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Climate Group Lodges Greenwashing Complaint Against Lululemon in Canada

Stand.earth has asked Canada’s competition watchdog to investigate whether the company’s sustainability messaging misleads consumers.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. shares tumbled after the company warned that financial results will come at the low end of previous guidance, saying the Omicron coronavirus variant was constraining its operations.
Climate advocacy group Stand.earth has lodged a complaint with Canada's competition watchdog accusing Lululemon of greenwashing. (Shutterstock)

Climate advocacy group Stand.earth has lodged a greenwashing complaint against Lululemon with Canada’s Competition Bureau.

The organisation said Monday that it has asked the competition watchdog to investigate whether the Canadian sportswear giant’s “Be Planet” messaging misleads shoppers in the latest sign that consumers and campaigners are taking brands to task under tightening rules governing sustainability marketing.

According to Stand.earth Lululemon benefits from “a carefully constructed image of environmental sustainability and wellness,” while in reality the environmental efforts the company has undertaken so far have done little to dent its environmental impact. The company’s planet-warming emissions have roughly doubled since it launched its current sustainability strategy in 2020, pledging to drive positive impact.

Lululemon said it is committed to its decarbonisation plan.

While there is no guarantee Canada’s Competition Bureau will pick up the case, it’s a tactic that has proven successful for advocacy groups in the past. Coffee maker Keurig was fined CA$3 million ($2.2 million) in 2022 for making misleading claims about the recyclability of its coffeepods following an investigation that stemmed from a complaint made by environmental law organisation Ecojustice. A Shell campaign is currently under investigation following a complaint lodged by Greenpeace.

Learn more:

Can Fashion Stop Greenwashing?

Big brands are changing the way they talk about sustainability following a regulatory crackdown in Europe. But exactly how companies should be required to substantiate their eco-marketing claims remains hotly debated.

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