How it all started
Let us tell you about our journey so far. Why we started Goat, what we learned along the way and what you can expect from us. We are twin sisters Abigail and Lavinia. We were raised on a farm in the countryside of The Netherlands where we used to eat all the meat and junk food that we could. We regularly shopped at high-street shops and couldn’t get enough clothes and shoes, never really questioning where it all came from.
“When you know better, you do better”
Not until we grew older and wiser, did we gain more awareness of the cruelty that people, the environment and animals are forced to endure in order for our lifestyle to be maintained. Eventually, after hearing the inspiring words of wisdom “when you know better, you do better”, we reached a point in which ignoring it was no longer an option. At the age of 25, we made a big shift in our lifestyle. We decided to become vegetarians, ultimately vegans, and stopped buying clothes that originated from animals.
From failing comes learning
We have always loved fashion and both of us studied and worked in the industry for a few years. With all the knowledge we gathered we started our first vegan fashion brand. When we searched for fabrics and production facilities we learned so much about the unfair things that go on in the fashion industry. We couldn’t close our eyes for that as well. Our brand totally failed, but hey, from failing comes learning.
We also decided to buy only organically and fairly produced clothing (in addition to the vegan aspect), but boy, that proved to be a real challenging endeavor. When we actively started looking for conscious/cruelty-free clothes we realized how scarce the options were, and we noticed compromises often had to be made, either on price or quality.
A good outfit always starts with a white T-shirt
In 2012 the idea for Geitenwollenshirts was born. Dutchies will know exactly what it means but for our non-Dutch readers, here’s a quick sidestep:
Ever heard of a ”granola” or ”tree hugger”? Those terms refer to people we mockingly think of as very eco-friendly. We imagine them as mystical, alternative beings, living in huts, wearing thick woolen socks and making everything from scratch. In Holland, we call them a ”goat wool sock”: geiten wollen sok. All joking aside, we are certainly very thankful that they paved the way for an eco-friendly and vegan lifestyle, one that only seems to grow.
Being an Amsterdam based brand, we initially named our brand ‘Geitenwollenshirts’ (translated: Goatwoolshirts). Only once we decided to go international, in 2016/2017, we changed our name to GOAT. Because, well, we don’t think the name Geitenwollenshirts would fly as easily with non Dutchies – If you don’t speak Dutch, try pronouncing it… It ain’t the easiest, right?
For us a good outfit always starts with a white T-shirt. When we started looking for an organic and fair one we only found unaffordable options. Thus we wanted to create a brand, with the sole purpose of attending to all the needs that we, as conscious shoppers, often encounter; being able to buy affordable, organic and cruelty-free basics.
(If you’d like to know more about our affordable strategy, click here)
Two became three
Forces were joined! The two of us originally started Geitenwollenshirts as an online store and were joined by our old time friend Lennart, who happens to be a true branding and tech genius and now makes up one third of our GOAT beating heart. Having come from a freelance design background – with a conscious lifestyle – Lennart understands brands and gives them exactly what they need. It was a no brainer to ask him aboard this project with us and it has worked out immensely. We are now an ever-growing team of passionate workers and learners, with Lennart and his expertise running the Branding department, meanwhile we are in charge of the Marketing, Sales and Financial department teams.
Our first store
After the success of our online store, we opened our first physical store in the center of Amsterdam. This was an important milestone in our story and allowed us to develop a much closer relationship with our customers. It has been one of our proudest achievements. So far!
“Always dream big dreams”
A very wise man once told us to ‘always dream big dreams, because the small ones have no magic’. We couldn’t agree more! So here we are with Goat Organic Apparel, finally ready to expand our brand internationally. This is just the beginning of a very exciting new chapter!
When we look into our crystal ball – as any self-respecting tree hugger does, from time to time… – we see a Goat store in every major city in the world with ever-expanding fashionable collections, never forgetting why we started in the first place: We want to create affordable, fair and organic apparel, that doesn’t harm anyone.