Successful entrepreneur and Acadia University student Alex MacLean poses outside the Limitless store in Wolfville. - Wendy Elliott, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Wendy Elliott
The license plate on Acadia University student Alex MacLean’s jeep features three initials – ECL, short for East Coast Lifestyle.
The clothing line he began last spring as a class project for this business student has turned into a viral fashion trend.
Initially, MacLean, a 21-year-old from Halifax, showcased his regional pride and created 30 sweatshirts. Featuring his East Coast Lifestyle (ECL) logo, he says, they sold immediately.
ECL was founded on the belief that Atlantic Canadians want to wear something that matters more to them than the average logo, MacLean said. Half a year later, he’s sold 50,000 items of clothing and he’s just produced a new winter weight hoodie.
Celebrities like Sidney Crosby, Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand, actor Nathan Coates and rapper Classified, he says, have all worn the popular shirts.
According to MacLean, his shirts have a lot of appeal in the skateboarding, surfing and hockey communities.
Declaring a need to give back to the community through outreach, he’s just donated 15 tank shirts to the SMILE program at Acadia.
“We wanted to give support where it started,” he said. “All of the profit will go to buy equipment.”
MacLean added that East Coast Lifestyle will also be supporting a golf tournament to raise funds for the SMILE program. He’s also handed out over 80 shirts to the homeless.
Chris Broussard, who works behind the counter at Limitless on Main Street in Wolfville, says the shirts are extremely popular. Evan Banks, owner of Pseudio stores across the province, is selling the clothing line as well.
Social media has helped boost the popularity of East Coast Lifestyle, MacLean said. The clothing line ships items from Toronto across the county.
In the beginning, he noted, it was about starting a brand, “but we ended up starting a movement.”
Now in his fifth year at Acadia, MacLean will graduate with a double major in marketing and entrepreneurship.