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Beaver brings United By Blue; time for roadtrip!!
Aug '11
Japanese retailer Beaver, an outdoor industry retailer, purchased 2,000 units of UBB's men's summer 2011 line, with plans to roll them out in their 11 stores across Japan, including the company's flagship three-story location in the Shiboya fashion district in Tokyo. UBB sells a line of ocean-friendly organic cotton t-shirts with designs that are inspired by vintage nautical motifs and environmental issues like sustainable seafood and the so-called great pacific garbage patch.

"Of course we're excited to enter a new market," says Brian Linton, the company's Founder and Chief Trash Collector. "Japan is a great market for American apparel companies. But more importantly, expanding our business also enables us to grow our environmental efforts in new parts of the world," says Linton, who spent part of his childhood in Japan.

United By Blue operates a hybrid business model, wherein the social good of removing trash from oceans and waterways is inexorably linked to the number of products sold. Many ocean and waterway cleanups are co-hosted with retail partners, wherein UBB organizes the cleanup and the retailers leverage their community relationships to bring out volunteers. UBB hopes to co-host cleanups in Japan with Beaver, which means it's time for a company roadtrip.

"Selling our products to Beaver, and hopefully to other international retailers soon, will help us work with more and more volunteers to really increase the amount of trash we're able to collect," says Mike Cangi, UBB's Director of Cleanups.

The company plans to remove 100,000 pounds of trash from oceans and waterways by the end of 2011, and 1 million pounds by the end of 2012, and raising an international profile will help the small company meet this goal.

"The mantra 'think globally act locally' inspires our mission,” says Alli Blum, UBB's Director of Marketing. After all, the company tackles ocean pollution (a global problem caused by the 14 billion pounds of trash that end up in oceans every year) on a local scale (through community cleanups). “Now that we're able to enter the Japanese market, we're one step closer to thinking globally and acting globally, too,” says Blum.

For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized and hosted cleanups. UBB sells a line of men's and women's t-shirts, as well as canvas bags and jewelry. UBB has a direct hand in the planning of every cleanup, and co-hosts many events with its retail partners.

Beaver is owned by Ueno-Shokai Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based company that also owns and operates a number of concept stores throughout Japan.

United By Blue

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