For some people, creating one eco-friendly company would be enough, but not for Lauren Wardley, founder of One Back and now most recently, Ethical Yacht Wear. As a current full-time stewardess aboard M/Y Samadhi, Wardley is already very busy, but in 2018, that didn’t stop her from launching her ocean-conscious T-shirt company that gives something back for every product bought. In June 2019, she launched Ethical Yacht Wear because she recognized a gap in the uniform market.
Her business isn’t just about selling clothing either. Wardley says her company supplies uniforms that are 100 percent ethical. “We are committed to only providing the highest quality, 100 percent organic cotton, most sustainable, sweatshop-free uniform that gives back and removes plastic out of our oceans at the same time,” she says. “Our motive, values, and commitment are to give back to our clients and environment as much as possible through Ethical Yacht Wear.”
By “our,” the founder means her small but great team. “I spend a lot of my time networking and have graphic designers and media management help where it is needed,” she says.
Wardley has been teaming up with several motor and sailing yachts and has already funded the removal of one tonne — the equivalent of 50,000 500-ml bottles — from the ocean. She will further give back 10 percent of profits from every sale to a company called The Plastic Bank, which pays people in less fortunate countries to pick up plastic. Afterwards, they sell it back to large corporations, therefore reducing poverty and savings millions of tonnes of plastic from the oceans.
“I am aiming to be able to supply the industry with this ethical clothing, as well as supporting ocean clean-up and research,” says Wardley, adding that she wants to do so without having to charge a premium because she wants to help make the industry more “eco-friendly accessible.”