A Hidden Gem: United By Blue

I first came across United By Blue when I was looking for cute enamel cups for my Joshua Tree trip with my friends. As I was surfing through the web, I came across Alabama Outdoors and found the cutest cups ever. They were these 12oz enamel cups that was perfect for my weekend trip. Even though the cups were sold at Alabama Outdoors, they were created by a brand called United By Blue. Upon researching the brand and browsing through the products they offer, it became apparent that UBB would become one of my favorite brands.

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United By Blue’s Mission

United By Blue started with a “mission to prove that a for-profit company could do serious, dirty conservative work.” Not only does UBB offer great quality products but they are a brand that is serious about giving back to the environment. For every product purchased, they remove 1 pound of trash from oceans and waterways. They host cleanup days all around the country and volunteers come help to clean out the pollution from beaches, creeks, and more.

I decided to sign up for the Huntington Beach cleanup on December 12 as HB is closer to my home and also hopefully by then, the pandemic will be over or at least somewhat over. The last time I helped out cleaning up beaches was back in 9th grade and that was because I needed volunteer points for school. I wasn’t serious about the environment and was kind of forced to do it lol. But now as I become an adult, I learn more and more about pollution and why it’s necessary to live a sustainable life. I want to leave a positive impact on the world even though my action might seem small. But even small action leaves big impression.

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Not only does UBB hosts regular cleanups, their goal and plan is to remove all single-use plastics from their supply chain by Spring 2020. It was interesting to read on how they were going to achieve their goal. They even had a timeline of the milestones they were going to achieve to become plastic-free. I really love how they are being proactive and dedicated to their goal.

Sustainable Materials

I bought three bags from United By Blue this past few weeks and I can confidently say that their bags are incredibly durable and of course, nicely designed. Another thing that I appreciated about UBB is that they are informative and transparent about what materials they use for their products. My bags were created from recycled plastic bottles which then transformed into recycled polyester fabric. UBB partners up with a North Carolina based factory that collects these recycled plastics and makes them into durable yarn. You can read more about it here. Most of their products, if not, all, are created from sustainable materials such as hemp, corozo, and more.

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Ethical Manufacturing

Because of this pandemic, it made me realize how most of my products are cheap and in order to maintain that cheap prices, a lot of companies uses cheap materials that is harmful to Earth but also they take advantage of sweatshop factories. I know we live in a society where we want instant gratification and cheap items but this way of living is leading us to destruction of Earth. I don’t want to continue living a linear life and I also definitely do not want to encourage sweatshop factories from continuing and exploiting the less fortunate.

UBB partners up with factories that holds “highest standards for facilities and personnel…” I really love how not only UBB cares for the environment but it also cares about the working quality of the workers. My bags were created from a factory in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam that is known for their expert craftsmanship. Some of the companies that they are partnered up with are located in Turkey, Iowa, Vietnam, and China.

To be honest, I was a little dismayed that they partnered up with companies from China. China is known for creating super cheap products at the expense of hazardous working conditions for the workers. I know not ALL of China’s manufacturing companies are bad but I’m just a little wary as it is a country that doesn’t have the greatest human rights standards. But I put my trust in UBB that they really partnered up with ethical Chinese factories that treats their employees with respect.

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Certified B Corp

United By Blue is a B Corp certified company since 2011. From reading up on B Corp, “B Corporations are defined as businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” It does give a peace on my mind that UBB is also certified as a sustainable brand.

I know this post was super long but I really, really, REALLY believe in United By Blue brand. It’s sustainable, ethical, and leaves a positive impact on society and the environment. It is also a small business and I believe in supporting small businesses rather than large corporations that most of the time doesn’t care about their negative impact to the world. Why support those kind of companies when you can stand by and support local and small businesses that gives back to the community? As I am slowly transitioning to sustainable and zero waste living, UBB is one of the top brands that I will always support and cheer on.

Right now, UBB and other small sustainable brands have partnered up to create #istandwithsmall to support their businesses. UBB in particular is having 40% off their products using the code STANDWITHSMALL. Support United By Blue and other businesses by purchasing their products!

 

 

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