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OQOQO: Socially conscious fashions

Company name

Ken Mark and Megan Sherritt

Richard Ivey School of Business

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OQOQO: Socially conscious fashions

Year published 

Last year covered in case 


Chip Wilson, founder of lululemon athletica, a Vancouver-based manufacturer, distributor and retailer of high quality yoga apparel, started a new streetwear line of apparel that would combine fashion with social consciousness. The apparel sold at OQOQO was made from natural and organic materials, under safe and fair working conditions, and it was produced in a way to reduce environmental impact. There were some problems regarding the sourcing of materials and the customer's perception of certain materials such as soy and hemp. Chip must decide whether to expand the number of OQOQO stores. A video '7B06A023' is available to accompany this case.  

Teaching note

  • N/A 

Key Management Reading

  • Ambec, S. & Lanoie, P. (2008). Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview. Academy of Management Perspectives. 45-62
  • Reinhardt, F. (1999). Bringing the Environment Down to Earth. Harvard Business Review. July; 149-157 

Other Readings

  • Wilson M, Schwarzman M, Malloy T, Fanning E, Sinsheimer P. (2008) Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California. Special Report to the California Environmental Protection Agency. University of California Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health 
  • Poliakoff, M., & Anastas, P. (2001). A principled stance. Nature, 413(6853), 257. 
  • Hjeresen, D.L., Kirchoff, M.M., Lankley, R.L. (2002) Green Chemistry: Environment, economics and competitiveness. Corporate Environmental Strategy, 9(3). 259-266  
  • Manley, Anastas, Cue. (2008) Frontiers in Green Chemistry: meeting the grand challenges for sustainability in R&D and manufacturing. Journal of cleaner production. 16:743-750  
  • Larson, A. (2006) Illustrating the Financial Benefits of Green Chemistry. Darden Business Publishing. Case #: UVA-ENT-0076

Audio/Visual Material

Discussion Questions

  • Which principles of green chemistry are used in the case?
  • How do the principles of green chemistry translate into business benefits?

Green Chemistry Principle

  • Principle 1 Prevent Waste
  • Principle 3 Less Hazardous Synthesis
  • Principle 7 Renewable Feedstocks
  • Principle 10 Design for Degradation

Textiles and Fibres
Pigments, Dyes and Colorants 

Teaching Topic
Environmental issues
Social Change
Social Marketing

Management Discipline
Business, Government and Society

Business Logic
Differentiating Products

Environmental Issue

Self Identified as Green Chemistry?

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