This story may be a few weeks old now, but it’s still very much alive and relevant. Lululemon, the hugely successful but controversial yoga clothing company, is now suing Calvin Klein. What seems to be the problem? Well, in my non-legalese, Lululemon thinks Calvin Klein ripped off their pants.
What is a yogi to make of all this? I guess it’s perfectly okay for a yoga-related company to sue, despite the fact that suing is pretty un-yogic… Likewise, I guess it’s okay for a yoga company to claim exclusive ownership over something, even though this claim amounts to the strongest form of “attachment” one could have…
Here’s my take on all this. Lululemon is a publicly traded corporation. It’s become a Wall Street darling because of its explosive growth and profits. The founder, Chip Wilson, is now worth $2.9 billion. Yes, that’s billion. This company is so far from being a truly spiritual or yogic entity, there’s just no reason to expect them to conduct themselves in a yogic way (whatever that might amount to). This doesn’t mean you or I or anyone else should stop buying their clothes. It simply means that when you do buy their clothes, it’s not all that different than, say, buying a pair of Calvin Klein pants. (And if Lululemon loses their lawsuit, there really will be no difference!)
Of course, if you agree with the Lulu critics out there (and I count myself as one of them), you might think twice about buying their clothes for a wide variety of reasons.