United By Blue is making headlines in the fashion industry as their trendy t-shirts, bags and accessories reach more premiere retail locations across the country. What makes this company look so good, however, goes beyond the standard eco chic, organic and sweatshop-free manufacturing practices. It’s the heart of the company: for every item sold, United By Blue removes a pound of pollution from the ocean. (And that’s a lot of empty plastic bottles.)
This certified B Corp believes strongly in cleaning our waterways and oceans. They organize clean-ups themselves, taking care of everything from logistics, supplies and tents to the actual waste removal. UBB teams up with local retailers to promote the cleanups and bring volunteers onboard, then they get to it. Last year UBB hosted over 60 cleanups across the country and removed over 80,000 lbs of trash in 15 states with the help of 1,000 volunteers. That’s a lot of waste, but UBB isn’t satisfied yet. 80,000 lbs is small when compared to the estimated 14 billion pounds currently polluting the ocean. Fortunately, the more UBB grows, the more pounds of waste they are able to pull out of the ocean. They also use their website not only as a vehicle for sale but as a rich resource of educational tools, digestible statistics, and information on how to get involved.
United By Blue makes clothes to clean the ocean. This is the kind of thinking that is defining the new economy. As United By Blue grows, the B Certification will help maintain their mission and act as a tangible way to assess responsible growth and sustain a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. As founder and chief trash collector Brian Linton explains, “It’s a yelling match out there and B Certification allows United By Blue to stand out from other clothing companies who are claiming to be sustainable or eco-conscious or “good”. Their certification and info-packed website document both UBB’s commitments and accomplishments.