Sustainable outdoor lifestyle brand United By Blue was launched out of a desire to make a real, tangible impact on the oceans and the team pledges to remove a pound of trash from the oceans and waterways for every product sold. Their apparel, bags, and accessories are designed with responsibility and durability at their core.
Brian Linton grew up in Singapore and travelled worldwide before building a conscious outdoor apparel brand in 2010 that with every purchase is removing one pound of trash from American waterways. In fact, the first cleanup on April 2010 removed six hundred and thirty one pounds of trash from the Schuylkill River, Philadelphia… on the same week the brand sold its first T-shirt. What inspired Brian? While overseas, he learned firsthand about aquatic ecosystems and the affect ocean plastics and pollution have on them. That passion eventually transformed into United By Blue which offers high quality apparel and accessories for people who love the outdoors.
“Every day, 38,356,164 pounds of trash are dumped into our oceans. It’s this overwhelming statistic that drives our mission: for every product purchased, we clean a pound of trash. Through the support of our in-house Cleanups Department, community volunteers, and partners across the world, we’re cleaning up shorelines one piece of garbage at a time" is the brand statement on their official website.
Since, United By Blue has expanded from a collection of organic cotton T-shirts to a line of responsible apparel, bags and accessories for people who care about the outdoors. The team handcrafts all products in GOTS-certified factories with sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester and bison fiber. The vision is to create products that last, because the best way to be a conscious consumer is to consume less and the collections can be found in United By Blue, Philadelphia and NYC.
“The business model that United By Blue is built on provides both the capital and the time (through dedicated employees) to organize and host beach and waterway cleanups at scale. So the challenge is not in the cleanups, it’s in the business. We have to run a successful, profitable business in order for United By Blue to have a long term positive impact on the environment—without the success of our product, we don’t have the time or money to execute on our environmental goals,” Founder CEO Brian Linton told The Good Trade.
In 2012, the brand diversified its product line with the introduction of the organic waxed Lakeland Laptop Bag. In September 2013, United By Blue's flagship Coffeehouse and Clothier opened in Old City, Philadelphia and the following month marked the hundredth cleanup which removed about eleven thousand pounds of trash from Trinity River, Dallas. The following year, the brand expanded with store-in-store concept State and Union in Kennett Square, PA and a second Coffeehouse and Clothier opened on Philadelphia's Walnut Street.
2015-16 was a landmark period. The brand further expanded its product line of tees, tanks, board shorts, dresses and bags, shipped to three hundred and fifty retailers across the US, Canada and Japan. And, picked up 250,000 pounds of trash from waterways in Wilmington, DE. In January 2016, The Ultimate American Jacket by United By Blue won Outside Magazine's Gear of the Show for its B100 Bison insulation. Later that year, the fourth retail store opened in Nolita, New York.
“The growth of our two international cleanup operations in Indonesia and the Philippines allowed us to conduct ongoing trash collections with the help of our partners, Sungai Watch and Plastic Bank. They’ve become a huge asset to our mission and have proven to be key in mitigating tons of trash from reaching the ocean, supporting local community members, and contributing impactful data to conversations around plastic pollution," states United By Blue 2021 Impact Report. “Lastly, this year we officially made it to the 4 million pound milestone of all-time trash collected!”
The brand currently has a forty-five member team across its headquarters, three retail stores and a warehouse, a team that firmly believes business not only has the ability to be a part of environmental solutions but a moral responsibility to address them. And the brand is doing a great job of just that on its social media accounts as well by building a community to address environmental concerns and be a part of the solution.
"Responsible, durable goods to get you outside."
Doing the dirty work is in the brand DNA: the core team organised their first community cleanup the week they sold their first t-shirt. Years later, they're still hauling old tires, gathering plastic bottles and picking up the bits of styrofoam that litter the shorelines. The team's dream is to eliminate the need for this mission one day so their pursuit doesn't stop at reusable trash bags. The brand prioritises sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing to lead the charge toward better business practices. And build community through waterway cleanups, determined to spread the idea that if one business can make a difference, so can one person.
Brian Linton (Founder CEO)
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
United By Blue has a line of menswear and womenswear including tops- bottoms and outerwear. Their collection of bags and accessories include backpacks- duffle bags- tote bags- pouches- slings- hats- gloves- and socks.
- The brand story United By Blue
- How We Turn Trash Into Bags United By Blue
- B-Corp went from clothing to food Forbes
- LinkedIn page of United By Blue LinkedIn
- Cool crusaders of conscious clothing Vogue
- Twitter account of United By Blue Twitter
- Cleaning up the oceans United By Blue
- Instagram account of United By Blue Instagram
- Cleanup Trash Becomes New Products United By Blue
- Could this be the most eco-friendly shoe Forbes
- Meet Founder Brian Linton The Good Trade
- Gear with a conscience GQ
- Youtube channel of United by Blue Youtube
- #BlueMovement Philly Mag
- Pintrest page of United By Blue Pintrest
- The 2020 Impact Report United By Blue
- The 2021 Impact Report United By Blue
- The Responsible Board Short United By Blue
- Facebook account of United By Blue Facebook
- Rethink how you buy jeans Vogue
Brian Linton (Founder CEO)
Fashion and Textiles
Retail and Consumer Goods