Patagonia inked a deal with Mountain Equipment Co-op that will make Patagonia the largest apparel supplier to the Canadian retailer by fall 2006. The two companies have been in discussions for years, but before now, Patagonia was not featured in MEC stores. With the new agreement, Patagonia product will be in-store, on-line, and in catalogs. MEC currently operates 11 stores throughout Canada with roughly CA$178 million ($137 mm) in sales last year. Patagonia reported roughly $240 million in sales last year.

Also as part of the deal, MEC has agreed to consolidate its community involvement programs and join 1% For the Planet as well as the Conservation Alliance, with a focus on Canada specific actions, and has agreed to embark on a joint Patagonia/MEC Canadian environmental project. Patagonia stated that the relationship is a natural extension of using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

David Labistour, MEC’s vice president of buying and design said, “Both companies are rooted in a passion for outdoor activities and a commitment to providing high-quality products that deliver functional performance. Both are also leaders in product sustainability, and continue to work to lessen our respective environmental impact. We hope that other businesses will emulate this model.”