Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lululemon Shopper Bag Recall Because of Lead Concerns (UPDATED!)

Lululemon is recalling the Ambassador Shopper some of their shopping bags due to a concern about potential lead content. There is a letter on the website regarding the recall. These bags were only available in Canada so US consumers don't have to worry. I swear there weren't any US issued bags listed yesterday but the messenger style bags and the snap top red manifesto bags (I have tons of those!) are also recalled. I thought it was weird that I got the new super hero shopper yesterday for buying a $15 running hat. I got one awhile ago when they first came out and haven't gotten one since.

US recalled bags:




Here is an interesting article in the Montreal Gazette regarding elevated lead content in the Lululemon reusable shopping bags.  There is a part of the article that is rather disturbing because I have reusable shoppers from a few different stores:

"The Florida Tampa Tribune sparked calls for a federal investigation earlier this year after the newspaper tested similar reusable bags, some of which had lead levels that exceeded U.S. limits for paint. The more elaborate the pictures on the bag, the higher level of toxicity, the newspaper discovered."

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

lululemon = made in china junk.

LuluAddict said...

What isn't made in China these days. It's really disgusting how CEOs/government are selling out consumers and workers. What makes me nuts is how much candy the US is importing from China. I don't eat candy very often but my kids get it a lot more than me between school and sports team snacks. It's hard to figure out where candy is made, too. Nestle puts "distributed by Nestle" on their packaging so you don't even know where it is made.

Anonymous said...

Actually the company's letter says 4 additional styles distributed in the US (not pictured in your post) are also at issue. Scroll to the the bottom half of the letter. Two totes (small and large) and two messenger bags (small and large) and they all have the snap closure in common. I guess I'll be bringing my messenger and a Canadian bag I got via an eBay purchase into the store tomorrow. Good riddance - I wasn't planning on using them anyway.

Anonymous said...

I have a ton of messenger bags and one of the athlete pic bags I got in a purchase off of the FB exchange page. I don't live anywhere near a store. I wonder if they will do a self addressed/prepaid envelope so I can send them back-as can others who do not live near a store. I can't just recycle them or throw them away on my own.

Anonymous said...

Everything you need to know and full disclosure about the recalled bags can be found here: http://lululemon.com/shoppers

Anonymous said...

"Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters or floors. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter." So says my poisonous Lululemon bag, which I have carried sandwiches in.

Anonymous said...

The bags are fine to use. They are just saying to dispose of them properly.

Anonymous said...

That's greeeaat... I use that bag as a lunch bag. Thanks lulu. Perhaps I will sniff some lead paint and inhale some asbestos for good measure.

LuluAddict said...

I swear there were no US bags on the list yesterday but thanks for pointing out my oversight. I have tons of those snap and messenger bags.

No wonder I got a Super Hero shopper yesterday for just buying a $15 running hat. I hadn't gotten one of those for awhile.

jpalmac said...

That article was printed a number of weeks ago and NYS Senator Chuck Schumer is trying to get the FDA & other government agencies to launch an investigation into the matter. It's been a big to-do in the news here in NY. When I heard about it, I looked, with fingers crossed, hoping that the Lulu bags didn't say "Made in China" like some of their clothes do now, but alas, that's exactly what they said. It is extremely discouraging to know that even when we're trying to do something positive, like using re-usable bags for shopping, that they just end up having a negative impact on the environment, completely contradicting their purpose.

Now I don't know if ANY of my re-usable bags are a) safe for me and b) safe for the environment?? Apparently this can be problematic not only with bags made out of the same material as the Lulu bags, but also of the cloth and canvas bags too (according to some articles).

I'm glad that Lulu is at least going to take them back and dispose of them properly. Though everytime I order, I indicate NOT to bag me & they do anyway...?

ChiRunner said...

@jpalmac - I've had the same problem - Every time I place an online order I check the box saying I do not want a bag and every single time they send me a bag. Super wasteful.

Anonymous said...

I always uncheck and get bags too!! So annoying. I don't believe lululemon when they talk about "socially responsible choices" (read Vancouver Sun article on the recall, its total BS). They make everything in China, quality is crap, and from what I've heard, they treat their employees like crap.
All they truly care about is the bottom line, typical corporation - except worse, since they are so hypocritical about it.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the one roses print power-y, I'm interested to know what else is manufactured in Canada since they state they still do.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:01 a publicly traded company has an obligation to make money and maximize shareholder earnings. I think the goal of any corporation is to make money and be profitable. If you think they are in this to be your friend your a little bit naive.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anon @ 3:12. They're a business with a responsibility to shareholders. If you read the article it states that the bags haven't actually been deemed unsafe my government regulations...in which case Lululemon has no obligation to report it at all. This isn't a public recall, Lulu's just giving you the information and providing you with options.

And this does show social responsibility. I don't think most company would do this unless they were legally obligated to and that is consistent with the Lululemon brand.

Anonymous said...

If people are so upset by things being made China and it really weighs that heavily on the quality of the item and on your own conscious why do you continue to purchase? I know a lot of people that stopped buying after the products were no longer being made in Canada because they don't agree with that. It's a personal choice.

Anonymous said...

we should be applauding them, not condemning them for this move. They're being proactive and addressing something they know would be a concern, but have no legal obligation to do so. I would bet that 50% of the people that are "concerned" about this issue have lead-based paint on the walls of their homes, or art that contains the same substance. Or maybe they clean with chemicals, or let their kids write with pencils. Honestly, yes it's an issue but if you were to take readings off of common household items, I'd bet they are comparible. My point is we're surrounded by things equally as dangerous, and most of us aren't bothered until the hype is there.

Anonymous said...

To anon 3:28 - You may be ignornant to the fact that NO corporation recalls voluntarily (it may be a matter of now or later), or just a Koolaid drinker. Either way you are kidding yourself.

Anonymous said...

Also(anon 3:28) - pencils are no longer made with lead, and lead based paint hasn't been used for years. This is a serious issue, don't be so niave.

LuluAddict said...

@ jpalmac - I think the LA City Council just passed an ordinance to ban stores from using plastic bags so you have to use reusable bags. I have a few from Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Costco and now they are all suspect as far as I am concerned. Our school also had a fund raiser where we sold bags from Mixed Bag Designs.com.

@anon 10:01 am - I'm sure Lululemon treats many of their employees like crap. You can tell from their amateur-hour website that they certainly don't pay top dollar. If they did pay well, they'd have a much better functioning/error-free website. Of course in some areas they probably do pay well, like store design and clothing design. The quality of the garments has gone down - they've definitely relaxed the stitching standards.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 4:27 - I believe she was just giving examples. Everything from skin and hair products to cleaning products can contain toxic chemicals. Everyone's freaking out over lead, but how many people care about pesticides, growth hormone, parabens, sulfates, nitrates, BPA...there's pl enty of other stuff that is toxic through topical application or air bone ingestion but nobody's getting all up in arms about that until the media shoves it in your face.

And according the article (where all this info is coming from), they do not contain amounts that exceed what the government deems acceptable. If this is true than it's not a recall because it's not mandatory.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 4:27 you're missing the point completely. If you were to dig into the "ingredient" content of a lot of your household items, you would find traces of substances that are equally as "dangerous". Common household chemicals like bleach, for example, have a far worse effect from being breathed in than some small traces of lead that are bad for the environment and only dangerous to people if eaten (which I think we can all agree is not the intended purpose..versus bleach, which many use to clean).

It makes no difference whether lead is used to manufacture pencils anymore ..it has been graphite for many centuries, and there is still content that if consumed can be dangerous. Children still use pencils as intended, and they are just fine. The same can apply to the bags. Also, lead paint may not be used today, but not everyone lives in a brand new home or only has artwork acquired since the ban.

Too many people have their heads in the sand about the common dangers around them and only take notice once it becomes a trend to do so. I'm not saying don't worry about it, I'm saying for the people that ARE worried about it, don't just get lost in the hype and jump on this bandwagon, look at the other dangers around and make changes. People are allowed to be concerned and rightly so, but my point is that I'm sure many making complaints are doing so just to voice a complaint, not because they have legitimate health concerns.

Here's some good links for household items that contain lead: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/542565/products_we_use_daily_that_contain.html?cat=5
http://consumerist.com/2007/10/60-of-lipsticks-contain-lead.html

and some `dangerous`common household products

Anonymous said...

oops, link got cut off for dangerous household products

http://www.alternet.org/health/141196

@Anon 5:47 - exactly, thank you. I was just trying to throw some "dangerous" everyday items out there. I would just rather see people concerned for the right reasons...because they're worried about their health overall, not because the media has decided it's a good idea to go on the attack and people decide to join in.

Anonymous said...

okay, i guess i was meant to simply agree. I tried to provide some clarfication to my point (anon3:28) and it was deleted almost immediately.

Anonymous said...

@anon 5:47/6:13 - I know all about hazardous chemicals. It is part of my career, no specific concentration of lead is mentioned, but lead is particularly dangerous and should not be taken lightly!!! Your reply comes across as a brush-off, stating that chemicals are everywhere.. well duh..
We are made of chemicals and we even produce GH (growth hormone). Anything and everything could be classified as such, and yes there is plenty that is toxic, but there are certain chemicals that are really dangerous - lead is one of them.

There are so many lulu apologists out there. I like their clothing, but I give them a hard time because I find them very hypocritical, pretending they care about the environment and health when all they really care about is share holders.

This reminds me when Toyota first recalled some of their vehicles because of faulty brakes (they blamed it on the car mats), and it was later unveiled that is was a huge scam/cover-up of huge production defects. They hid them because they didn't want to destroy their reputation built on perceived exceptional quality. Sound familiar?!!?

Its all about perception.

Lululemon is not any different, and if you think so, you are being naive or ignorant - or both. I believe the quality has dwindled so low, this recall is just more proof.

LuluAddict said...

You really have to be a defensive consumer these days. I've switched to buying organic milk and produce. I'm trying to convince my husband to switch to grass fed beef and organic meats. Our environment is slowly killing us and nobody cares because it's all about stock price and who greases who's palm in the government. Lululemon is getting a bunch of cr*p about this recall because people are pissed and it comes out whenever one of these recalls makes a big media splash.

I love this woman's post on the Facebook page about the recall:

"I agree with the peeps on $100 bucks for a pair of workout pants made in China or whichever cheapo manufacturing country you've started making them in. In the past two years, you've raised the price of the pants from $80 to $100 while moving manufacturing across seas. As someone who's spent literally thousands upon thousands at lulu, it annoys me to recognize you may preach all this "feel good" mumbo jumbo but, in reality, you're just Nike in sheep's clothing and you'll do whatever it takes to make more money. I'm all for making money, but don't pretend to be something you're not. Bring the manufacturing back to Canada or the United States and I'd doubt you'd have this problem and you'd actually be practicing what you ardently preach."

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:25 You're making incorrect assumptions about me. I have also been one to speak up about issues with quality, poor customer service etc. Just because I think there are people being critical about this just for the sake of being critical due to the media hype, doesn't generate the widespread generalizations that you seem to be applying.

I didn't say this was a positive thing at all, I said it's great they're taking action and offering options. But it's not as severe as some people are picking up on that see "lead" "recall" "lululemon bags" and think they should be causing posion control because they used it as a lunch bag. Could it turn out to be somethign bigger? Perhaps. We can be as jaded as we'd like about businesses but sometimes things need to be taken at face value too. It's been demonstrated to be below unsafe and legal levels and that's something more tangible to go on than the situation with Toyota.

Anonymous said...

China has been outed out before about using toxic chemicals in children's toys. Lead is dangerous, and the fact that these bags are resued to carry food is not good. I will be getting rid of mine.

I agree that the quality is going down, look at the Pique Stride Jacket, the zipper is so flimsy made it will break in no time. The Define however is made with a heavier zipper.