Ocean and waterway cleanups are a huge part of our business, and the number one material we collect during cleanups is plastic debris. Naturally, it made sense for us to eliminate as much plastic as possible from our supply chain.
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Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) July 20, 2011
United By Blue (UBB), the industry leader in ocean-friendly fashion, has developed packaging that uses 80% less plastic than ordinary supply chains.
Supply Chain Innovation
Most retailers, including purveyors of organic and natural goods, package each product individually in plastic in order to prevent the buildup of moisture during shipping. But since one of UBB’s core company values is to do the least amount of harm possible in all business operations, the company decided it needed to reduce the amount of single use plastic it was producing.
“Ocean and waterway cleanups are a huge part of our business, and the number one material we collect during cleanups is plastic debris. Naturally, it made sense for us to eliminate as much plastic as possible from our supply chain,” says Brian Linton, the company’s founder and Chief Trash Collector.
Instead of individually packaging t-shirts in plastic, UBB packages them in banana fiber paper. Not only are banana trees a constantly renewable resource, but the packaging is also biodegradable. To prevent moisture from damaging the organic cotton slub t-shirts in transit, UBB lines boxes with plastic.
“When you purchase a UBB product, you’re part of a movement that doesn’t simply remove trash—you’re part of a movement that reduces trash through innovative packaging design,” says Alli Blum, UBB’s Director of Marketing.
The Plastic Problem
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the concentration of plastic in marine environments was essentially zero. But over the last century, plastic has entered oceans and waterways to greater and greater extents. In some of the major ocean gyres, plastic particles outnumber zooplankton by a factor of 40 to 1.
“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the most well known, but there are floating soups of plastic in every ocean,” says Mike Cangi, UBB’s Director of Cleanups. “14 billion pounds of trash end up in oceans every year, and much of it is single use plastic products.”
Making a Difference
The company is already making waves throughout the apparel industry by associating the sale of each product with a concrete environmental action. For every product they sell from their line of jewelry, premium organic cotton t-shirts, and organic cotton canvas bags, the company removes one pound of trash from ocean and waterways in the Philadelphia region and across the country.
Since their founding in May, 2010, UBB has removed nearly 30,000 pounds of trash from oceans and waterways. They’ve hosted over 40 cleanups in the greater Philadelphia region and around the country. UBB is able to host ocean and waterway cleanups through the sale of their products, which are inspired by the weathered buildings in harbor towns and by vintage nautical motifs. Their shirts are made from organically grown cotton and are hand cut, sewn, and printed before being packaged in banana fiber paper.
UBB plans to remove 100,000 pounds of trash from the ocean by the end of 2011, and 1 million pounds by the end of 2012. And on the way, they’re leading the charge against plastic reliance.
"Every product creates an impact on the environment, but many of the negative impacts on the environment are unnecessary. So we find that unnecessary waste and we eliminate it,” says Linton.
About United By Blue
United By Blue (http://unitedbyblue.com) is a brand of ocean-friendly apparel brand that, for every product sold, removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized cleanups. The company is based in Philadelphia and has hosted over 40 cleanups in the region and around the country since it was founded in May 2010. United By Blue is dedicated to using business to enact real change in the world.