Lululemon, known for its £128 yoga leggings, is facing mockery on social media for promoting an event about “decolonising gender” and how to “resist capitalism”.
The event was featured in an Instagram post in which Lululemon recommended other accounts to follow, including the host of the workshop, Rebby Kern.
The yoga instructor is a US-based brand ambassador for the firm.
Lululemon distanced itself after the irony of the message drew attention.
“We recently shared on our social channels an upcoming event organised by one of our ambassadors.
“This is not a Lululemon forum and it does not represent the company’s views,” a spokeswoman told the BBC.
She said the firm was removing the post.
Lululemon shares have rallied more than 35% this year after signs the pandemic has reignited demand for so-called athleisure-wear.
But the ridicule gained legs on social media after the conservative Woke Capital Twitter account, which frequently lampoons corporate marketing efforts, spotlighted the seemingly awkward pose from the company, which is worth more than $40bn.
Other conservative pundits and journalists soon chimed in.
Amy Swearer, a legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank, noted: “Lululemon IS capitalism. It is literally a privately owned corporation that raked in half a billion dollars in pure profits last year, merely by selling overpriced yoga pants to women willing and able to pay for this luxury”.
Twitter users from across the political spectrum criticised the stance.
Randi Max, who identifies as a liberal on her Twitter account, wrote: “OMG. I’m tired of the hypocrisy. Lululemon’s yoga pants cost $150 and you are telling me to resist capitalism?”
Lululemon, which turned skin-tight black leggings into a fashion statement, has weathered controversy before.
In 2019 the company investigated claims that workers at a factory in Bangladesh making its clothing had been beaten and abused, according to the Guardian.
Earlier this year, it also apologised after one of its employees posted a T-shirt design on social media that caused outrage in China.
The firm said the design, of a takeaway food carton with “bat wings”, was seen as a racist reference to coronavirus, was not one of its products and the employee had been dismissed.