Is Lululemon Worth It? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Brand Before Buying

When people see a high price tag, they often assume that the item is high-quality and will last a long time, but that’s not always the case.

Rayna Skiver - Author

Jun. 28 2024, Published 11:49 a.m. ET

People walking outside the front of a large Lululemon store.
Source: ISTOCK

Have you heard of the Lululemon Align leggings or the viral Everywhere Belt Bag? These products might sound familiar — after all, they are two of the brand’s bestselling products.

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The luxury activewear company isn’t hurting for business, but some say that the high price point could be a deal breaker. Is Lululemon worth it? Keep reading to learn more about the brand’s quality, labor conditions, and environmental practices.

Is Lululemon worth it?

A close up view of mannequins in a display window wearing Lululemon athletic clothes.
Source: ISTOCK

If you’re familiar with Lululemon, you know it’s not cheap — a single pair of their Align leggings will run you $98. For many U.S. consumers, that’s a lot of money for one item of clothing.

However, the price tag doesn’t scare everyone away. The cost of an item can communicate to customers that what they’re buying is high-quality, long-lasting, and ethically made. When you consider these factors, the price seems justified.

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Sadly, this isn’t exactly the case. While it’s true that Lululemon makes some effort to prioritize ethicality and sustainability, it still has a long way to go.

For example, the company uses recycled materials in a few of its products, but the majority are made with nylon and polyester, according to Good on You. These two materials are derived from fossil fuels and are not biodegradable, which makes them decidedly not eco-friendly. Polyester is also responsible for a large percentage of microplastic pollution in the Arctic.

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The environment isn’t the only thing being harmed by these synthetic fabrics — the chemicals they’re treated with have been reported to cause negative consequences, too. If you’re wearing activewear to the gym (as most do), and it’s made with polyester or nylon, the toxic additives can be absorbed through the skin, according to The Guardian.

Lululemon storefront in Canada.
Source: Getty Images
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As if that’s not bad enough, the brand’s labor practices aren’t great either. There is no evidence to show that Lululemon pays its workers a living wage, and there have been claims that it relies on sweatshop labor to keep up with a high production rate, according to For the Love of Sustainability. Once again, Lululemon falls short.

So, is Lululemon worth it? Well, I’m not sure I would pay luxury prices for what is essentially just well-packaged, fast-fashion clothing. If you’re willing to spend almost $100 on some leggings, you might as well invest in a piece that is actually sustainable for the same price.

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What did the owner of Lululemon say?

To top it off, Chip Wilson, the owner of Lululemon, doesn’t have the best track record. In an interview with Forbes, the former CEO said that making the brand more diverse and inclusive would be a bad thing, according to The Independent. Wilson even went as far as to say that he doesn’t want “certain customers” in the store.

Based on a comment like that, it’s not surprising to find out that this isn’t the first time Wilson has said something controversial. There have been multiple instances in the past two decades where he made fat-shaming, sexist, and racist remarks.

According to Today, Lululemon has stated that Wilson’s comments do not align with the company. However, as one of the largest shareholders, he still profits from the business.

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