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Lululemon’s $75 Million Plan to Solve ‘Inequity in Wellbeing’

Lululemon wants to offer more than just leggings.

The Vancouver-based athleisure purveyor announced Friday the launch of a Centre for Social Impact, with the goal of “disrupting inequity in wellbeing” through “movement, mindfulness and advocacy.”

Lululemon says it’s investing $75 million to promote physical, mental and social wellness through a mix of philanthropy, research and advocacy. The center, the asana-friendly brand said, will “unify and amplify” its existing social-impact programs while meting out new tools and resources to benefit more than 10 million people globally by 2025.

“At Lululemon, we believe everyone has the right to be well and we know the path to wellbeing is possible when tools, support, and resources are accessible to all,” Esther Speck, the company’s vice president of global sustainability and social impact, said in a statement. “Through Lululemon’s Centre for Social Impact, we will leverage our expertise, resources, and communities to advocate for the wellbeing of those most impacted by systemic inequity around the world.”

As an extension of its Here to Be social impact program, the Centre will be earmarking $5 million for grassroots organizations such as the Girls Opportunity Alliance, an Obama Foundation program that works with adolescent girls around the world, and the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. Since its rollout in 2016, Here to Be has doled out grants of more than $25 million, helping more than 750 nonprofits to create inclusive access to “movement and mindfulness” to more than 1 million people. Meanwhile, Lululemon’s Peace on Purpose collaboration with the United Nations Foundation has provided thousands of UN workers with mindfulness and self-care tools since 2019, it said.

Lululemon will also be partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the United States’ largest grassroots mental health organization, to establish a 9-8-8 crisis number for mental health and suicide prevention services. All of this is part of its Impact Agenda to “change the world for the better,” noted the brand, which recently signed an agreement to power its North American operations with 100 percent renewable energy, committed to plant-based nylon and bumped its minimum wage.

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“Looking to the future, Lululemon’s support will help ensure that we are able to lead a series of community-level, multi-disciplinary projects that will provide an elevated response for mental health issues facing our communities,” said Katrina Gay, chief development officer at the National Alliance on Mental Illness.