While browsing the Stingray website you may have noticed the slogan ‘The Ocean’s Heartbeat’. It might just sound like a catchy slogan, but there is much more meaning to these words. In many ways the slogan came before the brand name and essentially defines the mission of the brand. Stingray is not just here to sell great products it was born out of a deep passion for the ocean and the marine life surrounding it. Every product’s design inspiration came from paddling and swimming in the ocean and as such the very first mission of Stingray was to give back to the ocean which inspired the birth of the brand. Stingray like to say ‘WE.ARE.DIFFERENT.’ as a statement because not many brands go as far as they do.
“It was important to me that Stingray wasn’t just another brand coming on the market with the goal of simply making money. Living in the Tampa Bay area, we spend a lot of time in and on the ocean, which gives us the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful dolphin, manatee, rays, turtles, bird life and more. I felt it was critically important that we don’t just draw inspiration from the ocean, but that we give back. Without a clean ocean full of marine life, we certainly would not enjoy watersports in the same way. The marine life is the ocean’s heartbeat, and we need to look after that heart. The slogan just came to me one day while paddle boarding”, said Stingray founder Rich Allen.
So, what is The Ocean’s Heartbeat initiative? The brand’s goal is to really help in two ways. Financially Stingray donate to marine life conservation charities and physically they spend time picking up plastic and trash from the local beaches.
Stingray pledge to donate 10% of its profits to a chosen charity. At the end of the calendar year, once the accounts are finalized, they announce the donation amount and pick 5 local and national charities to create a short list. It is then up to the Stingray customer base to vote on a winner. The Stingray founder and his family spend a lot of time visiting local marine charities such as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Bird Life Sanctuary but are always looking for suggestions on a national level. There is the question, what if the company does not turn a profit? If this is the case, then they will still make a donation and follow the same protocol. The goal however is to get 5 or 10 years down the road and be in a position to make a solid contribution that will significantly impact marine life conservation.
In the early years of Stingray there are smaller yet significant ways that they give back and help. 3x a year the Stingray staff give up workdays to clean up the Tampa Bay beaches. The first beach cleanup in December 2020 saw 25 staff and volunteers clean up Fort De Soto beach near St Petersburg, Florida. One of the cleanest beaches in the country, it was staggering to still find a disturbing amount of trash! From baby pacifiers to beer bottles, the Stingray team found it all! While it’s only a small help to a massive problem, the team hopes that it serves as a positive example for the next generation. The amount of plastic in the ocean is destroying marine life and we have to all take steps to reverse this problem. It’s worth taking a minute to read about the problem, the scale of which is still somewhat unknown:
The garbage patch - https://theoceancleanup.com/great-pacific-garbage-patch/
Ocean Conservancy - https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/
In addition, Stingray are trying to change many areas of their business model to reduce their carbon footprint. This is very difficult for a new brand, but it’s work in progress. By increasing drop shipping partnerships with retailers, it cuts product transportation and warehouse storage in half. Shipping orders in recycled cardboard boxes rather than plastic bags, reduces the amount of plastic being discarded, and the biggest goal of all is manufacturing the paddle boards out of recycled PCV. Right now a recycled board is in the development stage but the founder is working hard to get these in to production within 2-years.
Stingray strive to be different and do not just work towards greater sales figures. They do have another big agenda which is a priority for the founder and the brand’s team. Thank you for supporting Stingray and by doing so you are supporting the Ocean’s Heartbeat initiative.