I just read an interesting article on Yogadork about Hip Hop mogul Russel Simmons and PETA writing an open letter directly to Lululemon requesting they stop using down in their insulated jackets, along with a petition for people to sign. This petition stood out to me because his ex wife, business partner and mother of his children (and still close friend), Kimora Lee Simons currently sells fur vests and lambskin on her site – despite herself also being aligned with PETA. Sheerling jackets priced at $2900. Kimora Lee Simmons was the brain behind those velour track suits from the 90’s and early 2000’s that every young woman had to have her brand which she co founded with Russel Simmons, Babyphat which is now sold at Macy’s. The original athleisure trendsetting brand was in fact Baby Phat. My point of this post isn’t to debate the use of fur or down, but rather to point out the celebrity hypocrisy. I’d also like to state that I am all for Lululemon offering none down insulated jackets along side of down jackets to give vegan customers an option. I wasn’t a fan of their blended prima loft and down jackets a few years ago in 2013 because I felt if they were going to go prima loft route for jackets, they should be purely prima loft and down free as a vegan option.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Russel’s letter and perhaps a healthy respectful debate in the comments is ok as long as we keep it light.
Here is the letter:
December 15, 2015
Mr. Laurent Potdevin
CEO, lululemon athletica
Via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Potdevin,
Since I’m an avid yoga practitioner, lululemon athletica is one of my favorite places to shop. I
was disappointed, though, to learn that some of your brand’s outerwear contains down feathers.
On behalf of my friends at PETA and your many compassionate customers, I encourage
lululemon to switch to cruelty-free synthetics instead.
No matter how the feathers are obtained, gentle geese are violently killed (some even have their
throats slit while still fully conscious), thereby going completely against the philosophy of
ahimsa that I and many other lululemon customers embrace. When there are so many cruelty-
free options, such as Thinsulate, Climashield, and PrimaLoft, which are all warm, cozy, and
environmentally friendly, there is simply no excuse for selling down.
Switching to synthetics also makes good business sense: A study by Nielsen found that most
global online consumers are willing to pay more for products that come from socially and
environmentally responsible companies, and a study by the Brookings Institution found that 89
percent of millennials want to buy from companies that support solutions to specific social
Switching to animal- and eco-friendly synthetics would be a simple but important way for
lululemon to help geese and show customers that it cares. Will you please make this progressive
switch? Thank you for your consideration.