Lululemon Athletica, a luxury workout brand for women, has been thrust back into scrutiny after allegations from a former store employee that claim women who were larger than a size 8 were discriminated against and shunned, The Huffington Post reports.
As if pants that are barely thick enough to wear in public, for $98, wasn't bad enough.
Elizabeth Licorish, a former employee from the downtown Philadelphia location, said that while the smaller sizes of merchandise were neatly showcased in the front, the larger sizes were "thrown into a heap" and were rarely restocked.
Licorish referred to the larger sizes as the 10s and 12s. The average American woman is a size 14.
Many consumer advocates have criticized Lululemon for intentionally marketing their brand to thinner women, fueling the belief that health is equivalent to skinniness and therefore indirectly contributing to body image issues for women and young girls.
In an interview with the Calgary Herald in 2005, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson explained that a major reason behind the lack of plus-size clothes is money, considering larger sizes require more fabric and would therefore be more expensive to create.
"It's a money loser, for sure," Wilson said. "I understand their plight, but it's tough."
Lululemon is not the only company to recently come under fire for shunning heavier customers. The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, admitted that his brand was "absolutely" exclusive to kids that are "popular," and doesn't want "fat women" to wear his brand.
However, Jeffries eventually apologized, most likely due to a drop in sales although he cited other issues as the problem. There is no research to show that Lululemon sales have been affected by their recent size controversy.
Last year, Cordelia Storm of Seattle started a small Change.org petition asking Lululemon to offer plus-size clothing. On the petition, she asks, "Wouldn't it be amazing if Lululemon took an active stand in showing women of all sizes being athletic?"
Lululemon has yet to comment on the allegations.