Friday, December 23, 2011

Lululemon: Making the World a Better Place One Garment at a Time

A gift card to Lululemon is on the top of my Christmas list again this year. For the past three years – bi-yearly at my birthday and the Saviors' – I have asked for overpriced athletic wear.

According to Wikipedia, Lululemon Athletica is a self-described, yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, which produces a clothing line that is distributed internationally.

This definition is so sterile, but I can tell you that my personal experience with Lulu workout wear is anything but. The quality of my running and yoga clothes are top-notch and the positive and uplifting philosophy of the company is über cool too.

Our local shop offers yoga classes, workshops, organizes weekly runs; it is so much more than just a retail store.

But, what got me hooked is Luon ® -- Lulu’s signature fabric. The 4-way stretch and pre-shrunk fabric, with a super-duper high Lycra count, holds everything in and makes you look like you’ve spent thousands of dollars getting sculpted with liposuction.

Nothing jiggles or wiggles with Luon ® as your second skin and it doesn’t wear thin. There is nothing worse than seeing butt crack through black workout pants.

Also, the running shorts are made of a wicking fabric called Luxtreme ® which makes them dry faster and feels silky and smooth. I’ve had my “Run: Speed Shorts” for more than a year and I can honestly say that they look brand new.

This technology really works, but there are other personal touches that have made me a huge fan.

I love that they offer free tailoring with purchase.

Also, I had an experience with Lululemon that made me hold the store in the highest esteem.
Almost two years ago, I bought a running bra called the Ta Ta Tamer (how great is that name by the way). Earlier this fall, one of the eyelets came out of the clasp, but it was sewn in under the fabric, and impossible to fix. 

Not really being a seamstress, my friend Rachel suggested that I take it in and ask if the Lulu tailor would darn it for me. I wasn’t confident that would happen but I felt that it couldn’t hurt.

When I explained the situation, the women behind the counter – not even the manager – told me to just go ahead and select a new bra. In shock, I told her that I don’t have my receipt and it was over a year ago that I purchased it. She said she understood and that it was no problem.

Even though I had had the bra for a while, she said it shouldn’t have done that so she would damage it out.

I was blown away when I walked out of the store with a brand new $58 running bra.

Finding good customer service is almost non-existent these days so I was impressed.

The garments may be expensive but the quality is great, lasts a long time and, the fact that the company stands behind its products, makes it all worth the high price tag.

So it was no surprise to me when I also read on Wikipedia that “The original intent of Lululemon was to ‘elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness,’ and since then the mission has become to ‘create components for people to live long, healthy and fun lives.’”

Lululemon Athletica has seven core values that educators employed by the company are expected to articulate and embody. They include: quality, product, integrity, balance, entrepreneurship, greatness and fun. It even has a manifesto which acts as a ‘truth check’ (inspiration), composed of its own beliefs that staff, employees, and surrounding communities are encouraged to be inspired by daily.”

I know everyone and their mother is wearing this line and I don’t usually subscribe to mass trends but, in this case, you would be foolish not to buy this line of active wear.

Not to mention environmentally friendly reusable bags that make the best lunch sacks with the most inspirational sayings on them.

“Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.”

You only need to look to the NASDAQ to know, but I’d say Lululemon has a success on its hands.

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