VANCOUVER, BC–Iconic Canadian outdoor retailer MEC (Mountain Equipment Company) commemorates its milestone 50th anniversary, renewing a retail legacy of expert outdoor advice, rock-solid gear, member rewards and social impact.
MEC is proud to donate $1M to Canadian non-profit organizations that are doing critical work in the outdoors. Over the next year, through MEC’s Outdoor Impact program, national organizations will receive funding and gear to build capacity in areas that support shared priorities. Priorities include investing in diversity, equity and inclusion, responsible outdoor recreation, and accessible outdoor skill building.
“Getting active outside has never been more important to the health and mindset of Canadians,” says Eric Claus, CEO and Chairman of MEC. “Since COVID-19 began, we have helped a new set of folks prepare for their first trip to the backcountry or local campground. Given the growing numbers in the outdoors, it is crucial that we help promote responsible outdoor recreation alongside outdoor non-profits in Canada. I’m proud that despite the very real business challenges to the retail sector during COVID-19, as well as the transition here at MEC, we are in a position to invest a million dollars into far reaching national organizations that support the communities we serve.”
“We have seen a remarkable increase in backcountry use and we’re proud that each year, some 12,000 people take a course from the Avalanche Canada Training program,” say Gilles Valade, Avalanche Canada Executive Director. “We are grateful for MEC’s long-standing commitment to public avalanche safety, which helps to ensure this training remains accessible and relevant to backcountry users of all experience levels.”
MEC’s 2021 Social Impact partners include: Avalanche Canada, Spirit North, Parks Canada, Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, Park Bus, Alpine Club of Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Protect Our Winters, Leave No Trace Canada, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Take Me Outside.
MEC Label Spring/Summer 2021 collection and product sustainability goals
MEC is already seeing record increases in camping and hiking sales for spring 2021. The MEC Vancouver-based design team is supporting the growth with accessible, high quality gear and apparel built for outdoor performance. New product sustainability goals renew MEC’s deep commitment to responsible product development and sourcing.
“Almost fifty years ago, MEC started designing its own products. MEC has come a long way since then, and sustainability has become a major part of the thinking that goes into MEC Label designs,” says Adam Ketcheson, Chief Product Officer. “By 2025, our big picture aim is to have at least one environmental or social responsibility feature in every MEC Label product. We are 85% of the way there and will continue to invest in reducing our ecological impact while at the same time, focusing on backcountry performance.”
Sustainability goals for MEC Label include:
As leaders in Fair Trade production, MEC will see 30% of its clothing made in a Fair-Trade Certified factory by 2023. By 2025, the goal is 50%.
Build on MEC’s ongoing commitment to 100% Responsible Down Certified and 100% organic cotton, by ensuring 50% of the polyester in MEC Label products is made from recycled content by 2023. By 2030, the goal is 100%.
By 2022, all MEC brand partners will have completed the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index Brand/Retail Module and have set initial sustainable raw material targets.
By 2025, all MEC brand partners have committed to eliminating recruitment fees for migrant workers from their supply chain and all brand partners are responsible for their product’s end-of-life.
MEC’s outdoor essentials include:
Centaurus +5° Sleeping Bag created with recycled materials ($154.95)
Peak Comfort Merino Baselayers made with expedition weight Responsible Wool (from $34.95)
Wanderwall Climbing Pant, a MEC staff favourite made with bluesign approved material ($69.95)
New MEC Membership benefits
The new no-fee MEC Membership program was created to reward more MEC Members in meaningful ways including:
Online expert appointments. Members use booking tool to schedule 1:1 video calls with outdoor activity and product experts.
> Exclusive Bike and Ski service promotions at the start of the season
> New products and exclusive promotions
> Bonus offers throughout the year
> Access to outdoor skill building workshops and seasonal events
> 30-day price match
“People come to MEC because they trust our gear, advice and services. We don’t just sell it, we live it,” says Jay Taylor, MEC President & Chief Operations Officer. “We have more members than ever before. We wanted to thank our millions of longtime members and welcome newcomers with meaningful discounts on services, and personal access to the experts and events that make MEC special.”
The MEC Membership program builds on the positive consumer feedback the retailer received during COVID-19. MEC’s gear, advice and industry-leading health and safety protocols have resulted in a best-in-class consumer scores.
MEC’s Net Promotor Score* average is 40 (January-April 15 2021) versus the retail NPS benchmark average of 35.
MEC is credited with the WOW Seal of Excellence for ranking 6th out of 145 retailers in Ontario for outstanding in-store retail experience, based on an October-November 2020 web survey of nearly 13,000 Ontarians.
*Widely adopted customer loyalty metric.
MEC is Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration. Combining high-quality apparel and equipment with expert advice and firsthand experience, MEC supports a wide range of activities including camping, snow sports, watersports, cycling, climbing, hiking, running and travel. Established in 1971, MEC has been a strong backer of community initiatives and has invested $45 million (and counting) into non-profit organizations that support outdoor recreation and conservation. For more information, visit www.mec.ca and follow @mec, or visit one of our stores nationwide.