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This Outdoor Brand Cleans up a Pound of Trash Per Item Sold

United By Blue has cleaned up over 5.3 million pounds of trash from the environment, and every item sold adds one more pound to that tally. The company takes a slow-fashion approach to manufacturing to nip waste in the bud, using recycled materials or nontoxic, regenerative fibers that give discarded wood and plant fibers a second life.

Mindful companies like this one are perfect for outdoor lovers who want to protect the places where they recreate. But is United By Blue stuff any good?

Yep, it really is. From bags made from plastic bottles to socks made from bison fibers (!), here are some stand-out categories and items from an innovative brand that goes above and beyond to take care of the planet.

Things I Love From United By Blue

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Backpacks, Bags, and More

(R)evolution™ 9L Sidekick
Image courtesy of United By Blue

United By Blue offers all kinds of bags, including backpacks and duffles, made from recycled materials. I love the (R)evolution™ 9L Sidekick backpack, which comes in several attractive colors, including neutrals. I went with mauve, since I intended to share this compact backpack with my daughter.

Eight plastic bottles make up the 100% recycled 9L Sidekick. It has all the features you’d want in a backpack, including two side water bottle pockets, a padded interior sleeve, and several small pockets for organization.

United By Blue bags are water-resistant, tear-resistant, and stain-resistant, and the company also offers a Lifetime Guarantee. If you want something bigger, United By Blue also has larger-capacity backpacks, tote bags, and duffles. If you want something smaller, the (R)evolution™ 3.5L Mini Tote is everything you’d ever want in a mini-bag. The company also has fanny packs and crossbody bags.

See all United By Blue bags.

Reusable Water Bottles

water bottle
Image by Bethanie Hestermann

A reusable water bottle is a must for outdoor adventures, and United By Blue makes 100% recyclable stainless steel water bottles in different sizes and styles. I have an Insulated Steel Bottle 22 Oz. It’s double-wall insulated to keep drinks cold (or hot), and it has a vacuum-sealed lid. This is a slim, aesthetically pleasing bottle, and it comes with a side-release clip for attaching it to bags that don’t have bottle holders.

Water Bottle Slings

water bottle sling united by blue
Image by Josh Hestermann

This could be my favorite United By Blue product—the (R)evolution™ Water Bottle Sling. It’s an adjustable-length crossbody sling that has a bottle pouch (which can also adjust to fit all kinds of bottle sizes), plus a convenient front pouch for your phone, keys, sunscreen, or trail snacks.

Made from three plastic bottles, the water bottle sling is water-resistant, tear-resistant, and stain-resistant. It’s so handy for short outdoor excursions when you don’t need a full daypack but you definitely need to carry some water.

I brought this sling on a recent summer camping trip and used it constantly for wading up and down the creek with my kids and for short hikes away from our campsite. I will be using it in everyday life too, on days when a water bottle is non-negotiable but I don’t want to carry a full bag or purse.

Bison Trail Socks

bison trail socks
Image by United By Blue

United By Blue’s Bison Trail Socks are 10% bison—that’s right, bison. These four-season socks feature unique BisonShield™ yarn comprised of 10% bison fiber. The resulting sock (52% wool, 34% nylon, 13% bison, 1% spandex) regulates temperature, wicks moisture, and stays warm even when it’s wet.

I really like these socks. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and don’t make my feet hot while wearing hiking boots. They have just enough cushion in the heel and toe. The Bison Trail Socks come in crew-sock height and four different color combinations.

And, in case you’re wondering how United By Blue gets bison fiber, they salvage fibers from bison hides before they’re discarded in an effort to leverage an existing, underutilized natural resource.

Apparel + Accessories for Women and Men

biodegradable t-shirt
Image by Bethanie Hestermann

United By Blue has an ever-changing collection of sustainable apparel for both women and men. I am trying out a biodegradable graphic shirt from their upcoming line (launching soon), and it’s super comfortable. I also have the luxuriously soft EcoKnit Easy Dress. Since the company doesn’t do fast fashion, I’ve noticed the apparel stock changes frequently, so if you see something you like, grab it quick.

The company also has accessories like hats and scarves—and even organic bandanas for pets. There’s a little something for everyone, including categories I haven’t even touched on, like household goods.

Is United By Blue All Talk?

Making a positive impact on the environment seems integrated in United By Blue’s DNA. In the past 12 years or so, the company has removed the equivalent of 75 million empty water bottles from the environment. They do this themselves through community clean-ups and through high-yield cleanups that use heavy equipment to clean thousands of pounds of trash at a time.

From physically cleaning up garbage to making beautiful new things out of discarded materials, United By Blue is just the sort of company that outdoor lovers can feel good about getting behind.

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