Billionaire Chip Wilson, the founder of athletic wear brand Lululemon, believes DEI programs are actively harming the company he founded.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs have exploded in recent years, specifically in business, government, and academia. The stated goal of the initiatives is good: promoting fairness for everyone. But the way the programs are administered is controversial, particularly because they often promote woke, progressive ideologies to remedy perceived societal disparities.
In the fashion industry, DEI initiatives promote men and women of all colors, shapes, and sizes. But this is a massive branding problem for Lululemon, Wilson told Forbes in an interview.
Bashing the “whole diversity and inclusion thing,” Wilson said that many of the people Lululemon now feature in brand ads look “unhealthy,” “sickly,” and “not inspirational.” The problem, Wilson diagnosed, is Lululemon is not exclusive enough.