Beyond Yoga and Lululemon are both established players on the yoga wear scene, known for their comfortable fabrics, excellent quality and cool aesthetics. Their prices aren’t too dissimilar, and neither of them are excelling on sustainability. Beyond Yoga may just edge out Lululemon due to their ethical credentials, but Lululemon’s quality promise is not to be dismissed.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about how these two powerhouse yoga wear companies stack up against each other.
Materials and comfort
Here is a some advice we like to consider when choosing yoga or workout pants. Materials and comfort are really important but style matters too. Finding yoga pants that are stylish, flexible and comfortable isn’t always easy but both Lululemon and Beyond Yoga offer some great choices.
Lululemon developed their cult following in part due to their fabrics and cuts that move comfortably with you through the sweatiest yoga class.
They developed their own names for blends of materials. The Lululemon ‘Luon’ fabric is 86% nylon and 14% Lycra. It can be kind of a pain when you want to know ‘but what actually IS Nulux?’ for instance – but they seem to be made up of fairly standard industry materials – like polyester, nylon and spandex. Even though the materials might not be as innovative as their names appear mosty fabrics are comfortable and stretch with you as you move through your different yoga poses or workout routine.
Beyond Yoga also have some opaquely-named fabrics (Spacedye, Powershine) – but again, they’re industry-standard materials like Lycra and polyester.
Like Lululemon, Beyond Yoga’s clothes are designed to see you through a bendy, sweaty workout – think soft fabrics, stretchy materials, moisture-wicking properties. Every reviewer on this Women’s Health article raved about the comfort of the Spacedye leggings.
Comparing fabric Quality
The quality of the fabric used in your yoga patterns matter most when it comes to flexibility and comfort but durability is also just as important a factor when rating quality.
Lululemon are known to make long-lasting pieces, although there have been reports that their anti-pilling claim doesn’t always hold true.
Lululemon does have a ‘quality promise’ and say that if your piece doesn’t perform, they’ll take it back. They also mend holes and ripped seams according to previous employees, so it seems you can make your pieces last quite a while.
There seems to be less online about Beyond Yoga’s long-term quality specifically. They do have a standard 30-day returns window, but not a lot else on the website in terms of a quality guarantee.
However, the web is awash with rave reviews and die-hard fans of this brand, from fashion editors to outdoor enthusiasts to Reddit readers. It’s safe to assume the quality can’t be too poor, or they wouldn’t have so many happy customers.
Lululemon’s pieces range from $1,200 for their most expensive parka to $18 for a pair of workout underwear. The average pair of leggings is about $90-120.
Beyond Yoga’s pieces range from $52 for a tank to $162 for a jumpsuit. Their leggings mostly hit around $97-99.
Ethics and controversies
In the yoga clothing market ethics are becoming more and important. The idea of yoga, clean living and ethical, environmentally friendly and sustainable products all fit together nicely. We want to know that when we are trying to achieve a healthier cleaner lifestyle that we are also wearing clothing that fits in With these ideals too. let’s compare Lululemon and Beyond Yoga and see what their ethics are like.
Lululemon has had its fair share of controversies. Chip Wilson, the former Chairman of Lululemon, has publicly made a number of misogynistic, racist and fat-phobic comments – and has expressed positive views on the use of child labour. He still holds almost 30% shares in the company.
Lululemon still doesn’t evidence supporting its workers, particularly production workers, nearly enough, and doesn’t meet living wage.
However, they do engage in a number of social initiatives, and have made an effort to diversify their models.
Beyond Yoga haven’t found themselves at the centre of quite so many PR storms. They’re woman-owned and boast an 85% female workforce; they claim to never retouch models; and they donate a percentage of their profits to a variety of charities, details of which can be found on their website.
There is no evidence Beyond Yoga enforces living wage in its supply chain, however it does undertake the final stages of production in the US, a medium-risk labor abuse country.
Sustainability and the high expectations for yoga brands
It’s not easy for yoga fashion brands tick all the boxes us we expect them too. Yoga sets high ideals and these aren’t easy to meet. Sustainability requires a good business model as well as beautiful well designed yoga gear.
The fashion sustainability rating website Good on You rates Beyond Yoga as ‘not good enough’. One good thing about the company is that they manufacture locally, reducing carbon output. However, they don’t use recycled materials, minimize textile waste or implement wastewater management initiatives.
Beyond Yoga doesn’t seem to use any animal products but doesn’t call itself a vegan company.
Lululemon is also rated ‘not good enough’ on Good on You. While Lululemon has set a target to reduce its carbon emission, Good on You says there has been no evidence to prove that Lululemon has made any meaningful progress towards this target.
Lululemon doesn’t seem to have a wastewater management initiative, does use animal products, and doesn’t show evidence of an animal welfare policy.