East Coast Lifestyle

screenshotThis is Alex MacLean. He started East Coast Lifestyle, a clothing line, on $800.

Here’s the story from Celtic Life.

The East Coast Lifestyle apparel brand has exploded in Atlantic Canada – and beyond – since inventor Alex MacLean launched the product almost four years ago.

“I was told to create an invention in a course called Venture Creation,” says MacLean, 25, then a student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. “I discovered that there was no clothing line locally, at all, in this part of the world. So why not try to brand the east coast, and make people proud of where they’re from?

“We’re kind of the underdog of Canada,” he continues, referring to Maritimers. “People often don’t think they can stay here for work, and leave to get jobs elsewhere in Canada. Sometimes we don’t always appreciate who we are, where we live, and what we have here.”

Seizing the opportunity to stoke local pride, MacLean borrowed a scant $800 from his father for an initial investment of 30 hoodies – adorned with a design of nautical rope and an anchor – which he sold to friends and classmates who wore them around campus. He invested the profits back into the business to produce more hoodies, which his classmates were starting to gobble up.

Here is Alex’s website. 

This is a great case study in the way that enterprise can create a social value over and above economic value. And of course the economic value would be fine. But to do something for Maritimers as Alex has. That’s saying something.

Grant McCracken

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