The Blue Movement

Most people are familiar with the Green Movement, but what about the Blue one? As sailors, this cause should be near and dear to our hearts. The blue movement is about the oceans that occupy 70 percent of the Earth and our dependence on them.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
UBB

Most people are familiar with the Green Movement, but what about the Blue one? As sailors, this cause should be near and dear to our hearts. The blue movement is about the oceans that occupy 70 percent of the Earth and our dependence on them. For sailors, the water is our playground, and we have a responsibility to take care of it.

The company United by Blue (UBB) cannot fully express how deeply it feels about this issue. Founder and “Chief Trash Collector” Brian Linton started the clothing and jewelry company after his other attempts at conservation left him feeling like he didn’t have control over the impact he was making.

 United By Blue founder Brian Linton getting his hands dirty

United By Blue founder Brian Linton getting his hands dirty

“I remember traveling around Asia growing up and visiting beautiful beaches one day and beaches covered in plastic the next day...this troubled me so much that when I got to college I started thinking of ways to create a business that would help clean up our world's oceans and waterways, and have fun while doing it.” 

Linton spent time in Singapore, where he was shocked by how dirty the water was in contrast to the clean city. There was plastic everywhere. “As one of the world's largest seaports, it is no surprise that the oceans surrounding Singapore are polluted, but it wasn't until I was learning to scuba dive off the coast that I realized just how bad it is. It is really sobering and sad to see an ocean so devoid of life because of how poorly we have treated it,” says Linton.

Back in the United States, Linton founded United by Blue in 2010 with the hope that the company’s in-house cleanup efforts and simple business model—which involves not just donating money to another organization, but actually removing one pound of trash from the ocean for every item sold—would make more of an impact. “My ultimate goal with UBB is to grow it into the largest organization removing trash from oceans and waterways in the world,” he says, a goal, he adds, that he feels is very much within reach.

UBB2

According to Linton, the biggest threat to ocean life right now is single-use plastics, like those handy beverage containers and bags many of us use on a daily basis. To this end, his personal goal is to use UBB as an educational tool to prevent the trash buildup in the first place. Linton has also enlisted thousands of volunteers in over 60 cleanups in 15 states.

While sailors tend to pride themselves on having a low carbon footprint, we can always be more aware. You hate to turn on the engine if you can avoid it, and you may not be knowingly tossing trash into the sea. But 20 percent of trash is dumped at sea, so help to spread the Blue Movement when you see trash being carelessly dealt with.

By partnering with the likes of Subaru, Method Products Inc. (which manufactures a variety of home and personal care products) and Sperry Top-Sider, UBB is creating effective recycling programs. In addition to picking up trash, they are also trying to find a “new home” for trash they pick up. Method, for example, uses some of the trash that UBB picks up to make its plastic soap bottles. Sperry Top-Sider is also sponsoring a World Oceans Day UBB cleanup in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 8, and selling a limited edition line of exclusive UBB T-shirts that can now be found here. UBB is excited for World Oceans Day and all of their other upcoming cleanups.

sperryimage

The T-shirts, made of soft organic cotton, are packaged in banana fiber bags, and production is transitioning from India to the more carbon-footprint-friendly Los Angeles, now that they’ve found a place to produce the clothing at a price their consumers can afford.

“They're great for dressing up and dressing down, layering in warm and cool weather, and outfitting for deck and dock,” says Linton.

With the heavyweight partnerships they’re developing and beginning to sell items at retailers like Nordstrom, United By Blue may be new, but their impact can already be seen on the coasts we call home.

Photos by Katharine Friedgen, Courtesy of United By Blue

Related

Waypoint.image.cd

Say No To Waypoints

Ever since they first appeared in my navigational toolbox decades ago I have been wary of waypoints. They certainly do seem helpful, these electronic flags we plant in the ether to guide us to where we want to go. But I noticed early on they also tend to distort our perception. ...read more

Lead-shutterstock_429247

A Cruise up Florida’s St. Johns River

The chart showed 45ft of vertical clearance, and I knew the boat should be able to pass under the bridge. Still, there was that nagging voice in my head that wouldn’t let me be. “What if your air draft calculations were wrong?” it said. “And if you’re just a little too high the ...read more

pic00

Installing a Helm Pod

Our 1987 Pearson project boat came with an elderly but functioning Raymarine chartplotter, located belowdecks at the nav station. Since I usually sail solo or doublehanded, it was of little use down there—it needed to be near the helm. When I decided to update the plotter along ...read more

Panamerican

Pan American Game Success

Team USA’s young sailors went to the quadrennial Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru this summer with high hopes, and returned with a good haul of medals—two Golds, three Silvers, and two Bronze. Gold medals went to Ernesto Rodriguez and Hallie Schiffman (Mixed Snipe) and Riley ...read more

190916-AC75

U.S. Team Launches First America’s Cup Boat

Fast forward to around 2:25 to see the boat in action. First day out and already doing full-foiling gybes: not too shabby! Hard on the heels of the unveiling of New Zealand’s first AC75, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team has now launched its first America’s Cup ...read more

GGTobCaysHorseshoeColors

Picking a Charter Destination

Picking a destination should reflect the interests of your group, says People often ask about my favorite charter destination, and invariably, I sidestep the question with one of my own: “Well, what do you want to do on your vacation?” Most often I hear an incredulous, “Why, ...read more

sinking

Waterlines: Chasing Leaks on Boats

Chasing leaks on boats is a time-honored obsession. Rule number one in all galaxies of the nautical universe through all of nautical history has always been the same: keep the water on the outside. When water somehow finds its way inside and you don’t know where it’s coming ...read more

BestBoatNominees2020-Promo

Best Boats Nominees 2020

Bring on the monohulls! In a world increasingly given over to multihull sailing, SAIL magazine’s “Best Boats” class of 2020 brings with it a strong new group of keelboats, including everything from luxury cruisers nipping at the heels of their mega-yacht brethren to a number of ...read more