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Yoga Pants Recall: Lululemon Loyal Customers in Tizzy over See-Through Pants

Image: Yoga Pants Recall: Lululemon Loyal Customers in Tizzy over See-Through Pants A pedestrian passes a Lululemon Athletica store Tues., March 19, 2013 at New York's Union Square.

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 09:04 AM

The Lululemon yoga pants recall that the pricy athletic gear retailer announced Monday has caused a stir among the brand's loyal customers.

Lululemon Athletica, Inc. warned customers that there could be a shortage of its signature black stretchy yoga pants that go for as much as $128 a pop, after the company recalled thousands of pairs because customers were complaining the material was too sheer. The Vancouver, Canada company said it will investigate complaints but maintains it hasn’t changed the quality of the pants' material, comprised of nylon and Lycra spandex since 2004.

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Lululemon has been cultivating a following, especially after celebrities like actress Reese Witherspoon and supermodel Gisele Bundchen have endorsed the brand. Brand faithfuls will happily disregard the price tag, which is $98 for a pair of the popular Astro yoga pants.

"You look around, and it's everybody wearing those clothes, even those who don't do yoga," customer Erin Henry told the Los Angeles Times. "They've gone mass market."

The workout gear is as comfortable as jeans with the contouring and control of Spanx, Lululemon customers say.

"What's great is that it lasts forever," yoga instructor Hilary Galanoy told the Times. "I've had some of their things for six or seven years, and they still look good."

While the brand's customers aren’t likely to jump ship, they are rattled by the recall.

"The only workout clothes I buy are from Lululemon," Kevinie Woo told the Times. "I wish they would have caught it sooner, but at least they were honest about it."

Some attribute Lululemon's quality problems on the January 2012 departure of founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson, chief innovation and branding officer of the company. In the months that followed, complaints of unraveling materials, dyes that bleed onto other garments, and certain items being discontinued populated the company's Facebook page.

"We could make excuses related to being a growing company, new people and more complex processes but we won't," Chief Product Officer Sheree Waterson wrote on Facebook in July. "Quality is our hallmark. We know we can only grow if we keep our quality and relationship promises."

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