Sustainable Brand United By Blue
My name is Ethan Peck, PR Associate for United By Blue.
2) When was UBB founded?
It was founded in 2010.
3) Where is UBB based?
We are based in Old City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
4) Please tell us about your product?
At United By Blue, we believe that products designed for enjoying the outdoors should also be kind to the outdoors. We put a lot of thought into the materials that make up each piece and always opt for textiles that keep our oceans, air, and soil a little cleaner. Some of the materials we regularly use are recycled polyester, organic cotton, hemp, and bison fiber.
5) Please tell us about your clean-up/litter philosophy? Why is this so important to the company?
Cleanups are integral to United By Blue’s growth. They’re what the company was based on (for every product sold, we pledge to remove a pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways), so, as the company grows and we sell more products, our cleanups grow at the exact same rate. Our community cleanups (which happen periodically all over the country), are not only ways for us to tangibly make a waterway cleaner and healthier, but also a way to communicate to volunteers that there are ways that they can reduce their plastic consumption. We use these cleanups as a way to communicate the impact of their consumption and provide simple ways to reduce that usage.
We created this company because we wanted to make a bigger, more measurable impact on our oceans and encourage people to do the same. So we stopped simply writing checks and started organizing and hosting these cleanups. We wanted to do our part to clean the waterways ourselves.
6) There are so many environmental issues these days, what made you decide to focus on the ocean?
There are so many notable and worthy issues worth fighting for. We decided to focus on the ocean, and specifically, ocean conservation in regards to trash pollution, because we felt by focusing on a niche, but expanding problem, we’d be able to be more efficient in our efforts. Keeping our efforts narrow, but expertise great, allows us to use less resources to make a bigger impact. In terms of focusing on the ocean, it’s hard to see the projections that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish, and not see how that could affect our lives.
7) Please let our readers know how they can get involved in your next clean up!
Follow along at https://unitedbyblue.com/pages/2019-cleanup-tour and sign up to receive our email updates (the bottom of every page) to see where and when we have upcoming cleanups. We will be announcing our 2019 Community Cleanups in the next month or so. If there is not a cleanup close to where you are located, we encourage you to participate in Blue Friday, our nationwide DIY cleanup initiative, that takes place annually the day after Thanksgiving.
8. I love your philosophy of catering to outdoor clothing line, but the manufacturing of the clothing should also be kind to nature, how do you practice sustainability?
We believe that products designed for enjoying the outdoors should also be kind to the outdoors. We put a lot of thought into the materials that make up each piece and always opt for textiles that keep our oceans, air and soil a little cleaner. Tangibly speaking, this means prioritizing and incorporating materials that are less impactful on the environment. Our design team is focused on finding new and alternative materials (like bison fiber, hemp, tencel, yak fiber, etc.) that still performs like their traditional counterparts. It also means aligning with manufacturing partners who hold this conservation initiative at the forefront of their minds. Using manufacturers that are willing to test new fibers, re-use leftover scraps, etc. All of our outerwear and bags offer lifetime guarantees, which is a further testament to our commitment to provide responsible, durable goods that will last a really long time.
9. Do you practice Fair Trade? If so, please explain?
Not currently, but we are in the process of getting certified.
10. We love that you are certified B-corp, please tell us what that means?
We think for-profits should be for the environment.
We’re part of an awesome group of for-profit companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We decided to go for the B-Corp certification for two reasons: The first was to set a standard of excellence in the product we deliver our customers. The second was to become a member of a supportive community of businesses that have similar economic, social, and environmental aspirations.
11. What’s Blue Friday at United By Blue?
Billions of pounds of trash enter our oceans every year. We believe that every living creature is united by the blue of our world's oceans and waterways and we all share the responsibility to protect them.
Blue Friday, a nationwide DIY cleanup initiative, happens annually on the day after Thanksgiving. Before we dig into that leftover turkey sandwich, we’re going to spend one hour on the day formerly known as Black Friday picking up trash in a local park. And we want you to join us, wherever you may be. unitedbyblue.com/bluefriday
Photography by United By Blue Team.
13. Social Media:
Style With A Cause highlights designers that support a cause such as sustainability, charities, and fair trade, to name a few.
Interview By Alison Hernon, Editor-In-Chief, PhotoBook Magazine