United By Blue has removed 1M pounds of trash from national waterways - Generocity Philly

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Jun. 6, 2017 8:37 am

United By Blue has removed 1M pounds of trash from national waterways

It's an important metric for the sustainable outdoor retailer.

A million here, a million there.

(Courtesy photo)

Sustainable outdoor retailer and OG Philly social enterprise United By Blue (UBB) hit a major milestone recently: The company has removed one million pounds of trash from national waterways.

Actually, 1,015,862 pounds, to be precise; nearly half of that total was removed from an illegal dump site in Kittanning, Pa., in late 2016. It’s a big deal for the Old City company, which has been organizing regular cleanups since its founding in 2010.

“When I first started at United By Blue three years ago, one million pounds wasn’t even in the five-year plan,” said Head of Cleanups Kelly Offner in a statement. “We couldn’t have reached this milestone without the tremendous amount of support we’ve received from the community, our volunteers, and our public and private partners.

The cleanups might seem a peripheral or complementary feature to the company’s mission considering they’re dependent on volunteer turnout, but the actual amount of  trash removed during those cleanups is an important metric for UBB’s mission: For every item sold, the retailer promises to remove one pound of trash from national waterways.

Back in 2015, we asked UBB’s investors at Investors’ Circle what would happen if the company sold a million items in a year. “That’s a great problem for us to have,” impact investor John Moore told us at the time.

As of now, UBB is yet to sell a million items, which means this milestone puts more pressure on UBB’s sales team than it does its cleanup efforts. And with over a dozen cleanups planned for the next month alone, that pressure will only continue to mount.

We’ll look forward to an infographic like the one below once UBB hits the two million pound mark.

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