Lululemon launches new product customers (and investors) will love

One of the best-loved athletic and ath-leisure apparel labels not just in the U.S. but around the world is Lululemon  (LULU)  — and for good reason. 

From Calabasas to China, yoga enthusiasts and cardio queens flock to Lululemon stores for the chance to take home their very own yoga pants, running tanks, sports bras, or, now, even sneakers. 

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All around the world, those familiar lattice wood- and brick-clad walls stock different colors and sizes of the brand's top-sellers, from pairs of $98 Align leggings to $68 Swiftly tees which rarely go on sale. And while nearly $100 for a pair of exercise pants might seem outlandish to some, to others it's the pinnacle of fashion. 

It's not just the pricing that attracts customers. Lululemon is popular primarily for its buttery soft materials, which are used to make everything from leggings, shorts, tees, and tanks using its so-called "science of feel." Plenty of labels have tried to replicate what makes Lululemon so soft, but the truth is there really aren't many other products out there that are quite as smooth and flexible. 

Lululemon develops new material

A tertiary reason some folks love Lululemon is because it's long billed itself as a socially conscious company. Take one look at its website and you'll see models of all shapes and sizes, plus a lot of discussion abut how Lululemon is doing its part to take care of the planet. 

A Lululemon store is pictured in the Meatpacking District neighborhood of New York City.

Jeff Greenberg&solGetty Images

And while that commitment has come under varying degrees of scrutiny in recent months, the multinational company does certainly seem to be making progress in the way of mitigating its carbon footprint. Lululemon has outlined four main pillars it wants to work to improve as it works toward global domination.

"Our plan focuses on the four areas of our carbon footprint: products and packaging, manufacturing, transportation, and owned and operated facilities," a spokesperson for Lululemon told TheStreet, adding, "We are proud to have reached our goals of 100% renewable electricity and a 60% absolute reduction of greenhouse emissions in our owned and operated facilities."

And on Tuesday, Lululemon announced it was making progress toward pillar one: products and packaging. The company unveiled its brand new material, Nylon 6,6, which is made from recycled nylon, the material used to make many of its most popular products, including the Align and Wunder Train leggings.

Lululemon partnered with materials technology company Samsara Eco to develop Nylon 6,6, saying it had already made samples of Swiftly Tech Long-Sleeve Top. In the samples, 90% of the nylon used to make the shirt were made using Samsara Eco’s enzymatic recycling process, which takes nylon at the end of its life stage and combines it with other "non-textile materials," to recreate nylon. Since nylon is notoriously long-lasting but pulls and stretches easily, it marks the first time the material has been used this way. Environmental advocates claim many of the materials Lululemon uses are difficult to recycle and end up in landfills for 200 years or more.

Currently, Luluelmon's original Swiftly Tech Long-Sleeve Top retails online and in stores for $78. Lululemon did not comment on whether its new Nylon 6,6 products would change pricing structure or when customers can expect them to launch.  


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