MEC Label backpack

Sourcing and supply chain

When’s the last time you checked to see where your gear or clothes were made? If you own something with an MEC label on it, then it was made in a place with high standards for social responsibility and environmental conditions. We believe that suppliers who meet these high standards will also be able to create quality products for members, over and over again.

Supply chains are complicated. To make responsible sourcing decisions, we have a team of people who work together to figure out if a factory is right for the MEC Label. The team looks at whether a factory can meet technical product requirements, quality standards, financial requirements, and transparency and performance around the MEC Supplier Code of Conduct.

Since MEC is a retailer, we don’t just sell MEC Label products. We also carry other brands for members to buy. As a condition to doing business with MEC, all wholesale brands must sign our vendor manual, which includes agreeing to follow our supplier code of conduct.

Responsible sourcing policy at MEC

MEC’s responsible sourcing policy covers MEC Label products, products from other brands we sell, and even things we don’t sell. This policy is approved by the Board and was last updated in 2016.

Responsible sourcing sets up MEC to operate according to our values, and also makes sure we manage risks, do not break any laws, and have good relationships with other businesses and suppliers – all to keep the Co-op running for a long time. We want to improve the lives of workers making products and reduce the environmental impact from MEC Label items. When and where we can influence other brands to do the same, we collaborate and share best practices.

How we make it all happen

The MEC Label team is made up of people who create MEC Label gear and clothing, including design, development, sourcing, testing and quality control, and social and environmental responsibility. When the team onboards new factories, they make sure the factories commit to our supplier code of conduct; regular audits make sure that they’re upholding our standards.

To spread the impact of what we can do as a retailer, the team shares their tools and learnings with our merchants, who decide what other brands and products MEC sells as a retailer. All new MEC staffers learn about what the Co-op is doing in terms of social and environmental responsibility so they can answer members’ questions.