Yes, it would be ignorant not to acknowledge that many outdoor product suppliers are corporations, but we must consider what we want to buy and from whom to buy it.
A few of my main items in my pack...
Henry Shires' Squall Tarptent, made by a cottage industry in the USA, definetly not a corporation.
Steripen classic model, sort of a cottage type industry, they are probably incorporated but run their Maine based operation with a less aggressive stance than most other guys. Certainly not in the WalMart category of corporations...
A bunch of GoLite clothing and my pack is by GoLite. They're an LLC so not technically a corporation. US owned, and very active in the UL community, though looks like their assembly gets done overseas.
Innovation is the key to success in most money making endeavours, and holding on to and expanding the usefullness of a product line is what has made the great companies out there great. While yes, REI is a much, much better corporation than WalMart, they can still afford to take it in the can once or twice. With roughly 100 stores and a huge internet presence they would fall into the major corporation category. I would argue very strongly that they are doing way more than $100 million is gross sales a year. Maybe upwards of $250 million a year.
I do concede that REI is probably alot better of a corporate neighbor than a huge majority of other retailers. They undoubtedly have helped foster a love of the outdoors in many people that has helped backpackers and our environment. Yet I must still hold on to my cynicalism and say that by just being a successful global corporation, they've undoubtedly crushed alot of people to get there. That have shat on more than they have been shat on. Yet, there is no excuse for buying something for one weekend and returning it or just because the color didn't fit your mood a few weeks later.
So, in closing, I would suggest that if your conscience bothers you, just return the items which didn't perform well and be off!