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August 30, 2007


Jesse Collison

[Editor's note: the below comment was edited for profanity. The remaining material challenges the ideas and principles behind MEC's retailing practices and ethical sourcing program. Hence, it ought not be censored]

The author writes...

I think it's sad and pathetic how you provide these tales of comparison w.r.t Big Macs versus their equivalents in foreign lands....?? I don't really apologize for offending the nameless [deleted] who eat up your product every day for their "weekend warrior" endeavours, but seriously....
WHY aren't every single one of YOUR products produced on North American soils with us shouldering THE COST because we want/NEED it and you with a reduced PROFIT margin. I'm sure all of the "ethical Green Types" who are proponents of your "pseudo preservationmorphism" wouldn't mind actually 'forking out' a little extra in space of actually making no difference.
Coming from an outdoor enthusiast (who WILL continue to pay the money for a local or regional(NA)product) sees little more than a bunch of MEC products flooding the market to people who don't actually care about the environment more than saving a few bucks..shame...truly, as a company, you are currently doing more harm than good.
This paragraphing far exceeds any email posting and I feel this commentary deserves a place at one of your 'make-a-difference' meetings.
Please call me @ [tel number deleted] if you have the testicularity to answer for any of these claims. And if I am on your mailing list, PLEASE REMOVE ME.
I am willing to represent myself (and others) in person. And if you think I have no b@lls for writing this in this medium...invite me to a meeting and I WILL bring some facts from the source.

Sincerley and unapologetically,

Jesse D. Collison

We should also be interested in the number of fatalities/injuries that occur with MEC gear and purchases c.w gear purchased elsewhere...interesting statistic...(easily obtainable)..I would believe that you are doing 'more-harm-than-good'...however maybe this is your idea of outdoor education??...then...that is pretty messed up!



In our mind, the hardcore outdoor enthusiast and the casual weekend hiker have equally valid views and claims to the environment. It's not the amount of time in a kayak or belaying down a cliff that matters, it's the respect and appreciation for the environment that counts.

Having this view or recognizing the economic realities of retailing as we do (and openly discussing it) shows a lot of "testicularity" in my books.

I doubt this short blurb would influence your view of our "pseudo preservationmorphism" but perhaps hyperlinking yourself to the following you might see something different.

Phil Bonnell


If you really valued his opinion, why preface his comment by letting us all know that he used swears (and then pat yourselves on the back for allowing his entry to still be seen). You ought not have run an editor note if you wanted to be inclusive. "This guy swore and disagreed with us, but aren't we fabulous - we've forgiven him and you may now read his stupid comment."

Jesse may have been drunk when he/she posted (at 2:56am on a Sunday morn!) but he/she had a good question that you didn't answer.

Why don't you "ethically source" %100 of your products from Canada or the United States where you can have a closer watch on the factory's goings-ons?

The answer will no doubt be that you couldn't possibly remain competitive in the marketplace if you did. Herein lies the contradiction that I think Jesse was trying to get at: The MEC brand tries to come off as this cause-du-jour, anti-capitalist, anti-globalization hero for the common-man but you actually ARE the capitalists who use offshore manufacturing and consumerism to turn a buck. What you do with that buck is commendable, but I think it obtuse not to recognize that people are going to think you, a retailer, hypocritical for scribing anti-capitalist blog entries. Jesse was drunk, what's your excuse?


Hi Phil,

The reason why we publish all comments with some exceptions (libel and etc.,) is because we deeply believe that disagreement leads to progressive change. We do have a set of blog rules that everyone must conform to. See our blog rules at:
Profanity is edited out because it's inappropriate within the context of this blog and basic business decorum.

We don't source all our goods in NA because of economics, reality and equality. Check out these links for a detailed analysis of our sourcing patterns, causes and consequences.

MEC is a coop retailer. At the heart of our retailing model is the simple and irrefutable law of "buy low and sell high". The monetary difference between "low and high" allows us to exist plus fund our social and environmental justice projects. (This "low and high" equation is really the fundamentals of capitalism).

You're almost absolutely right that in some respects we "ARE the capitalists who use offshore manufacturing and consumerism to turn a buck". The entire objective of this blog is get everyone (MEC, members and readers) to painfully realize your above declaration. Everything we sell and every object you and I consume has positive and negative social and environmental consequences. Understanding this contradiction (my words) or hypocrisy (your words) is key to stopping the collapse of our fragile ecosystem and the further impoverishing of the already poor.

There are no excuses! Neither for retailers like MEC nor consumers like me and you.

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