Sustainable retailer United By Blue (UBB) was one of a handful of companies that rode the social enterprise wave into Philadelphia in the late aughts.
Led by founder Brian Linton, what was once a humble coffee shop-slash-outdoor clothier in Old City has swelled into a wave of its own.
The company now employs a staff of 45 in four stores up and down the East Coast (Time Out New York hailed their Manhattan shop as the second-best new store in the city last year) and its goods are stocked in over 500 stores across the world.
Fans of bison wool socks aren’t the only ones noticing. Linton was just named one of the top 19 social entrepreneurs to watch in 2017 by Conscious Company Media, informed by a poll of “investors, incubators, accelerators and industry groups.”
(Linton is one of three founders on the list backed by members of impact investing network Investors’ Circle, but the only Philly-based social entrepreneur.)
It might have something to do with the company’s mission: For every item sold, the company promises to remove one pound of trash from the world’s waterways through company-organized cleanups.