Why LuLaRoe is putting pebbles in people's newly purchased denim jackets

Elise Solé

LuLaRoe, the controversial company that sells patterned leggings, is now offering denim jackets that some claim have a glaring manufacturing error: pebbles in the pockets.

On Monday, screenshots of the stones removed from the LuLaRoe Jaxon (one of two new denim jackets offered in sizes XXS to 3XL) were shared to the Facebook group LuLaRoe Defective Ripped/Torn Leggings and Clothes. The group boasts more than 40,000 members who track the company’s missteps, including leaked conference calls, quality of merchandise, and “modest” convention dress codes.

Why were the pockets of a LuLaRoe denim jacket filled with pebbles? (Photo: Facebook/LulaRoe Defective Ripped/Torn Leggings and Clothes.)

The original Facebook poster wrote, “Love love love my new Jaxon!!! I was lucky enough to get extra surprises?!?!?! Each pocket was full of adorable little pebbles. I was very surprised!!! Who hid these little rocks in my new beauty?!?!?!”

According to a helpful FYI on JNCO Jeans’ website, stone-washing denim (a process that gives jeans that worn-in, distressed appearance and soft feel), involves running denim items in a machine filled with various types of stones, which beat the material into a lighter, softer product.

Wayward stones are removed from the clothing afterward; however, in the case of LuLaRoe, some in the Facebook group claimed the leftover pebbles were an oversight.

“Yea it is a thing but most stores catch them before they go out to customers,” one person wrote. Another added, “Those are the stones used to age the denim. They aren’t a gift. The company should be pulling those out before shipping,” while one commenter wrote, “I remember my mom getting pissed off when they would show up in the washing machine. They aren’t good for appliances.”

A few were convinced the pebbles were simply a marketing ploy. “They are foolish if they think that’s how it’s washed. It’s gimmick,” one person commented. “You can tell by the 4 perfectly round distressed areas on the back of each jacket.”

LuLaRoe has made lots of headlines over the past year. Back in March, the quality of LuLaRoe leggings were questioned when frustrated customers began posting photos of their ripped leggings on social media. LulaRoe released a statement explaining that the holes were due to a “special brushing technique” that unfortunately weakened the fibers of the pants, but the company also stood by its promise of quality.

Then came a lawsuit filed by two California women who accused LuLaRoe of selling leggings that tear as easily as “wet toilet paper” and failing to resolve customer complaints about them.

In April, LuLaRoe issued refunds to anyone who bought faulty leggings between Jan. 1, 2016, and April 24, 2017. And a company spokesperson sent the following statement to Yahoo Style: “We categorically reject the fabricated and exaggerated claims of this suit in the strongest terms and believe it is completely without merit. We stand by the quality of our products and are committed to ensuring consumers are fully satisfied. We are confident we will be able to fully refute these allegations.”

Also that month, a leaked recording of a conference call — during which CEO Mark Stidham referred to LuLaRoe customers as “stale” and company naysayers as “pigs” — earned the company even more negative press.

When asked by Yahoo Style if the pebbles were an oversight or a marketing effort, a spokesperson for LulaRoe sent the following statement: “LuLaRoe’s denim Harvey and Jaxon jackets were stonewashed with actual stones to achieve the true indigo denim colors.”

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