Southern California. It drives me crazy that people spend so much money on Lulu when they do off-shore production. Basically that means they are ripping you off. They get it made for dirt cheap and charge you a ton of money. My line is a little less expensive than theirs, and it is as Earth-friendly as it could possibly be.

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there friends.
I understand where you're coming from to a point dear writer, but what about eating babies? Also, have you ever bothered to stop and consider what it would do to all the people in the sweatshops if we stopped buying from them? All of those people making little money and then recive no paycheck at all, resulting in worse poverty than we have now. You should do some research before you talk

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you do make some decent points here and there but god you can be sterotypical O_O

for great services ( =/ okay, a little hypocrite here XD I actually hated the service I got from that cashier, or lack of) + a wicked dressing room + free hemming + applausable (sp?) causes (saw this unwanted running shoe event at the shop's front window) + great quality clothing and design + multipurpose clothing articles (yoga sessions or casual day out and very comfy) + everything that I have been looking for and finally found it...why not pay $100?

you are right about the practice of exploiting Chinese sweatshops is highly unethical and should be changed...but eating babies? god you must be one of the most ignorant canadians I have ever encountered O_O where do you get all your informations from? and I honestly don't think you would shell out an extra $10 on a pair of pants or jacket... I believe that's the approximate minimum wage rate..

However, I definitely think highly of you the fact that you like to buy locally and is proud to spend $6 on a pair of jeans (not caving in to compulsive consumerism). I think those are environmentally and economically sound decisions. However, I do not regret buying my Lululemon is the most comfortable and fitting pants I have ever purchased (considering my past experiences in buying pants were nightmares because of my failure in buying a pants that would accomodate my slim waist but noticebly thicker thighs). If you ever feel like splurgin yourself with a new wardrobe, I sincerely recommand a pair of Lululemon pants (even in the future it is made in china, at least the hemming will be done in canada, so you are still supporting the canadian economy =/ )

Anyways, with the noteable exception of a comment or two, your post was rather refreshing...have a nice day =)

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because it's made in china doesnt mean its made by a Sweat Shop .

anyways, they just started making it there , because its cheaper than making it in canada . You'd have to pay alot more if they made all of it in canada .

would you like to pay 200 $ for a hoodie ?
didnt think so .

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

However everyone, you have to really think about why products made in china are "cheap"? How do they become cheap? What does this say about the people who work there? Are they cheap too? Are they not worth the same benefits and wages as we get here in North America? And not all of us even get those benefits here! So there are a whole shitload of problems to address with this giant thing called capitalism.

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At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lulu uses sweatshops just as much as any other... but look at wallmart for example their products are almost 100% from sweatshops.. before we critisize Lululemon who only makes a few things in sweatshops take a look at others also... compared to some Lululemon is very low on the sweatshop line.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I am disappointed that Lululemon is so overpriced and outsources some of it's stuff, although MADE IN CHINA really doesn't mean sweatshops necessarily. I don't care how comfortable their pants are - I'm not paying 100 for them. I was stupid and bought a $98 hoodie, and I'm disappointed, but I don't want to get rid of it because, well, it was $98. So when my daughter is bigger she can wear it if she likes it. there are few options for non-sweatshop clothes (with the exception of certain local or internet business, like the lady in California) but I try to buy second-hand. At least, then, I'm not really supporting sweatshops and if the clothes are really that well made, regardless of brand, then they will last my ownership and others after me.

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At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

matterandthings, what is your company, I would LOVE to buy from you!

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have sewn for myself and I have worked for others in the Canadian garment industry. I have done ordering of supplies, hiring of sewers, shipping and pricing. I know the costs. I have lost my job to suppliers from China. Canadian sewers make at the about 13 dollars an hour depending on where you live, it is all relative. The long and short of it the clothes are over priced. I still sew because I love it and it is a dying art, but not clothing.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger lady.gee said...

I'll be honest and say the sweat shop thing really doesn't bother me. Probably 90% of the things in my house were made in sweat shops. But the people who made it still need money so whether they get 90 cents or 90 dollars a day, it's better than getting absolutely nothing.

What bothers me more is that lululemon paints themselves as a "home grown" company, made in Canada, etc, etc. But if they're having clothing and products made in China, then there's no reason a jacket should cost me $120. So made in China will be less quality and cheaper product and yet they'll still charge $120. I'd be ok with that if it was the quality they claim it is. But now there's nothing stopping me from buying a yoga jacket from Joe Fresh for $30.

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just knowing that Lululemon manufactures there clothing in China, Malaysia, India etc. just pisses me off! Outsourcing is NOT cool... Items CAN and are made at a fair price in Canada and they contract overseas sweatshops to increase their profit margin, plain and simple...

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the person who said "because it is made in china doesnt mean its from a sweatshop; would you pay $200 for a hoodie?" you are a fcking moron. Roots would be your example, and you already paying 1000% than the cost of production when its made in china. go do your research before saying made in china isn't bad. UGH ignorant and dumbass consumers piss me off.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are sooooo Ignorant! I am in the clothing industry, so i know. Made in China doesn't mean Sweat Shops! Go visit those clothing factories in China, they are way better than our local clothing factories, which most likely run by Chinese anyways. Sadly, most clothing factories can't produce enough amount of clothes for NA consumers. that is why when a brand is expanding, the company has to move their production to China. Made in China for big brands like HM, North Face, Zara..etc means better quality, faster production, lower price for customers. why complain?

also, for Matterandthings, your clothing brands itself for Earth-friendly, BUT making your clothes isn't Earth-friendly for Southern California AT ALL! When complaining about the high price point of lululemon, aren't you a little jealous because people not willing to pay the same for your own brand? Chinese factories won't even take your order, because the order is just too small...sorry!

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