Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC)

Get Ready for a detailed response:

1.Can you provide me with a list of countries that your clothes are made in?

Our Factory List is updated annually and postedhere on mec.ca. We also provide our factory list to the Fair Labor Association (FLA) in order for them to conduct annual assessments of the facilities producing our product. The FLA posts the results from the assessments they conduct at the facilities MEC manufactures in on their website here. Lastly, MEC also keeps our factory information and social compliance audit history on the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC), a global online platform aimed to increase brand collaboration at shared factories.

  1. How do you choose the factories that your products are made in? What criteria for factories do you have? Do you have standards for working conditions?

We do not source from any countries that are under the sanction from the United Nations or Canadian government. We make sourcing decisions based on the ability of suppliers to achieve: financial requirements; technical product requirements; quality standards; and transparency and performance measured againstMEC’s Supplier Code of Conduct. MEC believes that suppliers who work to continuously improve social and environmental standards will also have in place the essential foundation to consistently produce and deliver first quality goods and services.

MEC manufactures our products in ten different countries around the world. All contract facilities, regardless of country of origin, are required to certify that their products are sourced, developed, and manufactured in compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct and meet our quality control expectations. Through auditing, assessments and capacity building programs, we find similar types of non-compliances in all of our facilities. Recognizing that each country has different laws and regulations for workers protection and rights, MEC works with third-party auditors, other brands, and NGOs to ensure we understand where workers in the factories who are producing our product would see the greatest risks. MEC has a Supplier Code of Conduct, which is based off of the Fair Labor Associations Code of Conduct and International Labour Organizations Standards. Where a country law/regulation is weak, we will hold the factory to compliance with our code of conduct.

We conduct a pre-sourcing audits for all new supplier. Existing factories are audited on a six to 18 month timeframe, depending on the types of non-compliance our third-party monitoring firms find during each audit and assessment. We rate each non-compliance as either a medium priority, high priority, or unacceptable, based on the associated risk to workers’ health and well-being. The goal of each audit is to determine where the major areas of concern are within each facility, and then to develop a remediation plan with the factory. A remediation plan dives into the root cause of each violation to understand and best determine how to remediate. Capacity building programs such as assessments, trainings and collaborations with other brands are often prescribed and specifically developed for each factory to help in remediation. MEC encourages an open-dialogue and contribution of developing and executing remediation plans; we work with each factory towards continuous improvement of each non-compliance.

As we work through each audit cycle and capacity building program, we are striving for all factories to move towards meeting the minimum standards of our code of conduct, into demonstrating best practices and leadership.

  1. How often do executives or board members from the company visit the factories that make your clothing?

MEC’s Social Compliance staff travel to visit the factories producing our branded product two times a year. During these visits, we review the recent audit findings to provide support that will enable each factory to show continual improvement (I.e., capacity building programs and trainings). MEC’s Sourcing Director, Production Coordinators, Buying and Design also travel throughout the year to visit the factories who make our product. Where there are outstanding items noted in the corrective action plan from an audit, the social compliance team will enrol the visiting staff member to check on the status of each item.

  1. Do you own any of the factories your clothing is made in?

No, MEC does not own any facilities. As a condition to doing business with MEC, we require our suppliers to uphold this Code of Conduct, which sets out our minimum standards for workers’ rights and environmental responsibility. MEC monitors compliance, and we require full and open access to the facilities where our products are made. MEC is committed to ensuring that the workers who make our products are fairly treated in safe and healthy workplaces.

  1 comment for “Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC)

  1. Amelia
    June 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks! This is helpful and validating. I have recently been frustrated with MEC’s new focus on street apparel in place of outdoor gear, but this makes me think that maybe I should consider them for regular clothing purchases as well.

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