What if all outdoor companies were as equally devoted to environmental cleanup as they are to the bottom line? On top of that: What if all of the products that they sold were created sustainably? In 2010, Brian Linton created that ideal: He founded United by Blue, a company that manufactures and sells durable, responsibly made goods—ones that stand the true test of time—while also organizing its own philanthropic initiatives, in house. Brian wanted to be a leader among companies that give back, designing a business that uses its power to have a hands-on, positive impact on oceans and waterways across the world. “It’s a physical manifestation: Through each product that we sell, we remove one pound of trash with hosted clean ups,” Brian said. While Brian earned his Asian Studies degree at Temple University in Philadelphia, he ran a resort merchandizing business for two years, importing and selling stone necklaces. When he graduated in 2008, he continued to sell boutique jewelry with a portion of the proceeds going toward ocean conservation work. But, he soon realized the bottleneck in the business model. “I realized the limitations of financial donations for small business,” explained Brian. “Not only is it difficult to track the impact or see it, but it’s also difficult for the people who are donating to get involved because emotionally and spiritually they don’t necessarily see the results.” The pinnacle challenge for UBB is balancing its environmental aspirations—organizing volunteers and events requires loads of planning and resources—with sales revenue. But, by building environmental responsibility into the business model, the work that’s done is transparent for Brian, and for consumers. “It was a realization that in doing it on our own we can have an impact that is measurable and tangible. Instead of having an outward donation based model it’s an inward model. It’s also in alignment with my personality and what I wanted to be a part of: United by Blue is an outdoor lifestyle brand that embodies the nostalgic romance and love for the outdoors.” To date, UBB has hosted 116 cleanups and organized more than 4,000 volunteers to remove close to 200,000 pounds of trash across 21 states and Taiwan. United by Blue has two retail-coffee shops in Philadelphia, which are designed to be community gathering spaces, where they sell their own brand products as well as third party goods.