Starbucks. Royal Caribbean. American Airlines. Sand Cloud.
What do all of these names have in common? They’re companies dedicated to reducing plastic waste on the earth, either by offering replacement materials or doing what they can for organizations devoted to cleaning up the world.
Sand Cloud, for example, is a brand with a vision: #SavetheFishies. Their claim to fame is a beach towel made from 100 percent Turkish cotton, but by expanding into apparel, accessories and even home goods, the company is fighting the good fight for marine life -- 10 percent of their profits are sent straight to protecting the oceans. To date, Sand Cloud has donated $100,000 of their $1 million goal to conservation organizations like the Marine Conservation Institute, the Surfrider Foundation and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund.
“We thought that we needed to support to keep our oceans clean not for us, but for the marine life that lives in them,” Sand Cloud co-founder Brandon Leibel told Dailybreak.
So, their merchandise reflects that: T-shirts are made from recycled plastic and reusable water bottles and straws promote the elimination of single-use plastics, 8 million pieces of which they claim enter the ocean daily.
In 2017, Leibel and his co-founders Bruno Aschidamini and Steven Ford appeared on “Shark Tank,” looking for support for their reinvented beach towels. What they came up with was Turkish fabric that, I can say after laying on it myself, makes for the perfect combination of sturdiness and comfort.
“Turkish cotton threads are strong and smooth when spun, making it quicker to dry and more lightweight than other materials. We knew that our towels had to be light enough to fold into a beach bag and dry quickly,” Leibel said.
The guys made a deal with shark Robert Herjavec, and they were off.
“[Herjavec]’s been a huge resource to the company, and he's helped open doors we didn't even know existed,” Leibel said, mentioning that the hardest part about their mission and product is getting it into the hands of the public for reasonable prices.
“While we'd love for every person to be able to have one of our towels, we're not succeeding unless we're able to give back to marine life. Our mission has driven us from day one, and we've stuck to it ever since,” he said.
Obviously, purchasing goods from companies that make eco-friendly contributions is a huge plus, but protecting the earth is a larger effort for the entire population and requires more than just pretty (really pretty, at that) beach bags.
“We offer reusable water bottles and metal straws as a gateway, but there are plenty of ways to curb plastic from your daily life,” Leibel said. “I use mine all the time as a reminder to be conscious of how much plastic I use.”
Want to get in on the #SavetheFishies campaign and look trendy while you do so? Stock up on Sand Cloud and hit the coast.