All About United by Blue: A Brand OBSESSED with Trash

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United by Blue (UBB) is a brand that is utterly obsessed with trash. United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product purchased through company-organized cleanups.

The apparel and home decor company is not only sustainable but high on style and function. The brand believes it can be a successful outdoor brand and do serious conservation work.

Here is the nitty gritty on everything you need to know about United by Blue’s apparel, home decor, and conversation efforts.

>>> Save 15% off your first purchase at United by Blue.

What is United by Blue?

UBB sells clothing and home decor from recycled materials made to last with a lifetime guarantee.

The company started by selling organic cotton shirts and coordinating local cleanup events over a decade ago. Today, the brand has morphed into a sustainable lifestyle company with a lofty mission — to remove one pound of trash from waterways for every product purchased.

United by Blue focuses on sourcing materials from sustainable locations, which protects its employees and the environment, which is at the core of the company.

Versatile men’s wear
Versatile women’s wear.

When did United by Blue Start?

United by Blue was founded in 2010 by Brian Linton as a company focusing on conservation and sustainable garments. As the founder and current CEO, Linton, stated, “Making an impact is easy! All it takes is a trash bag, a pair of gloves, and an hour of your time, ” a motto the company lives by to this day.

Linton grew up in Singapore and Japan and traveled extensively before founding United by Blue. His father’s IBM career took them around the world, and while overseas, he learned about water ecosystems and the effect that plastics and pollution have on our oceans and waterways.

Linton was so fascinated with water that at one point, he had over 30 fish tanks and raised tropical fish indoors and outdoors. He grew up pondering how water connects everything on earth.

With ocean pollution being one of the most pressing issues of our time, Linton wanted to create a company to combat this crisis. The overwhelming amount of plastic in our waterways polluting our beaches, choking wildlife, and contaminating drinking water, was enough of an impact on Linton personally to want to make a more significant impact worldwide.

United by Blue is committed to making a tangible impact by getting their hands dirty and removing them from water sources Instead of writing a check at the end of the year for conservation efforts, they choose to do the work themselves and even get customers involved.

To join a cleanup crew, you can view their upcoming dates here.

Is the United by Blue Sustainable?

Yes! United by Blue has removed more than 4.1 million pounds of trash through countless cleanups, volunteers, partners, and initiatives to date. You can view their 2021 impact report here.

I firmly believe (and state and re-state throughout all my posts) that sustainability is relative based on your own personal values. “Sustainable” isn’t a regulated marketing term. Any company can call itself sustainable, even the fastest of fast fashion brands.

But United by Blue has public commitments, certifications, and a proven track record that demonstrate an earnest commitment to sustainability and ethical consumerism.

United by Blue takes waste reduction seriously, with products designed to last on a slow fashion timeline that is sustainability sourced, low impact materials, and in factories with the highest certifications in social and environmental health.

United by Blue has been a certified B Corporation since 2011, defined as businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

They are also Climate Neutral Certified which means they are accountable for offsetting their greenhouse gas emissions and reducing them yearly.

What Materials Does United by Blue Use?

United by Blue uses innovative and sustainable fabrics to create its garments. These include:

  • EcoKnit – a blend of hemp, organic cotton, modal, and yak
  • SoftHemp – sustainably grown hemp blended with merino wool and recycled polyester
  • AllDay Chambray – a mix of organic cotton, hemp, and yak
  • EcoDry – A blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester
  • BisonShield – A wool-like yarn or insulation stuffing made from bison hair (manufactured and assembled in Iowa).

Is United by Blue an American Company?

Yes, the brand’s home base is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with two storefronts in the city.

United by Blue also utilizes an American factory in Iowa to produce their Bison Socks made with wool and bison down.

Where is United by Blue From?

United by Blue is proudly from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The brand has partnered with different factories worldwide that hold the highest standards for facilities and personnel, with third-party certifications to back it up.

United by Blue provides full transparency on its factories with information about the location, date established, certifications, and facts about each site.

The total transparency is excellent to see from a sustainable company and is not always found when researching eco-friendly companies.

  • Graphic Knits – Ismir, Turkey
  • Primary Apparel – Qingdao, China
  • Drinkware – Hangzhou, China
  • BisonShield Sock – Osage, Iowa
  • SoftHemp Socks – Zhuji City, China
  • Outerwear- Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Bags – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

United By Blue sells glazed ceramic stoneware that’s quite pretty.

What Does United by Blue Sell?

United by Blue sells a variety of apparel for men and women and home decor items.

  • Women
    • Tops
    • Bottoms
    • Dresses & Jumpsuits
    • Outerwear
    • Active & Loungewear
    • Shoes & Accessories
  • Men
    • Tops
    • Bottoms
    • Outerwear
    • Active & Lounge
    • Shoes & Accessories
  • Accessories
    • Bags
    • Cold Weather
    • Water Bottles & Reusables
    • Pet Accessories
  • Living
    • Kitchen & Dining
    • Decor
    • Outdoor

A few of the bag styles sold by United By Blue. Bags are among their top-sellers.

How Do I Return to United By Blue?

UBB’s return policy is pretty straightforward.

Items must have been purchased from United by Blue and returned in original condition and packaging (unwashed, unworn, and tags still attached). United by Blue may give a partial refund through store credit for used items.

The following items do not qualify for returns or exchanges: 

  • Items marked as final sale
  • Discounted apparel
  • Warehouse and sample sale purchases
  • Gift cards

Where Can I Shop United By Blue?

UBB proudly has two storefronts.

  • 205 Race St. Philadelphia, PA 19106
  • 3421 Walnut Street, University City, Philadelphia

You can shop online or from other authorized retailers nationwide.

Final Thoughts

United by Blue is built on the business model of providing long-lasting, high-quality clothing while making giant gains in the conservation and sustainability industry.

UBB promotes conservation through personal efforts and projects and has a solid record for sustainability. I’m getting my husband the BisonSheild socks – once the darker color gets re-stocked.

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