The Best $5 (Canadian) I Ever Spent | A Continuous Lean.

The Best $5 (Canadian) I Ever Spent

Nov 19th, 2008 | Categories: Canada, Men's wear | by Michael Williams

Since I have the Canadians distracted with American made goods, I thought it would be a good time to talk about one of my favorite Canadian companies, Mountain Equipment Co-op. The Vancouver based “Canadian Consumers’ Cooperative” was established in 1971 to sell outdoor gear and services to people that want affordable and ethical goods. Five dollars Canadian gets you a share of the company and the right to make purchases as a lifetime member of the co-op. Being a New Yorker, or even as an American, I love to buy MEC for two reasons. First, you won’t see it on every guy on the street and because MEC cares about people, the earth and not just about money. Not to mention that Canadian bad ass and survivalist Les Stroud used to rock MEC full-time on Survivorman.



MEC has really taken the lead with ethical sourcing and their openness concerning where their products are made. In addition to its overseas manufacturing, the company still maintains six factories in Vancouver.




Comments: 9

9 Comments to “The Best $5 (Canadian) I Ever Spent”

  1. mamacita
    on Nov 19th, 2008
    @ 7:09 PM

    So in Montreal, wouldn’t that make it the Gros MEC?

  2. Joe
    on Nov 19th, 2008
    @ 9:02 PM

    You make my Canuck heart proud. Thank you for the shout-out to a great Canadian retailer. Mountain Coop is very cool, but my idea of camping is a hotel with wireless Internet, so I’m not exactly their target market.

  3. nkwu11
    on Nov 20th, 2008
    @ 12:14 AM

    lol @ the hyr link.

    Put us on man! MEC is a staple. and a must.

  4. Boy Reporter
    on Nov 20th, 2008
    @ 12:41 AM

    I have a love-hate thing with MEC. I’m from Vancouver and the MEC gore-tex jacket, backpack was a virtual uniform at the university I went to (UBC).

    Imagine a sea of young Canadians in MEC jackets, jeans, and very full backpacks. Some of them were even wearing rain pants… ugh.

    I just wanted to see a few attractive women in cute raincoats, rubber boots and umbrellas is that too much for a young man to ask for?

    That being said… they are a great company and their outdoor gear is of great quality and reasonably priced. They’re also doing a lot more urban cycling stuff. Kudos for that.

  5. nate
    on Nov 20th, 2008
    @ 2:20 AM

    I’m originally from calgary (alberta), and would gladly live in the aisles of this store.
    MEC is fully loaded, and provides everything needed for a solid summer/winter/whenever.

    Thanks for the great posts, I start my day with this site

  6. Corey
    on Nov 20th, 2008
    @ 11:07 AM

    I like the look of their stuff, and it looks to be priced less than even REI or Eastern Mountain Sports…but it looks like they only ship to Canadian addresses?

  7. Michael Williams
    on Nov 20th, 2008
    @ 11:14 AM

    Nope, they ship to the states:

  8. Thom
    on Nov 20th, 2008
    @ 4:31 PM

    I remember when I first saw MEC in Outside magazine – definite Canuck pride. Don’t forget that a few of their stores are also LEED Gold certified.

  9. Heather
    on Jun 3rd, 2009
    @ 10:25 AM

    This is the Winnipeg MEC. And a huge improvement from the building that stood on Main Street before it.