Our commitment to factories has limits. Factories that are found to have unacceptable abuses must demonstrate improvements verified by subsequent STEP audits. Factories that fail to improve are suspended and eventually let go. Factories with severe, unresolved violations like forced labour, underage workers, or practices that threaten life, are suspended. Pending orders are cancelled and product already in stores withdrawn.Product Recall
We have encountered an extreme example of unacceptable conditions and felt we had to take action following an audit. In 2006, MEC recalled $90,000 worth of hard shell cycling armour. The product was already in our stores and some had sold when a factory audit revealed serious violations that included using child labour and forced labour.
We immediately pulled the gear from our shelves and sent letters asking members to return it for a full refund. It has since been deconstructed and is being recycled or reused. Business with the factory has been suspended.
MEC accepted a financial write-off, but we gained a great deal through the experience. We're confident that our auditing system is effective at detecting non-compliance. We're also grateful for the understanding of members who supported our decision and returned their armour.