Interesting story in the New York Times on the danger of making empty and exaggerated claims. A trendy clothing company called Lululemon claims to make premium workout clothes from materials like bamboo, silver, charcoal, coconut, soybeans, and seaweed. They linked the seaweed fiber to all sorts of health benefits (anti-stress, anti-bacterial, detoxifying, etc.). Kind of an intriguing proposition, and Lululemon has been able to command a nice premium.
But, a laboratory test commissioned by the New York Times has showed there is no seaweed fiber in the clothing (even though the label claims a rather specific 24%). The founder’s response: "if you actually put it on and wear it, it is different from cotton. That’s my only test of it." What a terrible answer. I think it’ll be hard for them to recover from this credibility blow. Consumers have been paying a premium for authenticity (just check out their well-written manifesto).