A VINTAGE and designer clothing company that started life in a boy’s bedroom is already expanding to a larger base as demand soars.
Maelhaus, the brainchild of a group of enterprising teenagers concerned about protecting the environment, is creating a kind of maelstrom in the fashion world.
The business is growing so rapidly that the team will open new premises at The Foregate in Worcester next month, a year after opening the first stores at The Hopmarket.
The ground floor will be open to customers of a former tailor at 16 The Foregate in October. A hangout space for the city’s youth is slated to open in the basement in the new year.
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The growing business was started by a group of friends from the city, many of whom attended Worcester Sixth Form College.
They scouted the market for high-quality second-hand clothes, including classic clothes from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s that they believe are more stylish and durable than many clothes made and sold today.
Brands that will feature in the “sustainable vintage” store include Supreme, Stüssy, D&G, Arc’teryx, vintage Nike and Adidas.
Vintage music t-shirts, including products featuring Oasis, the Verve, Metallica, Whitesnake, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Robert Palmer and The Doors are also big sellers, while classic football t-shirts from the past are also popular with customers.
Work on the downstairs room is expected to be completed in January which will provide a chill out zone, a space for Worcester’s youngsters including a snack bar serving soft drinks, a pool table, arcade machines, skate gear and Xbox games.
The team also hopes the business can be a platform for bands, musical performers and the creations of talented artists, some of which will be displayed in the store.
Director Cian MacGabhann, 19, said: “The most important thing is sustainability. It is the reuse of clothes and it does not contribute to landfill.
“It’s about protecting the environment, staying sustainable and selling cool clothes.”
He added: “This business started in my bedroom. We want to open stores in London and Bristol.
“However, we want to keep the one in Worcester. I’m from Worcester and we want our flagship store here.”
The Blessed Edwards alum said there was already an abundance of high-quality clothing and there was “no need to buy new clothes”, especially since the vintage clothes sold there were better quality.
The company was started by friends Cian MacGabhann, Zak Lange, Sam Hope, Charlie Kerton and Willem Van Der Kleijn.
They had a market stall in Angel Place and it proved so popular that they moved into a small store in Hopmarket last October, which they have now outgrown. Pop-up stores in London and Bristol also proved popular, with some attracting two-hour queues.
However, as the business grew, they decided to move to larger premises and their new base has room for three times as much stock.
Mr MacGabhann said he realized there was a market for such a business when he started selling things on Depop aged 13 or 14 and also won money using his Outerwear Archives page on Instagram, bringing in £16,000 a year while still at school by selling advertising space for independent clothing brands.