Lululemon the latest to face greenwashing complaint

Everyone’s favourite yoga pant maker is in some hot water over its ‘green’ claims.

Driving the news: Lululemon is facing a complaint from a climate-focused non-profit alleging the athleisure company is misleading customers about its environmental impact, joining the growing list of companies facing investigations over so-called “greenwashing.” 

  • The spike in emissions coincides with the launch of its “Be Planet” ad campaign, which claimed the company's “products and actions avoid environmental harm.” 

Why it matters: With over 60% of Canadians willing to pay more for greener products, investigations by the Competition Bureau and regulations that force companies to prove the environmental claims they use in their marketing will become all the more important.

  • Late last year, the federal government proposed amendments requiring businesses marketing eco-friendly products to provide evidence of their effectiveness.

  • But experts say that Canada’s greenwashing regulation is still well behind other places like Europe, which recently passed laws banning the use of vague terms like “climate neutral” and “green” in marketing without concrete proof. 

Zoom out: RBC, Enbridge, and Canada’s big six oil producers are just a few of the other companies being investigated for greenwashing following similar complaints, with potential penalties ranging from jail time to a quasi-parental court demand to simply cut it out.—LA