United By Blue was created with the idea that a successful outdoor brand can do serious conservation work. This means everyone at United By Blue routinely digs in and rolls up their sleeves to remove plastic bottles, styrofoam, and a host of other man-made detritus from waterways across the United States. The enterprising environmentally conscious brand even takes it a step further by organizing and hosting cleanups to make a measurable impact on one of the most pressing transnational environmental security concern: plastic pollution.
United By Blue is also a certified B-Corp business, a group of for-profit companies that have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Obtaining the B-Corp certification was important to the company for two primary reasons: First, they wanted to set a standard of excellence for their products. Secondly, they aspired from the beginning to be a member of a business community that upholds similar economic, social, and environmental principles.
United By Blue produces everything from backpacks to boardshorts and I had the pleasure of testing out two pairs of the later this year. Their boardshorts come in two styles: performance and scallop. Each style is available in a variety of prints and colors. The company incorporates a blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton into their boardies, depending on the style.
Recycled polyester was selected as it originates from plastic bottles that too often wind up in our waterways. Using recycled polyester also takes less energy to produce. Organic cotton was chosen as conventional cotton is heavily reliant on chemicals and fertilizers which often runoff into local waterways.
The scallop boardshorts (60% recycled polyester, 36% cotton, 4% spandex) are modeled along the lines of a traditional swim trunk. The 8 inch inseam slightly tapers towards the knee and the shorts are outfitted with side pockets in addition to one pocket in the seat.
The performance boardshorts (82% recycled polyester, 18% Spandex) are made with a super lightweight and fast drying 4-way fabric. They have a single back pocket and have a slightly longer inseam at 9 inches.
I’ve worn both styles standup paddling (SUP) downwinders and surfing. Each are super comfortable, but if I had to choose a favorite, the performance style wins out. They are my new favorites! The construction feels a bit lighter than the scallops and dries so quickly you’ll forget you are wearing boardshorts.
@mattchebatoris had a fun session this morning surfing 🏄🏽 the north side of the Manhattan Beach Pier. Luckily for him the locals were friendly! 🤙🏽 To get the 411 on surfing the South Bay drop in to visit our good friends at @nikaukai in Manhattan Beach! Thank you for the 📷 @mark_the_chopper 👊🏽👊🏽 . . @infinity_sup @oxendurance @onitpro @sheltahats @unitedbyblue #infinitynewdeal #manhattanbeach #northside #california #surfing#surfing
A post shared by PaddleXaminer (@paddlexaminer) on Jul 7, 2018 at 7:00pm PDT
Regardless of what you choose, both styles are secured at the waist with a simple drawstring. They each look great and will suit a wide range of paddlers. United By Blue removes one pound of trash for each product sold, so you can feel good about your purchase with the knowledge that you are helping make a contribution to the greater good.
For more eco-friendly products, take a look at Rebecca Parson’s work in her column, Keep it Green!