It is estimated that over 14 billion pounds of plastic waste enter oceans every single year by human hands. That’s a huge problem for marine wildlife and the beauty of our oceans, too, and it’s an issue entrepreneur Brian Linton wants to draw attention to through his green entrepreneurial venture, United By Blue, one pound at a time.
How United By Blue is Cleaning Up the Ocean, One Pound at a Time
“Our oceans are not the oceans of our ancestors, teaming with fish and crystal clear for miles and miles. Our oceans are emptier of life—and more full of plastic debris.”
That’s the guiding concern of the United By Blue (UBB) team. Believing in the power of humanity to take responsibility and create positive change in the world, UBB is driven by the desire to create a for-profit system that can tangibly clean up the oceans before it’s too late.
The business model works like this: For every product that’s sold through UBB, the company will actively remove one pound of trash from the world’s oceans or waterways. They do this by creating company-organized and hosted cleanups of beaches and oceans in a variety of locations involving UBB employees and volunteers – university students, townspeople, service organizations, schools, businesses, and more.
Their process involves selecting the location, managing volunteers, and putting on their own gloves to get down and dirty with the cleanup efforts. They add fun and education to the mix by including contests and giveaways, food and inspirational talks. So far, the team has taken steps to organize cleanups in 18 states throughout two countries, for a total of 141,000 pounds of trashed cleaned up at the time of this writing. Check out details of their cleanup efforts and how you can get involved on their Cleanups page. To learn more about the world’s ocean trash check out this article on National Geographic about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The fashion created by UBB is inspired by ocean exploration and created by American artisans in small batches, and includes environmentally-sensitive materials such as organic cotton, vintage detailing, and the faded colors of harbor villages. UBB pieces are sold direct to consumers through their website, as well as through over 200 stores in the US and many stores in Japan. They’ve eliminated plastic from their supply chain, and use banana fiber and elephant dung paper instead of conventional paper.
About this Entrepreneur for a Change: Brian Linton
Brian is an ocean lover and avid scuba diver, and has turned these passions into a business in 2010. Uncertain as to the effectiveness of making donations to conservation organizations, Brian decided to create a different company – one that would take concrete actions to create change. As such, United By Blue was born. Calling himself the founder and chief trash collector of UBB, Brian stays very connected with the company, working on product development, sales, and overall company direction as UBB grows and develops. Hear Brian tell the story via YouTube.
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