Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lululemon Color Bleeding Issues

I am really curious to know how lululemon is going to explain this major quality issue they are having with bleeding dyes to their investors on their first quarter earnings call. Paris Pink has already been pulled from store shelves, warning/washing instructions stickers have been added to labels and they have relaxed their return period for anything Paris Pink or any item experiencing these issues or damaged by these issues. People have returned thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to stores since it became a commonly known issue. I'm not sure what lulelemon can really do at this point with all of this inventory that is clearly defective other than to put the garments out for sale and deal with the fallout and relax their usual militant return periods. The alternative would be to have stores empty of inventory and that is just not an option. I can only assume that they are taking this issue seriously but that they have their backs against the wall with items that are produced months in advance and nothing to put out as an alternative. 

My concern with this strange dye issue is wether or not their is a health risk to us. The dyes leach onto themselves with the moisture during transit from online orders which indicates this is not an issue of someones body chemistry effecting the dyes as some customers have been told. Yes, customers have been told the dyes are bleeding because of how the dyes react to their sweat depending on the ph level. Talk about passing the buck. This is clearly not the case with these dyes. Nor is it improper laundering and nor is it 'like your favorite pair of dark denim that requires special care'. I have never had clothing leach dye like this wash after wash after wash.  The dyes are also staining peoples skin and hair and for some reason it's really hard to remove this dye from skin and hair and requires scrubbing and multiple washes in one case ruining a customers hair extensions.  That is a scary thing. I'd like to know what ingredients are in these chemicals that are staining peoples skin and hair and wether any of those dyes will cause long term health problems. What chemicals lurk in fabric dyes that we need to be concerned about, particularly when they stain our skin and linger there for days. Are they potentially toxic? Are chemicals being used that lululemon is not aware of? 

What would I like to see Lululemon do besides pulling product, relaxing return periods for these items and giving customers money to replace personal property that has been ruined (couch fabric, hair extensions, other clothing)? I'd like them to do testing on these dyes for toxicity.  Not taking the word of their vendors about what dyes are being used because clearly these dyes are cheaper than dirt cheap when Old Navy can produce colorful items that do not bleed for a fraction of the price. This has and is going to cost them a lot of money but at this point the magnitude of this problem cannot be ignored and they are staking their reputation as a quality brand on this and how they deal with this problem. They need to deal with the problem which has now carried on from their Winter line from November to December to the spring line for January and February. Will the new colors out on Monday have this problem as well or can they let us know definitively that this problem has been solved with Dazzle and Ultraviolet? I think they need to acknowledge publicly that there has been a problem (besides having special washing instruction labels added which puts the burden of these issues squarely on the consumer). They need to actually issue a statement and assure their customers that this problem has stopped at Deep Indigo and that the dyes are not toxic when left on our skin. 

This problem of color bleeding is in luxtreme and luon fabrics as well as the swiftly material (Hustle Jacket, Swiftly Tech LS) with indigo, pigment blue, flash, paris pink. The latest items to have these issues are the Indigo/White Dance Strap Tank and the Discovery Stripe CRB which were first uploaded on Monday night. Customers are receiving their orders already damaged from the moisture that occurs with transit. 

This issue has now been covered by all of us lululemon bloggers:

Erin Marie Discovery Stripe CRB Bleeding
Lululemon Addict Luxtreme Deep Indigo Bleeding
Lulumen Bleeding
Dance Strap Tank received from online order with dye bleeding onto itself

 

Hair extensions dyed pink by paris pink headband. It took several washes and the dye was still faintly in her hair.

Paris Pink Scuba faded drastically after first wash

Pigment Blue striped CRB bleeding onto itself

Hood of the Paris Pink Microstripe Stride Jacket bled onto itself 

Deep Indigo bled onto White after a run, had been prewashed. 


Flash bra bleeding onto white CRB


The extent of lululemon dealing with this issue publicly. Patronizing and doesn't actually deal with the issue of color bleeding. Not when items are prewashed many, many, many times and still are causing issues and damaging property. 

2 comments:

  1. Does the swiftlySS deep indigo bleed? I just exchanged my ebb and flow crops for it.

    A couple of years ago luon started pilling and felt thinner.
    And I've had seams unravel on things from the past year.
    Also, I returned my après run anorak because the fabric snags.
    And remember how some metal zippers can snag fabric?
    Add the cheap and possibly toxic dye issue and what you have is a company no longer worth supporting.

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  2. Well said!

    I recently bought the indigo studio crops and flow and go. The tags are still on and I've submerged a test part of each item in hot water to check for colorfastness. I feel like I'm doing Lululemon's quality control for them!

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