Diversifying MEC’s Marketing

More and more research finds that people of diverse ethnic backgrounds are active in the outdoors – why hasn’t outdoor marketing caught on?

This is the question Vancouverite, outdoor enthusiast, and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) member Judith Kasiama asked MEC on her Instagram feed earlier this year. A dialogue ensued with MEC, followed by an apology and promise from MEC’s CEO David Labistour in an open letter titled “Do white people dominate the outdoors?”

“If you consider every advertisement you’ve ever seen for skiing, hiking, climbing and camping, you might think that’s the case,” Labistour wrote. “It isn’t true at all and it’s part of a bigger problem…The truth is that we haven’t represented the diversity of Canadians or of our 5 million members. WE’VE LET OUR MEMBERS DOWN.”

Labistour continued by promising that MEC would take steps to improve representation so that it reflects the diversity of its members. These steps include changes to its marketing policies as well as to the nomination process to the 9-member Board of Directors to encourage qualified members with diverse ethnic backgrounds to seek election.

“I promise that moving forward, we will make sure we’re inspiring and representing the diverse community that already exists in the outdoors,” Labistour concludes in his letter. “Outside is for everyone. It’s time we acted like it.”

Photo: Mountain Equipment Co-op

Jonathan Eidse
jonathan.eidse@norragency.com


More Stories

Building bridges together with Third Culture kids

“Why are environments that should be for everyone so homogenous?” Wadood Suberu and his colleagues asked themselves. Now, they strive to open up the great outdoors in Sweden for “Third Culture Kids.”

By Gabriel Arthur

Overcoming sustainability data overload with SDEX

Retailers increasingly ask for sustainability information from the brands. But multiple reporting is causing confusion and taking more and more resources from brand sustainability teams. Can the Sustainability Data Exchange Project (SDEX) solve this?

By Jonathan Eidse

Old electrical store upcycled to premium outdoor retailer

With their Re:Think store in Bonn, Globetrotter has found an upcycling concept in store design with numbers to back it. Around 97 percent less CO2e emissions and 94 percent re-used materials are just some of the results.

By Martina Wengenmeir

Is it Competition, Compliance, or Collaboration?

With a focus on how far we have to go often taking the limelight, European Outdoor Group’s Katy Stevens reminds us how far we’ve come – and matured – as an industry rallying climbing a shared summit.

By Katy Stevens

More News