Earth Day is celebrated around the world, but one young recycling guru thinks that Earth Day should be every day.
Ryan Hickman, the award-winning 10-year-old recycling ambassador behind Ryan’s Recycling, is on a mission to stop plastic pollution. And his latest venture, a partnership with beloved beach lifestyle retailer Sand Cloud, does exactly that. This week, Ryan and Sand Cloud announced a new joint children’s t-shirt line made out of 100 percent recycled materials. Every shirt is made from eight upcycled plastic water bottles, and 10 percent of the proceeds from each shirt are donated directly to grassroots marine conservation non-profits.
As part of this partnership, Ryan recently participated in a Sand Cloud beach cleanup where he handed out his new “Make the Sea Trash Free” shirts to kids at the event. The cleanup removed approximately 75 pounds of trash pollution from the beach. To date, Ryan has recycled more than half a million cans and bottles and has donated $9,000 to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
Why Sand Cloud?
If you haven’t heard of Sand Cloud, you’ve been missing out. Sand Cloud is a eco-conscious lifestyle brand that offers products like towels, clothing, and accessories (goodbye plastic straws, hello metal!). The company donates 10 percent of profits from every product to non-profits that share its same mission of preserving beaches, oceans, and marine life. After rising to fame thanks to an investment from Robert Herjavec on Shark Tank, Sand Cloud has built a community of over 250,000 brand ambassadors – which is how the partnership with Ryan came to fruition.
Why Ryan’s Recycling?
In 2019, Sand Cloud named Ryan its “Ambassador of the Year” for his inspiring conservation efforts. From there, the young recycling extraordinaire and the brand brainstormed creative, eco-friendly options for Ryan to inspire other kids to make a difference. According to Sand Cloud co-founder Brandon Leibel, the company is proud to work with such a passionate young environmentalist.
“We’re so excited to work with Ryan,” Leibel said in a statement. “We knew right away that he was the perfect fit for our children’s t-shirt line because he embodies our mission that anyone can #SaveTheFishies. We’re excited to bring Sand Cloud products to a whole host of young conservationists like Ryan.”
Ryan, who has previously been featured on CNN and Good Morning America, has been recycling from the age of 3, and he’s determined to help others share his passion for recycling.
“It’s easy to do,” Ryan says. “All you have to do is care about the planet and if everyone does a little bit each day, it makes a big difference for our planet. I’m only 10 years old. If I can help clean up the planet, everyone can, too.”
Who doesn’t love young entrepreneurs giving back to charity?