Luxury athleisure brand Lululemon was depantsed by social media for trying to incite followers against–of all things–capitalism.
That’s right, a company that charges $80 – $300 for one pair of leggings is decrying the economic system that has created a market for its over-priced yoga wear.
Corporate brands are bending backward to virtue-signal how ‘woke’ they are to the plight of the so-called oppressed, but as with Lululemon, their efforts may backfire. However, these episodes provide us with teaching moments that are perhaps the best anecdote to the ignorance-driven anti-capitalist sentiment that is so rampant in our nation.
Lululemon, founded in Canada, is an international brand that sells athletic wear such as tops, yoga pants, shorts, skirts, sweaters, and jackets, as well as bags, yoga mats, and other accessories.
Their products command hefty prices making them popular status symbols among upper-middle-class women and moms.
So, followers were outraged when the brand promoted a Zoom event entitled “decolonizing genders” and how to “resist capitalism” on its official account:
The public ridicule was vociferous and bipartisan:
Although the company said they were not affiliated with the event and removed the post, the damage was done.
Hypocrites hate what has made them successful
There’s plenty of hypocrisy in this situation.
Lululemon built its $1-billion empire through capitalism by carving out a niche market among urban and suburbanites, who can afford to spend over $100 on a pair of spandex pants.
Similarly, Rebby Kern, the social justice warrior and yoga enthusiast who planned to host this event, is building her business because of capitalism. She’s using tools afforded to us because of capitalism: technology and social media. And, she’s relying on the platform of a successful corporation to attract clients.
It is fashionable to bash capitalism today. All of the world’s ills are chaulked up to a system that is the most democratic and egalitarian. In a capitalist society with free markets, any person with an idea, a product, or a service can build and own a successful business without fear of the government swooping in and taking it over. The value they create attracts customers, the risk they take is rewarded with profits. As private owners, they get to determine what to do with their business and the profits they generate.
Lululemon and Ms. Kern feign contempt for the boat they’re sitting in, yet, that boat is a yacht and it’s keeping them happy, fed, and dry.