Lululemon Founder Fed Up With the “Diversity and Inclusion Thing”

John Hanson Pye /
John Hanson Pye /

Canadian billionaire Chip Wilson was a legend among men when he founded Lululemon back in 1998. Originally starting as a single store location in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, the store and their ‘yoga pants’ spread like wildfire. Women loved the silky-smooth feel and the comfort of yoga and the gym. Soon after, the housewives saw them at their bi-weekly yoga time with the physical trainer, and they thought it would motivate them.

Next thing we knew, yoga pants were everywhere. From the gym to the grocery store to the drop-off lane at school. Some of the women wearing them were familiar with the gym, others couldn’t tell you the difference between a barbell and a dumbbell.

For Wilson, it’s that segment of the consumer base that isn’t for him. Speaking with Forbes magazine in early January, he called out the “diversity and inclusion thing,” as well as their use of plus-sized models. In his words, they were “unhealthy,” “sickly,” and simply “not inspirational.” In essence, he felt they had changed for the worse. “They’re trying to become like the Gap, everything to everybody.”

He realized that brands need to be able to have a specific niche. “And I think the definition of a brand is that you’re not everything to everybody … You’ve got to be clear that you don’t want certain customers coming in.”

When Wilson left the company back in 2013, he explained to CNBC that the company needed to remember that they are a specific niche-based company. Some people simply are not built for their clothing designs. Eventually, he liquidated 75% of his shares in the company. According to Forbes, this sell-off is rumored to have potentially cost him dearly. From a potential $20 billion “down to” a mere $7 billion. Retaining 8% of the company, he still has a powerful voice on the board, and many shareholders could easily follow any lead he was to give.

This message has been rippling across the media waves this year. As the Disney corporation continues to try to feed us woke movies, the American consumer keeps rejecting them. Keeping movies that expose the corruption, crime, and pervs of modern society in the main light, we have been sending a signal. A signal the mainstream media refuses to properly report on or acknowledge.

Our signal is the same as Wilson’s; this woke mindset of everyone being able to do everything, and no matter what they choose it’s ok needs to stop. We don’t need remakes of classic films that are reimagined, so everyone feels like they see themselves. Women have no place being forced to compete with biological males who couldn’t hack it competing against men. Women and men who weigh 300 lbs don’t have any business walking around in a size small shirt or pants.

These are tough truths for many in America to accept these days. Simply put, it’s called modesty, having some respect for yourself and for the youth of America. As a country, we seem to have become overly proud of the out there and loud. The high-volume stuff and the way too-powerful responses.

Seeing the man who helped carry us American men through the glory days of The Man Show and Maxim magazine regretting what his company has become is shameful. For men across the globe, the company brought us the best and worst in athletic wear, and the women have loved it just as much. There is nothing Lululemon couldn’t do for women, and by speaking up and telling people it’s time to be realistic, he is showcasing that there needs to be a limit. As a company, they need to draw a line in the sand and have their own section. God knows we already have ample “plus-sized” brands.