Yoga-Loving Russell Simmons Wants lululemon to Drop Down

Music Mogul Teams Up With PETA to Help Birds Abused for Feather-Filled Jackets and Coats

For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2015

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

This morning, hip-hop icon and yoga devotee Russell Simmons sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to lululemon asking the yoga apparel retailer to end all sales of down feathers. As Simmons notes in the letter, geese in the down industry are violently killed for their feathers and some even have their throats slit while fully conscious and able to feel pain—cruelty that goes directly against the yoga principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence, that Simmons and many other lululemon shoppers follow.

“Since I’m an avid yoga practitioner, lululemon is one of my favorite places to shop. I was disappointed, though, to learn that some of your brand’s outerwear contains down feathers,” writes Simmons. “On behalf of my friends at PETA and your many compassionate customers, I encourage lululemon to switch to cruelty-free synthetics instead.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—has already prompted outdoor outfitter Coleman and other ethical retailers to use exclusively high-tech synthetics such as Thinsulate, Climashield, PrimaLoft, or the Plumtech that animal-friendly company Save the Duck uses for its puffer coats.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Russell Simmons’ letter to lululemon Chief Executive Officer Laurent Potdevin follows.

December 16, 2015

Dear Mr. Potdevin,

Since I’m an avid yoga practitioner, lululemon athletica is one of my favorite places to shop. I was disappointed, though, to learn that some of your brand’s outerwear contains down feathers. On behalf of my friends at PETA and your many compassionate customers, I encourage lululemon to switch to cruelty-free synthetics instead.

No matter how the feathers are obtained, gentle geese are violently killed (some even have their throats slit while still fully conscious), thereby going completely against the philosophy of ahimsa that I and many other lululemon customers embrace. When there are so many cruelty-free options, such as Thinsulate, Climashield, and PrimaLoft, which are all warm, cozy, and environmentally friendly, there is simply no excuse for selling down.

Switching to synthetics also makes good business sense: A study by Nielsen found that most global online consumers are willing to pay more for products that come from socially and environmentally responsible companies, and a study by the Brookings Institution found that 89 percent of millennials want to buy from companies that support solutions to specific social issues.

Switching to animal- and eco-friendly synthetics would be a simple but important way for lululemon to help geese and show customers that it cares. Will you please make this progressive switch? Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Russell Simmons

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind