October 19, 2021
blog.article.found.in “Community news”
Back in 2013, MEC shifted our logo from a mountain icon to a simple green square. The response was, well, mixed. Actually – mixed might be an understatement. The response was that people really loved the mountain. A lot. It still came up in conversations eight years later.
Turns out, we missed the mountain too.
So we’re stoked to announce that the mountain is back – for good. The return to the mountain is about connecting our past with our future and reminding us about what matters most: good gear, good advice, and building communities of people who like to get outside.
The design details
Like any major expedition, this project was a team effort. We worked closely with the crew at Vancouver-based at Hulse & Durrell, who understand the value of iconic Canadian logos through their work with the Canadian Olympic Committee, Design Canada and more.
Along with the return of the peaks, the colour was also adjusted. The deep forest green is a nod to the classic hue of MEC backpacks and fleece jackets. The type alignment was fine-tuned to work with the new look, and the font itself was made in Canada. Mountain Sans was designed by Julien Hébert in Montreal.
The mountain means great gear
Awesome outdoor gear is at the heart of what we do. For this fall and winter, we’re going deep with gear for experienced users, such as the largest assortment of backcountry touring and technical ice climbing gear. We’re also carrying products for beginners and families who are just starting out with activities like Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and winter camping.
We’ve also looked at MEC Label, the products we design ourselves. Keep an eye out for more technical lines and MEC classics coming back for another run. Our 50th anniversary collection was a hit, and it speaks to all we stand for moving forward: an incredible attention to detail, more sustainable fabrics (bluesign®-approved, recycled fleece, organic cotton) and Fair Trade certification.
The mountain means sustainable action
Over the last year, we kept pushing to reduce our environmental footprint. MEC has had decades of success making significant changes, and we’re not done yet. What we’re working on now:
Building a climate action plan: We’re collaborating with the Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps to address climate change. Our action plan will align with the International Panel on Climate Change and science-based targets (warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius).
Sustainable material targets: We announced our MEC Label targets earlier this year. Our progress so far is that 25% of apparel is Fair Trade, 30% of apparel is recycled polyester, 91% of apparel is bluesign®-approved materials, and natural fibres are 100% organically grown or Tencel.
More Fair Trade: We’re increasing our commitment to Fair Trade. By 2025, our goal is to have 50% of MEC Label clothing made in a Fair Trade Certified factory. Our total contribution through Fair Trade premiums is $300,000, which goes directly to factory workers.
Textile recycling pilot: We joined a program with Fashion Takes Action (supported by Environment & Climate Change Canada) to better understand the barriers currently to a closed loop textile recycling system in Canada.
The mountain means outdoor community
This year, MEC donated $1 million to Canadian outdoor organizations as part of our Outdoor Impact program. Our partners have been using these funds to do incredible stuff.
A few highlights:
A new MEC Avalanche Safety Grant through Avalanche Canada. This grant is aimed at non-profit organizations that serve racialized communities and will allow more people to access the winter backcountry safely.
Helping Spirit North reach 2,700 Indigenous youth across 40 communities, including 953 in-school and 336 after-school sessions, knowledge and skill building events with students, parents, educators and community.
Helping Protect Our Winters (POW) Canada expand its educational programming and training, and grow its membership to 21,797 climate action advocates. MEC funding also supported the execution of the POW Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan, recognizing that diversity and equity in the outdoor space are integral to solving climate change. This includes advocacy work on Bill C-12 and the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, likely the single most important piece of climate policy ever passed.
Release of the first CPAWS Report Card for Canada. The report card tracks and assesses how Canada did against its target of protecting 17% of land and 10% of the ocean in Canada, by the end of 2020, on the way to protecting 30% by 2030. CPAWS is committed to helping Canada meet its targets.
We’re working to reintroduce workshops and events at our stores. They’ve been a popular way for people to connect with outdoor communities and learn new skills. For our staffers, we’ve kicked off MEC Adventures to help them turn “maybe one day” outdoor dreams into realities through extended leave, extra funds or gear, and benefit adjustments that support time away.
Looking to what’s next
It’s been milestone year and a year of wild storms. MEC emerged from real business challenges with a new structure and new owners. We know some things have changed, but we’re still an outdoor retailer focused on expert advice and quality gear made with the earth in mind.
Thank you for riding out it out with us – it’s been a time of hard work and mountains of change. We’re looking forward to what’s next.