Skip to main content

United By Blue Has Collected a Whopping Million Pounds of Trash

We have a well documented love of United By Blue. Maybe we have a certified B-Corp corporate crush on them, but it’s their fault for being so awesome. This outdoor company is not only committed to making sustainable clothes and helping the environment, but they also keep their promises. In a big, big way.

When the company launched in 2010, they made a bold claim: for every individual product they sold, they would pick up a pound of trash. It’s incredible to report they have since picked up over 1 million pounds of garbage. 1,015,862 pounds to be exact. Even the guys at United By Blue are a little blown away. “When I first started at United By Blue three years ago, one million pounds wasn’t even in the five year plan,” says Kelly Oner, Head of Cleanups. “We couldn’t have reached this milestone without the tremendous amount of support we’ve received from the community, our volunteers, and our public and private partners.”

Related Videos
United By Blue billion's cleanups

It all started in Philadelphia back in 2010 in the very same week they sold their first t-shirt. The Schuylkill River was the first recipient of their cleanup efforts and ever since they’ve been growing participation and collection. They’ve organized 177 cleanups in 26 states and they continue to expand. These cleanups are no joke– they’re not just picking up cans and bottles, oh, no. They’ve done cleanup battle against tires, appliances, and even abandoned trucks.

This landmark achievement is certainly something to be celebrated and appreciated, but we humans are giving them plenty more work to do. Each year we dump 8 million tons of plastic into our waterways and there’s a floating garbage patch in the Pacific twice the size of Texas. Let’s definitely mess with that garbage patch. A whopping 1.5 million tons of that is just plastic bottles. (There are some really cool reusable bottles out there!) They’re showing no signs of slowing the fight against this onslaught and you’re welcome to join in! Local cleanups are listed on their site and are fun, impactful events.

United By Blue takes their cleanup efforts a step further by using lots of recycled materials in their clothing and good. For example, their recycled polyester reuses all those nasty plastic bottles. Even 75% of their office supplies are are recycled. Plus, they give their employees paid time off to participate in community service projects, much like their cleanups.

Here’s to a million pounds and counting…

Editors' Recommendations

Norton Point Sunglasses Are Cleaning Up Oceans and Saving the World
norton point sunglasses

Fish are not known to particularly appreciate plastic; still, we keep inundating them with it. Thankfully, Norton Point has found a way to not only clean up ocean plastic but also repurpose it into something useful: great sunglasses. And they use profits to fund earth-friendly research.

The rich, diverse, colorful, sometimes terrifying ocean life must contend with eight million metric tons of plastic dumped into oceans each year. It’s killing them at a staggering rate and experts predict that by 2050, a mere 33 years from now, the oceans will be more plastic than fish.

Read more
LOOK OPTIC: Cool Reading Glasses That Provide Clean Water
LOOK OPTIC reader glasses

Glasses have gone from the accessory of nerds to something so trendy almost everyone wears them. It might have something to do with the fact that staring at screens all day everyday is terrible for our eyes so more people are in of need them and need them at earlier ages. Most companies are realizing that we want stylish, sophisticated frames-- except, it seems, the makers of readers. LOOK OPTIC is changing all that by allowing you to look damn cool while reading, plus, they are partners with Charity:Water.

Readers are cheap but as a result fantastically ugly. Still, for people who have trouble seeing small print (thanks, computers) but who don’t need a full prescription, this was the only option. LOOK OPTIC burst onto the scene with quality, stylish readers designed by industry veterans from places like Oliver Peoples.

Read more
Arkwear Shirts: Save Animals Without Having to Build a Boat
Arkwear 2017 collection

What if the logo on your shirt stood for something other than advertising for the brand?

What if instead of acting as a walking billboard for a company, your shirt helped raise awareness about animals on the edge of extinction? And what if some of the money from that shirt went directly to saving the animal you’re wearing? Well, all of your clothing-related animal saving dreams have come true thanks to Arkwear.

Read more