Under Armour, Lululemon, and Small Brands with a Big Impact

brett wearing his lullulemons and under armour
“Under Armour is just selling clothes at a good price. I don’t know, maybe they’re not made in the most ethical way”

Name: Brett

Age: 26

Occupation: Lawyer

Hometown: Victoria, B.C.

Last great movie, TV show, or podcast enjoyed?

Narcos, the Netflix series. That’s one of my favorites.

Describe it in one word.

Anarchy.

Major source of news?

The Young Turks for political news. I like getting my news from places that don’t have corporate sponsors. Reddit is a big source as well—I go to the comments.

What brands do you have on you right now?

I have Under Armour, Calvin Klein underwear, and these hippy pants from Australia. I lived in Australia for a few years and there was a company that made nice quality pants. I ordered some from there after I came home. I also have a ton of Lululemon.

Why do you like Under Armour?

I like Under Armour because it’s quality, it’s a decent price, and it lasts a long time. I still have Under Armour stuff I bought when I was 16 or 17. I’m wearing some of those same shirts to the gym now and they haven’t worn down. I thought the brand was cool when I was younger, a cool sports brand.

What is it about Lululemon you like?

At first I was an Under Armour guy and I wouldn’t wear Lulu because I thought it was only for girls. Then I saw that some of their guys stuff was actually good. It’s similar to Under Armour in that it’s sporty. It’s a bit more expensive than some other brands but it lasts a long time.

Do you perceive any of these brands having a positive impact on society?

Well, they’re not out there listening to Bernie Sanders (laughs) but I think they do it a certain way for companies of their size. Under Armour is just selling clothes at a good price. I don’t know, maybe they’re not made in the most ethical way. I’d prefer they be made in a more ethical way. As for Lululemon, I think they have a lot of outreach and try to have a positive impact. You feel it more from Lululemon than from other companies. As for the specifics of what they do, I don’t know.

If there was another brand that came along that was more conscious about their impact on society and you were making a decision between Under Armour and the other brand, would you switch?

Yes. I follow a bunch of fitness YouTubers. Some of them have their own lines of clothing, and they’ll try to use ethical sources. The clothing may cost a bit more, but I buy to support them. I watch them for free online, so I feel like, why would I give my money to Under Armour when they don’t give me anything? I might as well support the guy who has given me all this information.

There are also some small brands here in San Francisco I like to support. I have two shirts that I bought from GreenLayer (a Portland, Oregon-based performance apparel company with an ethos of sustainability). They’re the shirts I wear the most. So I think I would switch, and some of those small brands are really coming along.

Finally, do you participate in any charitable activities?

Right now I’m not because I’m figuring out where I’m going to live, but I’ve done volunteer work building houses in the Dominican Republic and some charity work in Canada related to housing. It’s important to me, and once I settle down somewhere I will definitely do more.

BoTS Insights

Brett represents a type of consumer we’re seeing more of these days: someone who buys what he wants, but considers the social consciousness of the brands he supports. If a brand is sporty, cool, and high-quality, it has a good chance of finding a place in his closet. If he also feels a personal connection to its mission or the people behind it, it might just end up in heavy rotation. Also, Under Armour should consider a series of fitness videos on YouTube, since people like Brett really appreciate the value they can bring.

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