With their ‘Save the Fishies’ motto plastered on t-shirts, reusable water bottles, beach towels, and totes, Sand Cloud has become one of the most well-known companies dedicated to marine life. Sand Cloud products range from bedding, jewellery, and beachwear, to all types of clothing, and with each sale, the company is dedicated to donating 10% to non-profit organizations that support their mission. Sand Cloud has worked with the Marine Conservation Institute, Ocean Connections, and many more non-profits that work to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, beaches, and marine life.
Sand Cloud’s products are not only fashionable but their recycled towels and tees, organic reef safe sunscreen, reusable bottles and bags, and metal straws make the perfect sustainable gift for friends and family. And, they are always looking for new ambassadors willing to use social media to educate others on Sand Cloud’s goal. I sat down with co-founder, Brandon Leibel, to learn more about Sand Cloud’s mission, promise, and advocacy for marine life preservation.
Ariel Zedric: How and when did the idea for Sand Cloud originate?
Brandon Leibel: After graduating from college, we came up with the concept to build a better beach towel and Sand Cloud was born. In 2014, we all abandoned our corporate jobs and took a leap of faith to start this company. We also knew we wanted to be a mission-driven company and found that people were motivated by our mission, which was encouraging as a new business. We created better beach towels, all the while staying true to our mission to #SaveTheFishies.
What was the company’s original mission? Have the goals remained the same since being founded? If not, what’s prompted the change?
The company’s original mission was to make a difference in the world through the ocean and marine life conservation, and we’re still committed to that mission to this day. We donate 10 per cent of the profit from every sale to non-profit organizations in line with our mission.
10% of your proceeds go towards preserving marine life! What does that mean? What sort of companies or initiatives does that money help fund?
We donate to five non-profit organizations that aim to protect marine life: Marine Conservation Institute, Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, the San Diego Coastkeeper, and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. Each of these companies has values that align with ours, making them wonderful organizations to support.
Are there any stats or tangibles that can be used as an example of Sand Cloud’s success?
We are proud that we have donated over $100,000 to marine conservation so far.
Talk a little about the eco-friendly production process for Sand Cloud. Where are the materials produced and what measures are put in place to guarantee the best results?
Our goal is to transition all of our apparel to recycled fabrics by the end of this year. For us, that means plastic bottles, recycled cotton, and any other materials that can be recycled. We’re looking into new technology to produce more eco-friendly products, like our water bottles and metal straws, that can replace single-use plastics.
What are the company’s plans for the future? What type of marine preservation projects are underway or upcoming? Will more products be hitting the assembly line?
We have plans to make more reusable water bottles and invest in other ways to eliminate single-use plastics. Additionally, many countries outside the US support the mission of preserving our oceans, so we hope to grow outside of the United States. Ultimately, we also want to donate $1,000,000 to non-profits.
Are there more opportunities for customers to help contribute to marine life preservation?
Our customers can also donate directly to organizations that contribute to our mission. Additionally, our Ambassadors work really hard to spread the word about our cause and strengthen the community surrounding marine life.
What’s the biggest difficulty in running such an eco-friendly and passionate company? Are there instances where the business has interfered with the mission? If so, how has the company addressed this?
The biggest difficulty we face is being able to offer products at an affordable price. We want everyone to be able to support our mission by purchasing our products, but we do need to stay competitive and offer value. That is one of the reasons why we are so excited about our metal straws and water bottles. Having a mission actually makes things easier. We have a purpose, and we can only donate if we make sales. If we don’t have a successful business, then we can’t have a successful mission.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an eco-friendly and dedicated company?
Without a doubt, the most rewarding part is being able to partner with nonprofit groups that are also grassroots. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is one of the organizations that Sand Cloud supports, and I have personally been able to help them release seals back into the ocean. It’s incredibly gratifying being able to contribute to these local protection agencies.
Feature image courtesy of Brandon Leibel