Two years after the Great See Through Yoga Pants Scandal of 2013, it looked like Lululemon was finally in the clear. The man who said some women’s bodies “just don’t actually work” for spandex resigned from the board. Profits were up. Men’s sales were soaring. Investors were happy. But alas, it may have been too much to hope for. Another Lululemon clothing disaster is under way.
Lululemon is recalling 318,000 women’s tops in the United States and Canada that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports led to “seven injuries to the face and eye.” How did these injuries occur? The offending items—more than 20 styles altogether—were manufactured with “an elastic draw cord with hard metal or plastic tips in the hood or around the neck area.” Because of this, when the drawstrings were “pulled or caught on something and released,” they could “snap back, impact the face area and result in injury,” the commission explains.
How severe were these injuries? It’s unclear. When I called the CPSC late Thursday afternoon, the case officer for Lululemon’s recall had left for the day. It’s similarly unclear over what period the seven reported injuries occurred, though a CPSC spokeswoman pointed out that the relevant merchandise was sold from January 2008 through December 2014. Lululemon, for its part, says in a statement that there were “no serious injuries reported” and no lawsuits filed.
While potentially hazardous hoodie drawstrings aren’t to be taken lightly, it does seem worth noting that the available information from the CPSC suggests an average of one injury was reported for each year the items were available. That’s ... not a lot.
Anyway, should you own one of these women’s clothing items, the CPSC recommends you stop wearing it and “either remove the draw cord or contact Lululemon to request a new, nonelastic draw cord with written instructions on how to replace the draw cord.” You can find a full list of the affected merchandise online. Until then, dress with care. You never know where the next athletic apparel attack could spring from.