Lululemon's controversial founder reveals in his new book that he isn't entirely opposed to child labour and that his own children have worked since age five

  • Lululemon’s founder, Chip Wilson, takes a controversial stance on child labour in his new ebook, saying he isn’t necessarily opposed to the practice.
  • In the book, titled “Little Black Stretchy Pants,” Wilson writes that he likes the alternative of working when children are “not ‘school material.'”
  • The father of five also writes that all of his children started working for the family business at the age of five.
  • Wilson is known for his sometimes controversial opinions, which have created some problems for him and Lululemon over the years.

Chip Wilson, Lululemon’s founder, is taking a controversial stance on child labour in his new book.

In the book, titled “Little Black Stretchy Pants,” Wilson writes that he isn’t necessarily opposed to child labour, as “working young is excellent training for life.”

“In North America, I noticed that there were some kids not made for school, who dropped out with nowhere to go,” Wilson writes. “In Asia, if a kid was not ‘school material,’ he or she learned a trade and contributed to their family. It was work or starve. I liked the working alternative.”

Wilson writes that he has applied these practices to his own family. The father of five says that his own children have worked in the family business since the age of five, without pay.

Wilson is known for his blunt and sometimes controversial views, many of which he delves into in “Little Black Stretchy Pants,” which is now available to preorder as an ebook. In a 2013 interview with Bloomberg, Wilson sparked backlash after saying that “some women’s bodies just don’t actually work” for Lululemon leggings.

“With those words and that sound bite, I was ruined,” Wilson writes in the new book. “From the Bloomberg moment on, nothing would be the same. My comments were the antithesis of everything I stood for, and of everything the women of Lululemon and I had built. The ramifications for the company, for my family, and for everyone involved were catastrophic.”

Read more highlights from Wilson’s new book here ยป

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