Suzanne Lundberg, artist and “sustainopreneur,” started The Goat’s Coat with a mission: to keep clothes out of landfills and do it creatively. Several years out, the clothing and jewelry company offers one-of-a-kind pieces that are all crafted by hand, giving each one a unique look.
Lundberg originally started out as the owner of a small coffee stand in Bellingham’s Alley District, but when she started offering free cups of coffee along with a purchase of one of her upcycled textiles or art pieces, she realized where her real passion was. She wanted to make usable, wearable art, and do it in a way that worked in harmony with the planet.
“The aim is to make a mark in the world of design and join the movement towards sustainability,” Lundberg says. “We look at not what an item is, but what it potentially could be.”
To fulfill her mission, Lundberg uses natural materials that others might throw away, like fur, silver, copper, and leather, and “upcycles” them — giving them a higher calling as an entirely new piece of art. Her work can be found for sale online at thegoatscoat.com and at several stores in the area, including The Third Planet, The Lucky Dumpster (in Edison), and The Ragfinery. From earrings to fanny packs to hats, it’s Lundberg’s way of bringing awareness to the issue of textile waste and inspiring locals to reuse and thrift while expressing their individuality at the same time.
“Most people are looking for something handcrafted, locally made, absolutely unique, and sourced from sustainable materials,” Lundberg says. “My materials are finite, so the process of design is always changing. I feel that people appreciate that.”
As the owner of The Goat’s Coat, Lundberg shapes her creative vision on her own, but her business couldn’t have taken flight without the help of others. She found support in other downtown business owners and still partners with Topaz Salon for Art Walk and Nicki Lang Studio, where she gets most of her leather scraps.
“I have met so many supportive and inspirational artists and business owners that have helped carve my path — too many to list!” Lundberg says.