Recently, we were faced with an interesting situation at Macpac HQ. We’d designed and ordered about 12,000 jackets and vests in new styles for our Winter ‘19 range that all featured a cool ‘Macpac Wilderness Equipment’ patch on the chest or sleeve. The “interesting” part was when we realised that instead of a Macpac Wilderness patch, it was a Macpac Wilderess patch… yep, we were short an ‘n’. More to the point, we were short about 12,000 ‘n’s.
Depending on how you look at it, this might not seem like a big deal. Some would say “who cares about the spelling of a word on a tiny patch if it doesn’t impact the quality of the product?” But we understand that what is just a silly spelling error to some, could be a much bigger deal to others – and we completely get that perspective too. So when we discovered the error we were faced with a few choices:
- Pretend nothing happened – what spelling mistake? No, there’s never been an ‘n’ in Wilderess… you’re crazy! Obviously not an option. We didn’t want our customers to stumble upon this error and feel like they had been tricked into buying a product that wasn’t perfect.
- Eliminate the problem – stuff 12,000 jackets and vests in the red bin and never speak of it again. Again, obviously not an option – like we said, there’s nothing wrong with these jackets when it comes to technical quality, so why waste a garment that is going to perform exactly as it should.
- Return to sender – load 12,000 jackets and vests onto boats and send them back to our manufacturing partners to be fixed. Sure, but the carbon miles on such an exercise are so unnecessary. Not to mention how expensive that would be… if we’re going to spend money on fixing this mistake, we should spend it on something positive.
- Own the mistake. Communicate it to the public, and get to work on offsetting it in a positive way. Ding ding ding – we have a winner! Option 4 looks a little something like this…
Sometimes we make mistakes. Never with the quality of our gear… but a spelling mistake? Yeah, that could happen. Take a closer look at the Macpac Wilderness Equipment patch on this garment… Oops. So rather than throw thousands of jackets and vests into landfill (that would be very bad for the environment, we would never do that), our typo will be the planet’s gain. To say sorry for our poor spelling, we’re planting a forest – the Wilderess Forest.
To us, this seemed like the best option. So we’re in talks with the forest regeneration gurus at the Christchurch City Council about areas that are in need of replanting in the Port Hills, a stone’s throw from Macpac HQ. Once we secure a space in the hills for planting, we’ll let you know.
We’ve planted a lot of trees in the Port Hills over the years. This is an area that was ravaged by fire in 2017, and is such an important part of Canterbury’s topography. The Port Hills are the back drop to the Macpac office – they’re our playground and one of our gear testing grounds, so adding to the tree life growing there is a no brainer.
We’ll keep you up to date via our social media feeds on the creation of the Wilderess Forest.