Pea-based pants may be next frontier as Lululemon looks at crops for clothes

Lululemon’s pitch focused on using byproducts from pea processing as inputs for new clothing materials

Lululemon Athletica Inc. wants customers to have more pea in their yoga pants.

The athleisure retailer presented the idea at Protein Industries Canada’s (PIC) pitch day Monday in a talk titled: Clothing the World with Crops, according to a photo of a PowerPoint slide.

ALSO READ: Lululemon shares surge after forecast increase, earnings beat expectations

Lululemon’s pitch focused on using byproducts from pea processing as inputs for new clothing materials, said Bill Greuel, chief executive of PIC, a not-for-profit industry association that is one of the federal government’s five supercluster initiatives. Its goal is to create business opportunities, collaborate and invest in projects that could transform Canada’s agriculture and food processing industries, according to its website.

“It’s not far-fetched at all,” he said, pointing to other examples of more sustainable material used for clothing, like bamboo. Many companies, including Patagonia, also already use hemp.

Lululemon declined to comment on the presentation, with spokeswoman Erin Hankinson writing in an email that “we don’t have anything else to share.”

Peder Sande, who delivered the presentation in Calgary, is a consultant for the company.

More than a dozen companies, researchers or other groups gave presentations that lasted about five to seven minutes each during the day.

PIC had put a call out for talks on business challenges, interesting technology platforms, specific research capabilities and other topics, said Greuel.

“All with the idea that, you know, we want to create opportunities for collaborative research out of the discussion.”

Lululemon’s idea would be a “great opportunity” for the industry to utilize some of the byproducts from pea processing, said Greuel.

Consumers are demanding more plant-based protein in their diets. Canada’s new food guide released earlier this year even recommends people “choose protein foods that come from plants more often” and restaurants have scrambled to add vegan options, like Beyond Meat burgers and breakfast patties, to their menus.

That need for plant-based protein is driving the industry today, said Greuel. The popular Beyond Meat burgers, which temporarily sold out after A&W first started selling them, for example, contain pea protein isolate.

When processors extract protein from peas, pea starch and fibre is left behind, he explained.

Those byproducts are currently used to make glass noodles, livestock feed and other products, Greuel said.

“We’re always interested in additional uses and higher-value uses as well.”

Any idea that adds value is a tremendous opportunity for Canadian farmers to diversify their markets and increase farm-gate prices, wrote Allison Ammeter, chairwoman of the plant protein alliance of Alberta, in a statement.

“Value-add can be food products, beauty products, industrial products, perhaps yoga pants? Why not?” wrote Ammeter, who attended the presentation.

The next step is for any interested companies, including Lululemon, to submit a project proposal to PIC, said Greuel, which is due at the end of the month. PIC will then determine within a few months which of those projects it will help fund.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake man appears in court for death of his wife

Satnam Singh Sandhu appeared in Red Deer Provincial Court Wednesday morning

Sylvan Lake man charged with wife’s murder

Satnam Singh Sandhu, 41, will appear in Red Deer Provincial Court on Sept. 18

Sylvan Lake Minor Football teams put up a collective 223-point shutout

The Lakers, Lions and Bears all had shutout games over the weekend

Sylvan Lake Terry Fox Run sees largest turnout ever

The annual run took a new course, starting at Lighthouse Park, going along Lakeshore to Jarvis Bay

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery

Wetaskiwin police seek identification of suspects

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision with cyclist on Highway 2

32-year-old male cyclist from Red Deer was pronounced dead at the scene

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Outspoken Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger stepping down later this year

Imperial Oil is about 70 per cent owned by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., since 2013

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Most Read