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Mountain Equipment: Mountain Equipment Co-op is a Canadian consumers' cooperative that sells outdoor recreation gear and clothing exclusively to its members. MEC is notable for its commitment to environmental protection and other causes. As a co-op, MEC sells only to customers who hold a lifetime membership, which is technically a share and can be purchased by anyone for $5. MEC bills itself as Canada's largest supplier of outdoor equipment. Since its founding in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1971, MEC has expanded across Canada and now operates stores in 20 cities. Once catering to mountaineers and climbers, MEC now targets a broader clientele. This is evidenced by changes in its marketing imagery, which historically focused on high level climbing and alpinist imagery. MEC has over 5.4 million members in Canada and internationally.