Written by Sophie Wyatt
Next up in the HASTE X FUZE collaboration is our interview with Young Goat. Young Goat is a unisex, streetwear brand that is built to make anyone and everyone feel like they truly are the Goat (Greatest Of All Time). After using the saying for a number of years, the group of friends began to collectively come to the same decision; that everyone deserves to feel look and feel amazing, whatever their situation. We spoke to one of the brains behind the operation Vincent Onuegbu to find about more about the story behind the brand, how they came to work with FUZE and what the future looks like for their uni-sex brand.
After becoming friends at university in Bristol, the six creators of Young Goat found that their common reference could be the start of something wonderful. Originating in the sports world, ‘Goat’ is used to refer to the ‘greatest of all time’. Vincent started off our conversation by giving us a bit more detail on how the brand came to be.
‘So, it’s no secret that no one in the six of us that started the brand were experts at all in fashion or business. We went to uni together and studied different degrees, but knew each other through football. And then one day in March 2019, which seems ages ago now, half of the six of us were hanging out together. It was quite normal within our group to use the term ‘goat’, basically an adjective to refer to something that’s good or cool. So we started messing around on Snapchat putting logos over t-shirts and thinking ‘it would be cool to wear these’. We saved our favourite one and put it on WhatsApp and just kept chatting about it, and then the 3 became 4, and then 5, and then 6. Then fast forward four months and it started getting much more serious. Then we registered as a company, which is when we had to start thinking about logistics and manufacturing, we learnt a lot. And then between July and September last year we didn’t have a fully functioning website, we were just working through Instagram. So it started off as just our immediate friends, and then friends of friends and then eventually random people saying how cool it was. Instagram grew quite quickly so we built a website and now we’ve sold in fifty countries.‘
Young Goat aims to be entirely inclusive. After acknowledging how fashion works in it’s own kind of hierarchy, the team wanted to create a minimalist brand that would allow anyone and everyone to feel as good as they possibly can; to feel like the Goat.
‘The ethos of our brand is that anyone can be the Goat. There’s no discrimination, pre-conception or bias, and no limits more importantly. A load of these celebrities have the money, status and the platform have the money to be wearing these expensive brands. And a lot of people see those things and want to emulate them. But we don’t see emulating that in the superficial sense, we see it in the sense that you should be your best self. We wanted to reflect that back in the clothing, so that anyone can wear it and feel great in it.‘
A recent project that the brand have taken on is repurposing defective items. Although you may not hear about it very much, every brand produces defective items at some point, sometimes quite regularly. Rather than discarding these items, Young Goat have teamed up with a friend to create some unique pieces which were up for giveaway earlier this month.
‘It’s not as easy as everyone thinks to be super sustainable. It’s very difficult and quite expensive, but that’s no real excuse because if you can, you should try. And so we spoke to one of our friend’s, her name is Danielle Mass, has a really great Depop account where she does stuff like this all the time. We wanted to take all of our defective items and repurpose them. We then held a giveaway for the t-shirt, jumper and hoodie.’
Serving beyond commercial purposes, Young Goat have taken on the task of supporting three charities with a percentage of their profits. After finding charities closest to their hearts (Second Step, Off The Record Bristol and Black Minds Matter UK) the brand have made it a priority to assist these charities in each of their individual journey’s. We asked Vincent how their charity work came about and why they chose these specific charities to raise money for.
‘So a lot of what we talk about when we talk about being the Goat ties in with mental health. It’s very self-esteem related. We’re not specialists in mental health at all, and we don’t have the facilities to give certain services to people who need them. But we can shine a light on charities who do. They’re three really great charities that do amazing things for people, so we love being able to shine a light on them. We’ve done auctions, partnership initiatives and we have them on our site, so when you can donate when you checkout. We’ve managed to raise over £3000 since the start of September. ‘
The growing brand have partnered up with FUZE to supply outfits for the dancers at their annual show. FUZE’s fashion show aims to follow their own ethos of inclusivity, diversity, creativity and individuality. An exhibition of sustainable clothing, unique music and diverse art makes the largest student-run creative collective’s show the most unique of it’s kind. Vincent explained how the brand and platform came to collaborating.
‘We’re friends with a lot of people involved in running FUZE so we knew about the event since first year of uni. So I attended it in second and fourth year and then have been back with YG. I mean, it is the biggest of what it is in the UK, so it’s a massive show. A lot goes into it and it’s for very good causes, there’s a lot of good charities and initiatives at work. They’re doing great things for the community, so we see ourselves as a brand that can really contribute to the show. So we love to get involved each year.‘
Finally Vincent left us with some exciting news. While the run up to FUZE’s annual show continues, Young Goat will be working at growing their brand and developing their products. Although he couldn’t give away too much, Vincent certainly left us on tender hooks.
‘So there will obviously be more releases including colours, there will be teasers on Instagram. We have something very big happening over October/November time but I can’t tell you too much about that, other than we hope it will be the biggest thing we’ve done so far. In the near future we are going to be changing up the website, and we’re also going to be appearing on a new platform that’s a bit different from social media… There’s a lot of exciting stuff to come.‘
Make sure you follow Young Goat’s Instagram page for updates of the brand and their future plans.
In the run up to FUZE’s show on 3rd and 4th of June 2021, Haste will be collaborating with the creative collective to bring you stories on fashion, art, music and so much more from the creative industry. Head over to our Instagram for updates on Haste X FUZE updates, and FUZE’s page for updates on their upcoming show!