Athletic apparel company Lululemon’s reputational troubles have lingered for two years or so, and they don’t seem to be getting better. They’re still bad enough that a partnership with the Dalai Lama is being met with skepticism and vitriol.
In a blog post last week, the company announced it was “in a new relationship” with Tibetan spiritual leader’s Center for Peace + Education. That relationship includes a monetary component. Over the next three years, Lululemon will donate $250,000 (Canadian) annually to the center.
“There are some things in this world which should remain non-brandeable [sic],” wrote a commenter on the blog post. “There are still some things in this world which remain sacred to many people. It is offensive that you have sunk to low as to use the Dalai Lama and his image as part of your branding. How dare you.”
Another wrote, “While I do respect his beliefs and values, I don’t necessarily think they match yours. As he believes that luxuries are not necessities, you believe in $100 yoga pants.”