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Manufacturing

What Matters And Why

Photo: Harvey Chan

Ensure members trust MEC's brand and products.

Our Goal:

We want to measurably improve the lives of workers in MEC-brand contract factories and to influence our wholesale brand partners to do the same in their supply chains.

Our commitment to our members is to provide gear that's excellent value, is in stock, and is made in a socially responsible manner. This isn't always easy. In our industry, social compliance is a major manufacturing issue, involving complex social, economic, and environmental conditions. MEC aims to select and work with factories and suppliers that demonstrate responsible business and labour practices. We're committed to understanding and continuously improving social and environmental conditions in our supply chain. We believe that supporting good practices is part of a broader human rights solution. And we think that suppliers who work to advance social and environmental standards will also be able to consistently produce first-quality goods.

How We Do It

Our Social Compliance Program is dedicated to improving working conditions in factories that produce our MEC-branded apparel and gear. We don't own or operate any factories ourselves, but a condition of doing business with us, is agreeing to uphold the MEC Code of Conduct. It sets out our minimum standards for workers' rights and environmental responsibility.

In MEC-brand factories, we monitor compliance to our Code of Conduct and we require full and open access to the facilities where our branded products are made. MEC is committed to ensuring that the workers who make our products are fairly treated and work in in safe and healthy workplaces.

We audit the majority of our factories at least once every 18 months, which is in line with industry practice. Audits are a great monitoring tool, but they can be cumbersome for factories, and only provide a snapshot in time rather than an ongoing look at factory operations. So where we can, we collaborate with our wholesale brand partners and other brands with which we share factories to offer the factory our joint support, such as providing training to assist a factory in achieving compliance, or helping them implement leading labour and health and safety practices to begin to move towards self-governance. This collaboration also offers us an opportunity to learn the details of our wholesale brand partners' compliance standards and programs, and to reinforce our expectations of the brands we offer in our stores.

We're also working with our wholesale brand partners in industry-wide initiatives such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to develop common industry standards. One such standard is the Higg Index, which we – and the apparel and footwear industry as a whole – will use in future years to measure and communicate environmental and social practices.