MEC has the same standards as patagucci and still gives 1% back to charity... at half the price
i think that if one wants to be "moral" they should extend their philosophy to things such as everyday clothes, shoes, electronics, appliances, food, etc ... its ironic to worry about a few outdoor pieces when the rest of what you use is not made at the same labour standards .... or the oil that you drive to the trails with that is extracted with real environmental consequences, etc ...
on "cheap" goods ... a few years ago someone made a sub 300$ UL gear list, it caused quite a commotion back then
i really think we should update it ... the price of ALOT of "UL" items have come down, as more and more retailers/manufacturers create "UL" style items ...
im betting that we can either get the price down even lower than 300$ or have better goods for the same amount ...
one of the biggest "wastes" of money for what 99% of what people do here is the $$$$ for outdoor branded clothes ... save money on that and youll likely save hundreds alone
IMO this is quite important as it lowers the barriers for entry to recreation ...
BPL has touched on this before with various articles
one thing that struck me today was this article i saw ...
Leo Siecienski, guide and manager at Sea Trek outfitters in Sausalito, California. Siecienski has been a touring, rock gardening, and kayaking guide for 10 years; at one point taught kayaking for six different organizations in the Bay Area at once.
Old baselayers and fleeces, at the cheapest price possible from thrift stores.
Siecienski loads up on inexpensive fleeces and synthetic layers from second-hand stores and packs them in a dry bag for all of his guiding trips. If the client did not bring the correct type of layers, Siecienski can outfit them and not worry about the layers being lost or damaged. "You never know when a client is going to get hypothermic," he says, noting that extra-larges are best to accommodate a range of sizes.