Apparel company United By Blue (UBB) is about to make a bigger wave in Philadelphia.
Reminder: For every piece of retail sold in its stores, the social enterprise cleans one pound of trash from the world’s waterways. Since its 2010 founding, it’s expanded to four stores, including one in Manhattan, and hit the million-pound cleanup mark in June. It’s also made B Lab’s Best for the World list of exceptional B Corps for the past two years.
Next week, UBB is opening its new 3,500-square-foot flagship store at 205 Race St. The move from its original location, just a block away at 144 N. 2nd St., is thanks to an expanded team and a need for more space for more, well, stuff.
“We currently can’t fit our entire product line into our current flagship store,” said Ethan Peck, UBB’s PR associate. “The new space is about triple the size of our current store and allows us to showcase our entire product line.”
The space will also reflect UBB’s goal of being seen as a “retail leader in the outdoor industry,” Peck said, with more third-party products like sleeping bags and tents.
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The biggest change is an expanded coffee bar and the addition of a restaurant, which will serve food reminiscent of camping and waterways (of course) during breakfast and lunch.
How does the restaurant fit with UBB’s one-for-one business model? It doesn’t exactly — food and beverage sales at its other locations have never contributed to the trash removal numbers.
“The purpose of the food and beverage is more about creating and fostering connections and supporting local suppliers vs. the product supporting our cleanup efforts,” Peck said. “It’s a way for us to continue fostering the community aspect of what we stand for.”
The store’s soft opening will happen sometime during the week of Nov. 13, with a grand opening event planned for Friday, Dec. 1.
Also coming up for the retailer is its second annual Blue Friday event on Black Friday, during which customers are encouraged to clean up their local parks instead of shop. DIY cleanup kits with gloves and UBB bandanas can be purchased here.-30-
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