Cafés, Community, Causes
It's a maxim of commerce that businesses not take political stands, or make pronouncements that skew to one end or the other of any ideological spectrum, the principle being that alienating a constituency, by compacting with another one, runs counter to the core mission of the business, and the obligation of said business to its stakeholders to sell things, in order to make money. Businesses are not social work enterprises, nor are they meant to be ideological platforms. As Milton Friedman said, the social responsibility of business is to turn a profit. Most successful business people hew, to a greater or lesser degree, to this philosophy.
We too have subscribed to this thinking over the years, and we have largely stayed out of ideological and otherwise political debate at any level, welcoming as we do a broad and diverse clientele, with a wide range of backgrounds, ethnicities and political leanings. And Lulu's has been a happy, welcoming place for all these people because of that. We have created a place to be, and we have been happy to provide the backdrop for peoples' lives in the process.
There comes a time however, when the commercial imperative to stand by for the sake of decorum, or for fear of alienating a constituency, is trumped by the moral imperative to speak to ones deeper values, to stand up against injustice, and for ones convictions. The past year has presented all of us with great moral challenges, and like most of our clients, we've wrestled mightily with what to make of the world we live in, and how best to chart the right course through it. Our overarching feeling is that this is a time like no other, and if this isn't the time for us to speak out, it's difficult to conceive of when a better one will come.
History will bear witness to what all of us did in these times, and we at Lulu's hope to be on the right side of that history. So you will hear us speak loudly and firmly about what we perceive to be the injustices of institutional sexism, misogyny and racism, of the wrongheadedness of the current push to deport large swaths of our society to places they don't know, or fled from to create better lives for themselves, and to generally attempt to turn the social clock back to a time that we couldn't return to, no matter how much we may wish it. And that's to say nothing of the apparent hijacking of the United States' democratic institutions by a foreign power. The future of our world is at stake here, in a way that it hasn't been since perhaps the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is not about politics or ideology. It's about basic human decency, and the enormous dangers of populism, as manifested most recently in white nationalism.
So yeah. We're gonna keep speaking out about these things. They matter to us. One of the aspects to Lulu's that we think makes us valuable is that we're genuine. We sell an honest product, an honest experience, and we are committed to good stewardship of our world. We care deeply about our community. Today, this is what that looks like.