Mountain Equipment Company (MEC), Canadian retailer and outdoor gear brand, is beyond excited to announce the addition of plus sizes to their technical apparel collections for fall and winter. MEC believes that every woman should have the opportunity to participate in and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and skiing, without making concessions when it comes to performance and fit in her technical outdoor clothes.
MEC has spent 50 years focusing on accessibility and affordability in the outdoors and recognizes that alongside price, finding outdoor gear that is versatile, comfortable and well-fitted is a top priority for women. The MEC label design team spent two years in consultations and development to make sure the new systems introduced this fall/winter met consumer needs without compromising on technical performance or style. This season, the brand’s technical apparel collections aim to create more inclusive options for all women.
“We took time to listen and hear what she needs to venture outside with confidence,” said Sophie Laliberte, MEC Director of Product Creation. “The top priority was not having to compromise between comfort and technical performance, which has often been the case. Adventuring outdoors in gear that forces you to choose between staying dry and staying warm is not only uncomfortable, but can be seriously unsafe in the wrong conditions. The leggings you wear running errands and summer car camping just aren’t going to cut it when you’re pushing pace up Mount Robson – we worked to resolve this key issue”.
Throughout the development process, the MEC label design team leaned on the expertise of the plus-size community – collaborating with other outdoor brands and plus-size voices in the outdoor industry to identify challenges ranging from in-store shopping to summit. This was not just about taking “straight sizes” (i.e. small, medium, large) and making them bigger. Plus-sizes consider fuller hip to waist ratios, so you don’t end up with shells that squeeze the shoulders or rain pants that gape at the hips. From accurately adjusted fits to plentiful color options, it was a mission to expand this collection in a way that properly represented the needs of the plus-size community.
“Outdoor brands with great technical gear mainly carried plus sizes in neutral colors like black, grey and navy, which not only can be unsafe as they’re hard to spot in the dark”, according to Emily Rodstead, MEC Category Manager. “This begged the question: what good is great performance gear if you don’t love wearing it? So we took the colors we have for other sizes, and continued them in this collection, too”.
The collection is created to be a system. MEC designed base layers, insulated jackets, rain shells, hiking pants and more to work together for rain, wind, snow and demanding conditions. It’s thoughtful, it’s technical and it’s just part of our continued commitment to supporting diversity in the outdoors.
All plus-size technical hiking and skiing systems are designed in Vancouver, BC, and tested in the mountains in MEC’s backyard. For more information, visit mec.ca.
Established in 1971, Mountain Equipment Company (MEC) is Canada’s go-to place for technical outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration. Combining high-quality apparel and equipment with expert advice and first-hand experience, MEC supports a wide range of activities including camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, climbing, hiking, trail running and travel. For decades, MEC has been a strong backer of sustainability and community initiatives and has invested $48 million (and counting) into non-profit organizations that support outdoor recreation and conservation. For more information, visit www.mec.ca, follow @mec, or visit one of our stores nationwide.