In an open letter addressed to Lululemon‘s CEO Calvin McDonald, 129 professional athletes have urged the brand to commit to 100% renewable energy, specifically wind and solar across its supply chain by 2030.

EcoAthletes, which includes Lululemon ambassadors, is also actively seeking a strong commitment from the sportswear giant to phase out fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its manufacturing process.

The letter says it wants the brand to support its suppliers with the transition to clean energy sources as it argues thus far Lululemon has only made a commitment to renewable energy in its own operations (stores, offices and warehouses). 

The campaign has garnered support from over 7,000 yoga students and teachers worldwide, which it says is significant given Lululemon’s close association with the yoga community.

As Lululemon expands its reach beyond yoga and into running, hiking, surfing, skiing, and other outdoor activities, non-profit organisations Action Speaks Louder and say the momentum behind the campaign is growing.

According to the organisations, the impact of climate change on sports is becoming increasingly evident, with surfers concerned about rising sea levels and warming oceans, and winter sports facing challenges due to diminishing snow and ice cover.

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It notes that even major events like the Tour de France are becoming affected, with cyclists having to endure heatwaves by wearing ‘ice vests.’

The letter explains climate change is threatening the future of sports and recreation, making it imperative for brands like Lululemon to decarbonise its supply chain.

Founder and CEO of EcoAthletes Lewis Blaustein highlights the importance of the sportswear industry, including Lululemon stepping up to tackle emissions and invest in clean, green energy to combat climate change effectively.

Lululemon had not responded to Just Style’s request for comment at the time of going to press.

In April the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) said it is continuing to identify, fund, scale, and measure the fashion industry’s proven solutions to help achieve Science Based Targets and listed Lululemon as one of its lead funders.

However, the authors of the letter claim Lululemon is one of the sportswear giants that seen its carbon footprint surge by a significant 60% in the past year alone.

While Lululemon committed to renewable energy for its stores, offices, and warehouses in 2021, the campaigners suggest most of its suppliers are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels such as coal, with only 2% powered by renewable energy.

Fashion campaign manager at Action Speaks Louder, Ruth MacGilp stated: “We hope that Calvin McDonald listens to these passionate climate advocates. They represent a growing chorus of athletes who want the brand to align its values of sustainability, wellness and community with its environmental practices hidden within the supply chain. Lululemon has the opportunity now to be a leader in pushing for a green transition across the fashion industry.”