Lululemon to open store in Thailand this July

Canadian athletic apparel, accessories, and footwear brand lululemon athletica will open a store in CentralWorld in Bangkok this July. It will be the brand’s first store in Thailand.

The brand did not give an exact date in July for the store’s opening on CentralWorld’s first floor opposite H&M Home – joining the mall’s newly-opened American burger joint Shake Shack.

Lululemon is famous for the inception of the yoga pant. Yoga pants made from nylon and Lycra appeared on the market in 1998, sold by lululemon in its first store in Vancouver as “suitable attire for the yoga studio.”

The growing popularity of yoga over the years, as well as the rise of informality in everyday dress, made the product and brand well-known all over the world. Now, the company has 574 stores worldwide – and soon to be 575.

Now, the company sells not only rather expensive yoga pants but also shorts, sweaters, jackets, underwear, hair accessories, bags, yoga mats, water bottles, and personal care products.

In 2004, founder Chip Wilson said in an interview that he chose the name lululemon because it was “funny to watch Japanese people try and say it.” That was “the only reason behind the name,” he said.

The controversial comments were called out as racist. When lululemon posted #StopAsianHate posts on Instagram during the pandemic, netizens in the comments section pointed out that the origins of the brand were founded on Asian hate.

The brand responded…

“We stand with the Asian Community, who have been deeply impacted by violence, xenophobia, and racism.

“We want you to know this is not who we are today nor the future we choose. Our founder has not been part of lululemon for many years. We are focused on expressing our support for the Asian community.”

One activist said…

“Corporate statements against racism aren’t actually useful if they’re not followed by concrete action. If lululemon wants to truly express support for our communities, there is at least one way it can make an active difference: The company needs to change its name.”

In September 2022, 1,698 yoga teachers and students wrote to the company demanding a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030. They claimed that half of lululemon’s energy came from coal.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.