made in sri lanka



Buckle up - four of our Brand and Sustainability team members travelled to Sri Lanka to visit our Seamless fabric factory and what they experienced will actually blow you away. Alison, our Sustainability Communications Specialist, gives us the scoop.

Sri Lanka is halfway around the world. Literally. From our hometown of Vancouver, you can fly East or West and the distance to Sri Lanka is roughly the same, which made my heart flutter when I learned that I would be traveling there to visit one of our factories with three members from our Brand team for a video project. I love to travel and, for me, the further the better.

Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island nation tucked under the Southeast coast of India. With a recorded history dating back 3000 years, Sri Lanka is steeped in rich culture and tradition. It’s home to the world’s oldest living tree, the sacred relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On top of that, Sri Lanka has some of the world’s most welcoming people and, of course, delicious tea.

LULU_BRAND_srilanka_eot_7_29_178

We went to Sri Lanka to visit our manufacturing partner, MAS Active, at the Linea Intimo factory in Biyagama, roughly an hour outside the capital city of Colombo. The letters in the name MAS stand for the three brothers who founded the company: Mahesh, Ajay and Sharad. Linea Intimo is where we produce our Seamless fabric products: our Run: Swiftly gear, our Metal Vent Tech tops, and our Ebb & In The Flow line, along with the cutting and sewing of other products like the Cool Racerback Tank.

We didn’t know what to expect before we arrived. Our sourcing and design teams know MAS well, but this was the first time our storytellers have gone to explore. It’s easy to make assumptions about overseas factory stereotypes if you’ve never been, but what we experienced will actually blow you away.

LULU_BRAND_SriLanka_Kumari_053

Basically, we spent five days at the factory getting to know the people and processes behind our product. The factory itself was amazing: daily transportation by bus for all employees to and from the facility, hot lunch onsite with afternoon tea breaks, a smoothie bar twice a week, extracurricular classes for employees, and even a breastfeeding bus that takes new mothers home earlier in the day.

The apparel industry in Sri Lanka prides itself on quality craftsmanship and highly technical products, and it was easy to see that everyone at MAS was proud of their work and the products they produce. The apparel industry plays a key role in building the country’s post-conflict economy, employing roughly 15 percent of Sri Lanka’s workforce. The country’s 30-year civil war just ended in 2009, although Sri Lankans don’t spend much time talking about it – they would rather focus on the present and tomorrow’s possibilities.

LULU_BRAND_SriLanka_RoshaniInterview_123

Through this project, we had the honor of interviewing employees at the factory and traveling to their homes after work to see what life is really like in rural Sri Lanka. We met the friends and families of Kumari, Roshani and Kuruppu (our three video stars) and were welcomed into their homes. We learned about their passions and goals, saw how dedicated the kids are to their homework, sang together (Madonna, if you can believe it), and stumbled through traditional dance moves before snacking on homemade treats. It was amazing.

After meeting many of the people who make our Seamless fabric products possible, I’ll never be able to look at a “made in Sri Lanka” tag the same way again. I think of the people, the culture, the technology, the pride, and realize that sometimes you have to go halfway around the world to fully appreciate the story behind what’s in your closet at home.

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53 Comments »


This is a great article and video piece.
Thanks for giving us a look behind the seams.

-Michelle
Certified Holistic Health Coach

Comment by Michelle Kennedy — September 13, 2013 @ 5:51 pm


Its great these women have an opportunity and I’m thrilled the conditions are better than expected. But like you said with manufacturing ‘half and world a way’ how do you ensure quality?

Comment by catherine — September 14, 2013 @ 3:21 pm


Terrific summary of a worthwhile project. Learned so much from the video – thanks! I, too, have a whole new appreciation for Sri Lanka quality now.

Comment by Elaine Murphy — September 15, 2013 @ 3:17 am


Wow! Who knew you could actually feel a connection to your clothes based on the stories of the people who make them. This was a great piece, I’d love to see more like this in the future.

You know what I’d love to see? A tour of the lululab.. and maybe you could even run a contest and choose someone worthy (and who is not connected to the company) to go with you tot he lab and design a special limited edition piece. That would be cool!

Comment by Jen — September 16, 2013 @ 9:24 am


this is an absolutely appalling and horrifying video. the fact that you would actually go to such length to try to make your customers FEEL GOOD about the sweatshop workers making their clothing is atrocious. how about disclosing the average number of hours these women from this factory work a day? or how much money they make? notice that these facts are totally absent.

just read a report about the workers in this particular factory. they’re not permitted to form unions – anyone who attempts to form or join a union is fired. as a result, the workers earn half of a living wage – they make about $367 a YEAR, on average. to be clear, this is NOT considered a living wage in sri lanka. oh, and that’s $367, including all the overtime they work. overtime which they are pretty much FORCED to work. at the end of their shifts, the workers are put on buses to ANOTHER factory where they then work another full day.

so let’s not let the pretty camera angles and music fool us into thinking that lulu is doing something great by outsourcing labor to sweat shop workers overseas.

Comment by sophia — September 16, 2013 @ 6:19 pm


Thanks for the video. I thorougly enjoyed watching it, however it left me thinking… “Wow, this seems almost TOO good” so I did some digging.

Linea Intimo was one of the factories investigated in a report by the Play Fair Association looking into human rights of garment workers at factories created olympic sanctioned apparel through actual interviews with employees (without their employers knowledge).

Linea Intimo as well as many of the garment factories in Sri Lanka are located in the EPZs (Export Processing Zones), which are managed by the governments BOI (Board of Investment). These zones are anti-union and government labour inspectors are NOT allowed to do un-announced inspections which means, most factories have time to ‘clean up’ before.

Employee’s Councils do exist but they are funded by Employers which increases the bias. This means very few companies in Sri Lanka have sanctions in place for wages, hours and labour/health and safety conditions.

What Lululemon saw on their trip is typical of an overseas apparel visit. They know you are coming and provide workers who are happy and likely fearful of their jobs.

Linea Intimo who also works with Adidas has been accused of forcing workers to do overtime to meet production targets – wages typically “include” overtime which means, they aren’t paid overtime. Most workers in garment industry in Sri Lanka make 22-55% of the living wage which is insufficient to meet their basic needs hence why many are living with family.

It does sound like Linea Intimo has started to do better things for their employees but I question a “smoothie bar” when employees don’t have the right to organize to sanction, health, safety, fire, labour and wage conditions.

Thanks for the video but valuable to provide both perspectives.

Comment by Julie — September 17, 2013 @ 5:27 am


This seems to me like propaganda. “Lululemon is amazing by helping Sri Lankan workers.” How much do they get paid for their work? How do you ensure fair wages? When we spend $100 for a pair of pants, how much of that goes directly to the worker who made them? Would the workers in these factories be able to afford Lululemon pants? I have pants from you that are not made in Sri Lanka; do these workers belong to a prestigious group as well? I am Canadian. When we used to buy Lululemon, we were supporting a Canadian company who employed Canadian workers, and our dollar stayed here and made our economy stronger. I know that this video was a response to your customers who question the quality of your new clothes, but it seems all too much like a marketing ploy to made people “feel good” about their decision, when in reality, they should still be upset.

Comment by Sarah — September 17, 2013 @ 5:52 am


Thank you.

Brought me to tears :)

This is how it should be in any manufacturing company in all parts of the world.

Kudos to you Lulu Lemon!

Namasté

Comment by Patricia McPherson — September 17, 2013 @ 7:06 am


What a great video. I teach global awareness to grade 6/7′s in the public system in Vancouver, and this video is a good balance to all the child labour stories and Me To We information. It also helps to fight the cultural stereotypes around workers in other countries. Lululemon and MEC, another corporation that although they admits that it is difficult to manufacture inexpensive goods, it does its best to be fair, equitable, and show care for workers, will definitely be discussed in my classroom.

Comment by T. Johnson — September 17, 2013 @ 7:08 am


Well done. I challenge Lululemon to go the extra mile (as always) and pay them the same as a Canadian or American worker. “Friends are more important than money”.

Comment by Kristin — September 17, 2013 @ 8:00 am


I agree with Kristin. It’s great that they are giving these people opportunities but I bet none of the workers making Lululemon clothes could afford to buy them for themselves.

Comment by Racheal — September 17, 2013 @ 10:07 am


I am curious if lululemon is doing anything to offset the carbon and pollution generated by making a product so far away and then shipping it “half way across the world” quite leterally. A “feel good” video about the factory did not in fact include factory conditions, hour, or wages. It just showed a bias view of a company that has shifted it’s values to make maximum profits.

Comment by krystle — September 17, 2013 @ 11:03 am


Nice to know that you’re supporting workers abroad, but what ever happened to the Lululemon motto of Made in Canada that the company was built on.

Comment by Sarah — September 17, 2013 @ 12:02 pm


Well put together video and very touching. I especially loved the personalization of the written story. Brought tears to my eyes as well.

Comment by Michelle — September 17, 2013 @ 12:44 pm


Thank you for sharing your story.
THIS is what makes lululemon who they are.
I work in the outdoor apparel industry, and have visited factories in south east Asia, and I can tell you that it takes time (and money) to work with a factory that is so organic and people oriented, but to be able to support the livelihood of those people would be such a privilege! That CEO is a man in a million to take such a personal interest in the well-being of his team–I want to quit my job and go work at MAS!
Props to you lululemon. Again, thank you for sharing your story.

Comment by Amy — September 17, 2013 @ 2:39 pm


Great video, thanks for sharing. Next time I buy Lulu, I will be checking to see if its made in SL!

Comment by Brooke — September 17, 2013 @ 7:42 pm


such a weird coincidence, I have family in sri lanka and I have been there a few times. I wear lulu basically 24/7. is there a way to actually get the clothes in srilanka? like a store there?

Comment by G Scar — September 17, 2013 @ 9:09 pm


Amazing video! This connects employees to the end user and the end user to the organizational core values. There is truly no place like working in the textile manufacturing industry! Lulu ROCKS!

Comment by Ana De Los Santos — September 18, 2013 @ 6:53 am


just read a report about the workers in this particular factory. they’re not permitted to form unions – anyone who attempts to form or join a union is fired. as a result, the workers earn half of a living wage – they make about $367 a YEAR, on average. to be clear, this is NOT considered a living wage in sri lanka. oh, and that’s $367, including all the overtime they work. overtime which they are pretty much FORCED to work. at the end of their shifts, the workers are put on buses to ANOTHER factory where they then work another full day.

so let’s not let the pretty camera angles and music fool us into thinking that lulu is doing something great by outsourcing labor to sweat shop workers overseas.

Comment by sophia — September 18, 2013 @ 10:41 am


oh, and this is the SECOND time i’ve posted the above comment. the first time, lulu deleted it. hey lulu, if you have nothing hide, then why are you deleting the comments that point out the holes in your pretty little video? how about actually responding with facts instead of hiding behind the delete button?

Comment by sophia — September 18, 2013 @ 10:42 am


Woe low wages and long hours made in Sri Lanka, you only tell us what u want us to know, u don’t tell us the whole truth,AMD nothing but……

Comment by barre — September 18, 2013 @ 11:35 am


I’ve Always been fascinated by Sri Lanka and its culture and colors.
This vídeo is superb … Thank you so much for sharing it. I really love Prana!

Love,
Geraldo Barboza

Comment by Geraldo Barboza — September 18, 2013 @ 12:44 pm


Hi Sarah,
Thanks for taking the time to check-in with your concerns. MAS pays above the minimum wage and provides other incentives for attendance and production. Basic salaries and take home salaries are beyond most of the industries in the area, and MAS is proud to be recognized as an outstanding company to work at. This is something that we heard directly from the employees there: they are proud to work at MAS and it’s recognized as a fantastic company to work for. We don’t own any of the factories that manufacture our products, and therefore cannot set wages. Having said this, our vendor Code of Ethics (http://bit.ly/154e3u8) addresses many elements of workers’ rights, including wages, working hours, benefits and more. As you have a pair of pants made in Canada, note that while not all of our manufacturing partners’ facilities are the same, all of our partners are committed to upholding the guidelines agreed upon in our Vendor Code of Ethics.

Hi Julie,
Thanks for reaching out with your comment. Our vendor Code of Ethics outlines that employees have a right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. This allows employees the right to choose, form, belong or not belong to a union, or any other type of employees’ organization, and take part in related activities. Our vendor Code of Ethics outlines our global compliance principles to ensure that where we produce or source goods, all of our business partners adhere to a single set of policies. We expect our vendors to share our values and to be accountable, recognize and uphold legal, social, and ethical standards of production and care for the environment as well. A commitment to these internationally recognized principles is only the beginning. In the vendor Code of Ethics, we have a zero-tolerance section which outlines that compliance with the zero tolerance requirements is a condition to either start or maintain a business relationship with – one of our zero-tolerance policies includes no forced or bonded labour. Along with this we have an in-house auditing team as well as third party partners who perform annual audits and verification spot-checks to ensure compliance of our Code; audits may be announced, semi-announced or unannounced.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 18, 2013 @ 3:01 pm


Hi Sophia,
We encourage different perspectives and thoughts on our blog so know that we haven’t deleted your comments. We are passionate about supporting global economies and are happy to touch upon the questions you have shared with us. Our vendor Code of Ethics (http://bit.ly/154e3u8) requires that employee working hours do not exceed 60 hours per week (as set by the International Labour Organization – http://bit.ly/18bRpg8), or the local legal limit, whichever is less, including overtime, on a regular basis, except under extenuating circumstances. All overtime must be voluntary and compensated at a premium rate. On your note on forced labour, know that this is something that we’ve included in our zero-tolerance guidelines. This means partners must meet zero tolerance requirements to either start or maintain a business relationship with us. In addition to this, MAS pays above the minimum wage and basic as well as take home salaries are well above most of the industries in the area. In regards to your comment about unions under our vendor Code of Ethics, employees have a right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. This gives employees the right to choose, form, belong or not belong to a union, or any other type of employees’ organization, and take part in related activities.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 18, 2013 @ 3:03 pm


That’s very nice how about keeping the factories in US and Canada so that so that county of e people who actually wear these clothes have jobs and better standard of living. Lulu price poits justifies to keep factories in North America. My question is why even go to these countries when we have perfectly able people who can make these clothes in better quality. If everything is not money. Why did Lulu Lemon close down factories in Canada put their own people out on the street. Carried business off shore. I wonder. If you going to publish something like this than you need to come up with the answers. Ever since Lulu took their business off shore quality has been horrible as anyone can see under majority of the reviews. We liked the old quality where the these garments were actually made in North America.

Comment by Melisa — September 19, 2013 @ 5:49 am


Wow. Propaganda.
I really feel like lulu has lost sight of it’s original mission and is now totally focused on one thing: making money.

I’ve let lulu slide on a couple of things I’ve found disturbing (because it’s awesome clothing), but this is too much.
I’m done. Done done done.

Yoga fashion is an oxymoron, anyway.

Maybe when you carry clothes over a size 12, use fair(er) trade companies for your outsourcing (or, you know, stop outsourcing), and quit being so gosh darned creepy, I’ll come back.

Yoga is inclusive, impartial, and compassionate. You, lululemon, are not.

Comment by Madalyne Smith — September 19, 2013 @ 7:16 am


Hi Sophia,
I read your last comment however due to profane language it has been deleted. All comments are moderated before they go live on our blog and therefore you didn’t see your previous comments until I moderate them yesterday. Thanks for your input into this conversation and should you wish to re-post your last comment without profanities, you’re welcome to do so.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 19, 2013 @ 8:23 am


Just in response to the Lululemon GEC comments, I understand that you have a vendor code of ethics, but I am curious to know more about how you monitor compliance with your code. How in-depth are the spot checks? If your in-house auditing team or your third party auditing partner finds MAS or one of your other vendors in breach of this code, what can/do you do?

I’m not trying to be confrontational, I am genuinely curious about your process.

Comment by Noreen — September 19, 2013 @ 8:29 am


Hi Melissa,
We have factories in various countries including Canada and the United States. To sustain our growth, we have had to expand our business to include overseas vendors; however, we proudly maintain a small factory base, which allows us not only to have greater visibility into the factory environments, but to work closely with each of our vendors and build relationships that last. I have taken note that you’d love to see us expand on factories in the United States and Canada and will bring this note back to our sustaiability team.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 19, 2013 @ 9:08 am


Hi Krystle,
We currently don’t offset our emissions. Shipping from our manufacturing facilities to our distribution centres is a small part of our emissions – We work with a shipping solutions provider to continually look for ways we can reduce the impact of our shipping, including optimizing our shipping routes, using boat and ground shipping wherever possible, and making sure our containers are full so that we are mindful with our resource use.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 19, 2013 @ 9:32 am


I got chills at the end of this video… I had no idea what an impact production had on the families in these areas! I am so glad a part of my purchase is going back to empowering and bettering the people of Sri Lanka!

Comment by Cassie — September 19, 2013 @ 10:49 am


Hi, I am a Sri Lankan living overseas, but am quite familiar with the garment industry in SL. I read all the comments and noted some rather ignorant comments. The points below are in response to those:
* Sri Lanka’s garment industry strategically positions itself based on quality and technical skills and not price. Hence, wages are much better than low-cost countries.
* $347 per year? That is ridiculous. Monthly wages are close to that.
* Do not assume that US or Canadian manufactured products are better quality. As a bulk manufacturer Sri Lanka can afford the best technology which would often be too expensive for smaller Canadian or US plants.
* MAS operates many garment clusters and they have internationally recognized CSR programs such as its ‘Women Go Beyond’ program.
* Few comments above seem highly presumptive and ignorant, such as the comment about sweat-shops, bussing people to work in a second factory, wage levels, etc.

Comment by AJ — September 19, 2013 @ 12:29 pm


Hi Siya,

So comments ARE moderated. Glad we got that out of the way. I don’t remember using exceptionally profane language in my previous post that you deleted, but I’d be happy to remove it if that’s really the only thing preventing it from being posted. Could you please send the comment back to me? You have my email, since it was required in order to post.

Thanks.

Comment by sophia — September 19, 2013 @ 3:09 pm


Hi Sophia,
I’ve emailed you your comment so please have a read through it and reach out to me directly if you want to chat more about this.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 19, 2013 @ 3:41 pm


Thank you Lulu for sharing the direct impact that brands like yourself have in doing something great – in this case empowering women in rural Sri Lanka and supporting great working conditions… From everything I have seen on MAS over the years…this is something MAS truly believes in – well done Chelan – we know how much this a part of MAS philosophy and yours ….this is how all apparel manufacturing should be in all countries in our part of the world and these are the real impact grass root level stories all brands should care to share. Well done Lulu – love your brand more so!

Comment by Linda Speldewinde — September 20, 2013 @ 7:54 am


Hi Noreen,
Thanks so much for your questions about compliance with our Vendor Code of Ethics. In addition to the spot checks you mention, our in-house and third party auditing teams perform annual comprehensive audits covering all the requirements in the Vendor Code of Ethics.

Every vendor producing for lululemon athletica must sign a certificate of compliance, which is a legally binding document. When our vendors deviate from the Vendor Code of Ethics, we work together with them to develop a corrective action plan with mutually agreed upon timelines. There are also zero tolerance areas clearly outlined in the Vendor Code of Ethics, including guaranteed minimum wage, no child labour and others.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 20, 2013 @ 9:18 am


Hi, I had made some comments on issues with production in third world countries which raises considerable questions about the post you have made. The post is misrepresentative of issues in countries such as Sri-Lanka, Balngladesh and Cambodia where workers are protesting against your labor practices.

How come the posts I had made are not on the blog? Why are you presenting a one sided story?

I would like to know why there is censorship on your site?

Comment by aleya — September 20, 2013 @ 11:54 am


Hi Aleya,
I sent you an email about this. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts, however our channels need to be safe for everyone. Some of the content included was explicit in nature and therefore taken down. Please email us back if you want to chat further, or feel free to re-post with regards to this article.
~Jamieson

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 20, 2013 @ 4:54 pm


Hi Sophia,

I read the first comment you have published on 16th of sep. it’s totally false statement you are making and trying to create a negative picture about the factory and the working conditions in Sri Lankan apparel industry.

I stated my career in the above mentioned seamless factory after graduating from the university. The working conditions are really good. Workers get free transport, meals and medical insurance.

Workers have a joint committee which they conduct meetings once a month with the management to discuss concerns and these comments made during the committee meeting is address positively and effectively.

With a great responsibility I’m mentioning that MAS group is totally dedicated towards the rights of there workers and company treats them equally.

Also regarding the wages, the numbers you have mentioned is totally misleading the public. Minimum wages r around $120 per month and this is the starting salary. With the experience and performance they can earn upto $300-$400 per month. Company has created a culture to empower the workers to become junior executive and executives.

MAS doesn’t force employees to work overtime. They value the rights and respect the employees. We are a one family of 55000 workforce.

Therefore please do not create wrong image about my country, apparel industry and about my company. Without knowing ground facts please do not comment .

Thanks
Dhanushka
Employee at MAS intimates

Comment by Dhanushka pereira — September 20, 2013 @ 8:45 pm


Hi, I tried posting a comment but the system kept saying I am posting too quickly, please slow down. I have no idea how to get past that.

Comment by Howard — September 20, 2013 @ 11:05 pm


I am an American. For 7 years I ran a couple of companies out in Asia. Not in textiles like Lululemon.

In 2012, I took my boss who is 2 levels down from the CEO of a US Fortune 100 company, to dinner. Four grown men gorged on a delicious (and Kosher) meal, my treat. I paid a whopping $6 USD.

Comment by Howard — September 20, 2013 @ 11:08 pm


An equivalent meal easily costs more than $300 in the US. This is the same reason why 1 million USD gets you a studio apartment in New York versus 5 acres prime farm land in Texas. People crying foul in this forum is doing the exact opposite of a good, kind act. Driving companies like Lululemon out will leave no one but the true exploiters and shady operators. Whose side are you really on? Think about it.

Comment by Howard — September 20, 2013 @ 11:12 pm


I have read the posts on this blog with much interest and some horror.
Firstly I think it is import for anyone posting comments, whether positive or negative to declare their interest.
I have close connections with Sri Lanka, have supported the Sri Lankan Design Festival from the outset and work closely with the Academy of Design which educates many of the designers working at MAS today.
I spent over 25 years working at all levels of the garment industry in the UK, USA, Canada and China.
I have visited factories in all of those countries, as a consultant, customer and educationist.
I can say with absolute conviction that the MAS factories I have personally visited are of a higher standard with better working conditions for its worker than the best I have seen, any where in the world including my friends the USA.
the question of outsourcing is vexing, I was personally very disappointed to have to out source from the UK but that is a long story but Lululemon can not be singled out for castigation. They can however be fulsomely praised for choosing Sri Lanka in general and MAS in particular to manufacture some of its production.
I now have the privilege of teaching aspiring designers in the UK and Sri Lanka, many of whom have gone on to work in MAS factories. If unsubstantiated and possibly libellous? allegations of mal-treatment and cover-up had even a grain of truth to support them, I believe I would be amongst the first to know. Instead I hear nothing but praies – from people who know.
Patrick Gottelier
Head of Design
Falmouth University
UK

Comment by Patrick Gottelier — September 21, 2013 @ 12:47 am


I was appalled to read the negative comments about M.A.S. in Sri Lanka. Having been a Design Director and Consultant for Apparel and Knitwear all over the world, I have seen conditions in factories in the U.K., China, the U.S.A. Canada and Sri Lanka. They can not come close to the excellent working conditions of the M.A.S. factories in Sri Lanka, in fact I would go as far as to say the M.A.S. concept is quite visionary. I would like to add that I have been involved with the Sri Lanka Design Festival since its inception and have headed up a team that organised the Industry Fashion Shows on two occasions. I would like to point out that there has always been a Fashion Show that the M.A.S. factory workers are invited to so they can see the finished products they have made on the runway, which they thoroughly enjoy.if this is not inclusive then what is ?
IJane Gottelier De Tao Master of Fashion and Apparel. Shanghai

Comment by Jane Gottelier — September 21, 2013 @ 1:56 am


Hi Howard,
Our system recognizes when a guest is posting multiple comments so it’s best to put your thoughts into one comment – you’re welcome to separate your thoughts by grouping your sentences into different paragraphs for flow.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 21, 2013 @ 10:30 am


After seeing Intimo last week for only the 2nd time after more than 4 years, I have to say that I’m so impressed with the improvements from the 1st time around and as a Sri Lankan manufacturing supporter, I’d give Intimo a 5★++ rating! The comments on the blog are extremely interesting, ranging from being well informed and appreciative to downright ignorant of just how good Sri Lanka working conditions are. Intimo and MAS in general should be very proud of having some of the best factories in the world … and trust me, I’ve seen a lot of factories in a lot of countries!

Comment by Jim Chidwick — September 21, 2013 @ 11:00 pm


Hi Siya, I tried for 30 minutes to upload two paragraphs without success, hence the separate postings. I used Firefox 20.0.1 and IE 10.0.9 Please read my posting where I described my problem on 9/20, 11:05p – I was trying to post in any way I can to offer support to one of a frightening few companies that are trying to do an ethical job overseas.

Comment by Howard — September 23, 2013 @ 6:31 pm


Wow I have been wondering around the internet too much. and I bumped in to this. I have nothing against lululemon Adidas Nike and such. I read through most of the comments and all of them are flawed in some way. I’m commenting as a Sri Lankan who has good exposure to the garment manufacturing industry.
In very plain sense these workers are being stripped of their labor. They work grueling 12 hour shifts plus overtime for a very very low salary. That being said, this company “MAS” is heaven compared to other garment manufacturing hell holes in my country. “MAS” pays better and have better working conditions. Does that mean MAS is good. No, not by a long shot. It’s like being the thinnest kid at fat camp!.

There is a reason why these garment products are affordable to people overseas even after the companies make millions in profit. The workers are paid in cents, that’s why.Organizations outsourcing their production should be concerned with more than just PROFIT. We are all human poor or rich. Don’t exploit the unfortunate by giving them crumbs off your plate. Respect humanity
So that’s pretty much sums up all sides to this story. Peace!!!

Comment by Weerasekera — October 3, 2013 @ 9:42 am


Watching Fifth Estate on CBC Tv and the clothing factoires in Bangladesh . They mentioned Lululemon. Very disappointing Lululemon , especially given the expensive cost of their clothing, would participate in this exploitation. Or even get near it.

Comment by Claudia — October 11, 2013 @ 6:45 pm


Hi Claudia,
While we do have factories in Bangladesh, we uphold fire and building safety, a safe working environment and the health and safety of employees in partnership with our vendors. If you’d like to chat more in detail, do reach out to us at 1.877.263.9300.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — October 12, 2013 @ 9:32 am


I am proud to work with MAS, it is ranked the top employer of choice being a Private entity. We love our work and I believe every employee is passionate in what they do. We are not offered jobs in this organization but a livelihood where the presence of the organization is in your life always everywhere and everyday.
This organization sets into your DNA and we feel great to be associated to it and produce the best garments, lingerie and fabrics in the world working with some of the worlds largest and greatest brands and being one of the best in sustainability in everything we do.
Albeit, I don’t see any other company working with Such focus integrity and humility whilst complying to all standards, rules, regulations and guidelines set by our customers to give a great product to the consumer.
I am a proud associate of MAS, the largest and the number one Private company in Sri Lanka.

Comment by David Muller — October 18, 2013 @ 7:58 am


@ Weerasekara,

Thank you for the comment,
Just take a step back and think where would we as a country and an industry be if these products were not manufactured in Sri Lanka.
We were a developing nation with a war that raged over 30 years and country dependent on a handout from donors worldwide. We had all to struggle to make the extra rupee to survive.
With all that this industry fell on its knees when most of the companies that set up ventures on low labour cost pulled out leaving many a worker stranded without even the wage they earned.
MAS, being a great organization managed to keep its customers as they had an advantage over others in quality, consistency, dependability and integrity.
If not for this industry we would be still be dependent on our foreign labour that works sixteen hours a day in the Middle East households as servants or the poor tea pluckers scaling the mountains barefoot Plucking left for a bare minimum wage and living in line houses to fulfill our budgetary requirement of foreign income.
Albeit if companies in Europe or the West set up their manufacturing in their own countries and produce do you think they would have an advantage and would it be affordable to their consumers?
Many are there to talk about best practice only to those who really do a great job. I wish these people focus on the other companies too as then we could go I for a total shutdown and pray to our gods to feed us forever.

Comment by David Muller — October 18, 2013 @ 8:15 am


As a fan of Lululemon apparel since it first came onto the market in Victoria I can attest to the downhill quality of your product.
All of the items I own still that were made here are in perfectly good condition, however I have only bought a select few items as of recently. #1 – because of the design and feel and #2 – I don’t support buying products made overseas.
As a Canadian I’m tired of seeing everything made somewhere else. Outsourcing is not the answer, and “shareholders” should never trump your mantra. I want to see this as a Canadian business that stays top quality / made in Canada and proudly Canadian owned.
Thank you.

Comment by Alli G — November 13, 2013 @ 9:48 am


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