Founders Story: The Inspiration Behind Free the Ocean

The ocean is a powerful force - critical to our survival and the future of the planet. There’s still so much we don’t know about the deep blue, but we do know that the ocean’s in trouble and needs our help! Among other problems, plastic is polluting our oceans, harming marine life, and causing a ripple effect of damage. 

As I learned more about the plastic problem, I became motivated to do my part to help be part of the solution. This is where the idea of Free the Ocean’s plastic-free marketplace was born. We made it our goal to offer a wide range of products (all 100% plastic-free) to help people live more sustainably in everyday life. From the kitchen to the bathroom, pet care to travel, we wanted our community to have access to useful, high-quality products to replace unsustainable options. 

In August 2019, our store was launched and our goal became a reality! Since then, we’ve grown rapidly, which has allowed us to expand our product line and to work with amazing vendors who share our values. Most importantly, we continue to only offer products that are good for you, the ocean, and the planet. 

When creating the store, it was also very important to us to give back for every product purchased. This led us to work with two wonderful non-profit organizations that are actively removing and repurposing plastic from the ocean. Our partnership with these two groups allows us to directly fund the removal of 10 pieces of plastic for every product purchased and to have a much greater impact.

The plastic problem can seem overwhelming at times but it’s so important to remember the power of our individual and collective actions, however small they may seem. One of the best actions we can take is to be aware of what we purchase and consume. We vote with our money and our dollars have the power to create change! 

Making simple swaps like using a biodegradable sponge instead of a plastic one, switching to a bamboo toothbrush, or using a reusable dishcloth instead of paper towels, helps to reduce our individual waste and makes us more aware of living with the Earth in mind. 

At FTO, we’re committed to challenging ourselves to become the best version of our business that we can be. We love hearing any and all feedback about our products, your shopping experience, or any general questions you may have. 

With gratitude, for a cleaner ocean,

Mimi Ausland