legacies global sourcing trip

rob and carolyn global sourcing trip

lululemon's Global Sourcing team is committed to producing our garments in environments that are safe and healthy, both for the factory worker and the surrounding community. Our team of quality and compliance experts spends a good part of the year traveling to our factory locations to insure these safe environments, as well as creating relationships with factories that share our core values. These relationships extend from Canada, the United States, China, Taiwan, Peru, Israel, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

hong kong

In 2008, our educators in our lululemon stores were requesting more information on how and where our products are made. They wanted to provide our guests with a full understanding of our global factory environments so they could then have authentic conversations as to how our factories operate. We realized, what better way to provide this information to our store educators than to literally send them on an upcoming sourcing trip.


Two educators were chosen from a long list of strong candidates, and these two rising stars, Carolyn and Rob, accompanied Bryan, our head of global production, on a sourcing trip to China and Cambodia.

Rob and Carolyn spent two weeks shadowing Bryan and being part of the factory approval and garment production process. They inspected fabric, sat in on prototype reviews, did in line quality checks, watched third party inspections, and were able to see how lululemon insures that our products are produced in a safe and healthy environment.


Learn more about our people and our factories on the community legacies pages. For an inside look, check out pictures of our factory partners and more information on our global sourcing process here.

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How about some pictures of INSIDE the factory, to give us consumers as idea of the conditions. These photos are a gloss over. I would appreciate seeing more detailed information, please and thanks

Comment by Brenda — July 17, 2009 @ 7:27 am

Calling the pictures a gloss over is indeed a baseless assumption. Go to the Community Legacies page and check out the pics in the factory.

Comment by susan — July 18, 2009 @ 6:21 am

Thanks for the suggestion Brenda! You can take an inside look at our factories here: http://www.lululemon.com/legacies/factories

Comment by lululemon — July 18, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

Nope. Not baseless. No pictures to be found of Chinese or Cambodian factories. I would not expect them to be pretty or fancy, but I would hope for decent light, lack of crowding, etc. Work policies are as important as the facilities–break times, rules about who can work there (are you fired if pregnant?), and whether salaries are locally reasonable. Cambodia is really poor, so pay scales are low. But they are trying for a reputation of decent factory working conditions. Would like to know whether they are succeeding and where lululemon’s fits in.

Comment by Ann Littlewood — July 19, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

Take a look at the pictures on ‘Our Factories’ page of our website. The center image on the left column is a Cambodian factory, and the second and forth images on the left column and the last two on the right column are Chinese factories. The others images show the environments in North America and Indonesia manufacturing facilities.

It’s also worthwhile to take a look at our Code of Conduct, which is based on international principles and sets the standards for the type of work environment where our garments are produced, and the values sharedby our manufacturing partners. http://www.lululemon.com/community/legacies/code

All our active Cambodia factories are participating in an ILO program called Better Factories Cambodia. The program benefits workers, employers and their organizations by monitoring and reporting on working conditions in Cambodian garment factories according to national and international standards, by helping factories to improve working conditions and productivity, and by working with the Government and international buyers to ensure a rigorous and transparent cycle of improvement. The ILO auditors will inspect the factory every six months without notice to the factory. Our factories share with us all ILO reports and action plan and our compliance team visits the factory regularly to ensure all ILO recommendations are put into action.

Comment by Amy CS — July 21, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

Why aren’t you manufacturing clothing where your customers live? If there are no decent jobs who will buy all this great clothing?

Comment by Alex — July 30, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

I was really impressed with the look of your factories. The developing economies of Asia have a long way to go in terms of meeting international standards of quality of life, but your pictures look promising. I was especially pleased to see the factory in Cambodia, a country where people are hanging on by their fingertips. What about salaries and working hours? I have lived in Asia for more than 20 years, including Hong Kong and Indonesia, and I know that many people–even those who are ‘working’–are living beneath the poverty line.

Comment by Laura — August 1, 2009 @ 6:15 am

I agree with Alex. Why do you have to outsource your production when there is an abundance of people who can do this locally?
Locally made products means less carbon footprint, right?


Comment by Mary — August 11, 2009 @ 8:02 am

How about telling us what are the employee wages?

What is the company doing within their employee communities in the third world?

Do they give community empowerment so that these workers and their kids have future alternatives? Example: Education programs, community development…etc.

Are these people unionized? are they guaranteed a long term employment and wages? Or are your factories just another plain old Maquilladoras?

Comment by john — May 17, 2010 @ 11:29 am

Hi John! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your questions with us.

For our factories, we use standards set by the International Labour Organization and guidelines from the Fair Labour Association (www.fairlabor.org) to provide a framework for lululemon’s Workplace Code of Conduct. Before establishing a working relationship with our global partners, we visit the offshore factories to assess the health, safety and working conditions. We take great care in selecting the factories that manufacture for us to ensure that they share our commitment to quality and ethical business practices, and that they comply with the labour standards of their own country.

We work hard to remain true to our manifesto and to our beliefs in all areas of our growing company. We want to ensure that lululemon is a socially responsible organization that is committed to manufacturing and designing garments that can be made and worn in good conscience.

Comment by Laura M — May 17, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

Hi John. Thanks for your comments.

Regarding wages and employment, our products are technical and of the highest quality so to retain a skilled work force for these products, our factory partners offer their employees competitive wages higher than the industry average in their region. An outcome of this is that many employees have been with their factory for more than 5 years.

Several factories in our supply base are unionized. lululemon has detail and specific requirements in regard to freedom of association and collective bargaining in our Code of Conduct. Our Supplier Compliance team regularly audits our factories to ensure all factory employees can exercise their rights freely.

Our factory partners also actively engage with their local communities at various levels, most commonly supporting community development through regular donation to local charities. A few examples…some have their own scholarship and education programs for the employees and their children, some build their own dairy farm to provide milk to the employees, some set up clinics and provide free medical treatment for over 30,000+ workers, and others develop recycling programs to help local communities turn waste into reusable materials.

You can also check out the ‘Legacies’ section of lululemon.com for more information, our Code of Conduct and pictures of our factory partners.

- Amy, Global Compliance, Quality Assurance and Community Legacies

Comment by lululemon — May 17, 2010 @ 4:32 pm


You need to be more specific about the community development projects. You mention that factory partners donate money to local charities. What are these? Are there any web sites, more detailed info on these?.

It seems to me that dealing with ‘factory partners sort of serves as a middleman between your company and the employees.

Fair trade should be handled in a more direct and participative activity.

For all that you can tell me, your partners are doing a great job at being fair and developing the comunities. This is very relative.

I remember back in Nicaragua in the 70,s after a big earthquake hit Managua, people from the outside would come and see that help would be given to the most needed.

The governement of the time would orchestrate a beautiful view of the governement helping the poor.

In the end, most of the help given in 1972 from international relief was sold to the people and some couple of people became richer.

The international community was made to beleive that all help was handled properly.

I would like to see more concrete proof of what goes on in your factory partners communities.

Thank you!

From a concerned Fellow Canadian citizen

Jah Bless!

Comment by john — August 12, 2010 @ 8:36 am

Thanks for your comments John.

The factories we work with around the world – from one two blocks away in Vancouver to one in Southern China – each take responsibility to be involved with their individual and local communities. This takes the form of women’s empowerment projects, employee community clean-ups, health education and even an employee garden.

We’re proud of the fact that our supplier partners share similar core values. In the coming year we will be providing additional information, pictures and stories on the good things going on in our supply chain. In the interim, please take a look at the factory pictures and detailed information on lululemon.com.

Comment by Amy, Global Compliance, Quality Assurance and Community Legacies — August 12, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

Thanks for the Answer but this information provided sounds quite redundant. I still think it is essential and necessary to be transparent in all actions and information if we are to qualify your company practices as being Fair and which promote the true well being of people in the third world. Notice i am talking about your partners in the third world, and not here in Canada.

If you tell me that in the coming years you will be posting more information, it only seems to me that meanwhile, we will have a doubtful idea of your actions and affairs with so called partners in the third world.

If your company preaches the real philosophy of Yoga, it must strive toward a more transparent and more clear vision of it, otherwise it is only creating an illusion and hiding the truth.

Comment by john — August 26, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

Again, i would love to hear an answer to Alex’s comment regarding outsourcing your production. I strongly agree with this!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Melanie — February 18, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

No surprise about the decreasing quality. Have a look at the labels – Lululemon products are made in developing countries like Cambodia, Sri Lanka and China. I have seen the young girls that work in the garment factories in Kampong Speu, Cambodia……about time it back-fired on them and their customers who are silly enough to pay $135 AUD for a pair of yoga pants that were made by a young girl paid $66 USD per month. Pay properly and improve working conditions….and I will be the first to buy my gear from your company. I queried this with the manager of your Carindale, QLD AUSTRALIA store who advised me in writing that no-one from Lululemon actually visits the factories “We do use external third parties to assist in auditing our factories”……if you cared, someone from your company – including the CEO – would take the time to visit the factories, rather than leave it to local “third parties”.

Comment by Beth — March 29, 2013 @ 2:46 am

Hey Beth,
Thanks for reaching out and sharing this with us. We do indeed use third-party international auditing companies to assist us in managing and monitoring supplier compliance with our manufacturing partners. This is to ensure the evaluations are neutral and unbiased. We do also have our own staff who visit the factories regularly from various departments.

If you are interested in reading more about the process of selecting our manufacturing partners and our code of conduct, check out the page below

I’m going to send you an email so we can connect and chat about this further.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — March 29, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

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