Vintage clothing pop-up proving popular in lockdown

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Matt and Gus owners of Mongo pop-up

While clothes stores have been forced to shut their doors in lockdown, Mongo vintage clothing has  popped up mid-pandemic.

The add-on shop can be found inside Butter Coffee shop on Slater Street and has proven popular since opening earlier this month despite lockdown restrictions.

Strict rules are in place to keep people safe, with only four customers being allowed in the shop at a time. Facial coverings must always be worn inside, and clothes cannot be tried on.

Joint owners Matt Baillie and friend Gus, said: “We’ve read over the Covid guidelines very carefully and it’s a very small add on that we have been able to fit in, to give people something to do and hopefully bring a bit of  happiness in this crazy time.

“We wanted to set something up that was a bit more light-hearted than your average vintage clothing shop or even a high end clothes shop, somewhere that you could just walk into and have a chat.”

Butter manager James Marsland explained how they worked closely with Merseyside Police before opening the add-on.

He said: “We looked at all the guidelines and got some advice from the police as well. With clothing, because of restrictions, you aren’t allowed to sell it but if you are selling essentials and necessities as well it’s fine and all legal.”

In partnership with Butter, as part of a community outreach programme, the pop-up is offering people who buy clothing or something from the deli, a free coffee or an item of food from the menu.

Marsland said: “I think each week we are a going to be coming up with new deals, just to try and entice people to come out of the house. It’s a nice little kick-back for both sides.”

Pop-up clothing racks. Photo Credit: Lauren Hughes

All money made is going back into the business, for the pair’s big plans for an expansion after lockdown. Mr Baillie said: “We’ve had a really good reaction from people so far. If it keeps going the way it’s going, which we think it will, we’ll probably be moving up onto the second floor of this establishment and we’ll set it up as a proper vintage shop.

“This is a way of bringing up the people around us as well, a lot of local artists, photographers and independent brands will be getting stocked in here and hopefully when we move up it will only get bigger and bigger.”

Mr Baillie explained the inspiration behind the shop’s name: “We are both skaters and when I started skating which is years ago now, I started skating with my back foot on the board which is the wrong way to skate and that way of skating is called mongo, hence the name.”

Keep up to date with the boys by following Mongo on Instagram @Mongo.pu or visiting them at Butter on Slater Street (Open Weds-Sun).



About Lauren Hughes, JMU Journalism