Lululemon is the sort of company worth avoiding. Press in its early days was dominated by its fatphobic founder Chip Wilson, bizarre stories about customers being asked to bend over to reveal transparent merchandise, and complaints that the brand was tracking down re-sellers. Now, the Bangladeshi factory workers who make Lululemon leggings say they are regularly assaulted, humiliated, and paid extremely low wages.
The Guardian reports that the factory is owned by Youngone Corporation, which supplies for Lululemon. Workers make only 9,100 taka a month, which comes out to about $107 a month. Lululemon leggings, however, can sell as much as $128 a pair. Workers there say they’re verbally abused and hit when they break rules and called “whores” and “sluts” by managers.
One worker at the factory says that after she told her supervisor she was leaving early one day because she was sick, she returned the next day to accusations she had left without telling anyone. “The technician in charge of my line slapped me,” she says. “He slapped me so hard my cheeks turned red and everyone asked me what happened.”
A spokesperson for Lululemon told The Guardian that they’re launching an investigation into the reports, and that “there are currently no orders planned for this factory, and we will take appropriate action based upon the findings of our investigation.” A 2016 Forbes story on the Youngone Corporation reported that the brand also manufactures clothing for Nike, Adidas, Patagonia, and L.L. Bean.