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May 11, 2008



This is inspiring - it's too easy to get discouraged thinking about all the dirty factories out there. It's encouraging reading about factory owners who connect with worker's needs and plan for a healthy future.

Mike Aronson

Re: Offshore Sourcing

I would like to say that there is and has never been a truthful reason as to why companies such as MEC, do not invest in their own countries to manufacture. It is an easy reson/ to say to the consumer,regarding the textile/apparel market,that the reason for off shore manufacturing is so that the consumer will benefit from lower prcing and theadditional aid to those foreign countries in human and social development.

Canada has a lot to offer in the area of apparel manufacturing, from the ground up. The existing textile companies in Canada provide excellent product for the world market.

The "jump" by the apparel manufacturers to export manufacturing was in the early eighties, so that they could be more competitive in the domestic Canadian market. It was a short term plan to gain massive market share and within the next 10 years, the majority of Canadian manufacturers (except niche and speciality comapnies) were manufacturing and sourcing offshore.

This country has the manpower and resources to manufacture locally 100%.

I would like to invite MEC to walk the talk and commit to the Canadian market.


Thank you. It's reading stuff like this that allows me to feel a bit of faith in our species.


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the feedback. MEC ran a pack factory many years ago. It was shuttered and the workers laid off. The reason: MEC could not produce the volumes to sustain its factory and develop world class products.

I seriously doubt there is a current appetite for trying again.

Check out this link for more insight to Made In Canada.



Just consider why we get our products from overseas, it's simple.

First of all, many people want locally made or at least goods made in one's country, but are they willing to pay for it??? Some people say they are, but when it comes down to it, the majority of the people who buy stuff are NOT willing to pay extra for it.

Many people don't even know where their clothes are made in the first place.

I would like to have my clothes be made locally, but if a Canadian company is going to survive, it is going to have to pay it's workers a lot more money, there is going to be more costs along the way in the manufacturing process of the product. This is simply going to mean higher priced goods.

If people were willing to pay for it, it would probably happen.


I recently purchased a soft shell. Two designs were available from MEC, one local the other MEC "made in China". Price difference $5 or about 3%. I preferred the made in Canada jacket, but still had design suggestions.

Oh ... I also saved $5. We can be competitive.

I think MEC should consider vertical integration again (Yes I followed the link about a willingness to take the jobs). Six years ago we weren't the retailer that we are today. Just look at our web presence and you'll know that we've changed.

Don't we sell anything that would support Canadian manufacture based on our volume alone? Surely there's a troubled Canadian manufacturer that's willing to trade controlling interest for survival in the face of economic down turn.

There are more than a few jobs in the statements above that I'd be willing to take on.


Hi Bill,

Thanks for your comments. Sometimes the price on the retail floor between a locally made jacket and one overseas does not always imply a $5 (3%) difference. Pricing is often done across an assortment of products. For example, Canadian goods typically have lower markups (in order for them to sell), while overseas goods have higher ones. Thus, overseas goods have a "subsidy" effect on local more costly ones. Consumers see a $5 dollar difference thinking that the goods are essentially price competitive. This is not always so.

MEC is the biggest customer for probably half a dozen factories in Canada. We keep them alive.

For factories to survive in Canada they need to be able to reach a wide range of customers and not just MEC. They'll become too vulnerable should MEC face a downturn.


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