Why are Sand Cloud Towels Popular?
You've probably seen them all over your social media. Flung over bikini-clad models and buff surfers, Sand Cloud towels have exploded onto the internet and have cottoned on to the veracity of Instagram selling. It’s pretty easy to see why they are so popular.
Coming in cute off-beat designs and touting an environmentally catchy slogan ‘save the fishies’, is Sand Cloud as good as social media makes them out to be? Sand Cloud is a successful brand selling thoughtfully made and eco-conscious swimwear, towels, clothing, and homeware accessories.
They started in 2014 and have been an absolute hit after an appearance on Shark Tank in 2016 after owner Brandon Leibel spent an entire year applying to try to get on (apparently he was a huge fan of the show). Brandon Leibel, Bruno Aschidamini, and Steven Ford had their shot to pitch and immediately garnered worldwide attention.
Their slot on Shark Tank was ultimately fruitful, and the company received a whopping $200,000 contribution from Robert Herjavec. The three company’s founders then used this investment to buy more supplies and inventory and to upgrade the Sand Cloud website.
Since its inception, Sand Cloud has been named Philanthropist of the Year by Pacific Marine Mammal Center for its environmental activism and eco-minded business strategy and has also been ranked as one of the fastest-growing businesses by Inc Magazine.
It was the brand’s first product- its towel- that caught investors’ eyes and that is what we’ll be reviewing today. Read on to find out more about Sand Cloud Towels.
Overview of Sand Cloud
Sand Cloud was started when the three founders Brandon Leibel, Bruno Aschidamini, and Steven Ford wanted to come up with a strategy to create the perfect towel and ideas of how to use a successful business to further their environmental aims for protecting beaches, the ocean, and marine wildlife.
Sand Cloud was founded in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign which got them started before their big investment from Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec. Sand Cloud still operates out of its headquarters in San Diego, CA.
With their scheme to become a brand ambassador, this too has added to their popularity. All you have to do is go onto Sand Cloud’s website, pop in your name, email, and Instagram handle, and if you are the kind of brand ambassador they’re interested in you can get handy discount codes in exchange for promoting their products.
According to their website, Sand Cloud is on a mission to #savethefishies and they aim to do this by donating 10% of their profits towards marine conservation and using sustainable, plastic-free materials in their products.
What’s so special about Sand Cloud Towels?
Sand Cloud towels are simply Turkish towels. They look like a lightweight sarong or beach blanket but are much more than meets the eye. Sand Cloud towels come in a huge range of trendy, eye-catching patterns which is an immediate draw to the consumer.
Unlike regular terry-cloth towels, they are ultra-thin, lightweight, and ideal for taking on outings to the beach or on trips away.
Made with extra-long Turkish cotton fibers, Sand Cloud towels are designed to get more and more absorbent after every use and absorb more than an average bath towel with far less weight or bulk which makes them an ideal travel companion.
Because of the fun, eyecatching patterns, you don’t need to worry about packing a bulky beach bag as you can simply fling your gorgeous Sand Cloud towel over your costume as a sarong and head off after your balmy beach trip.
The Turkish cotton found in every Sand Cloud towel is ultra-durable for a stronger, softer, and more absorbent material. Many different brands also make Turkish towels, and they have been around for centuries, not just since the rise of social media.
Sand Cloud has the advantage of donating to charity but there are also lots of other options to look around for. As Turkish towels are so popular, you can rest assured that it isn’t a gimmick and they really do work well.
Do Sand Cloud towels work?
Here we’ve given you a handy list of Pros and Cons so you can see for yourself whether Sand Cloud Towels are the right choice for you.
- Exciting and stylish designs and matching items
- 10% of profits are directly donated to protect marine life and beaches
- Options to become brand ambassadors and discount schemes to save
- Made from quality Turkish cotton
- Quick-drying material means sand doesn’t stick to you or your towel
- A huge range of ever-changing products are available
- Option of international shipping
- Returns possible before 30 days
- Option to pay in smaller installments if needed
- Pretty highly-priced for a towel
- Some reviews show towels can shed excessively on the first few uses (though an easy fix is to wash the towel a few times before use to stop this)
- Shipping is only free after $100 (though with the towel prices it’s not that hard to do!)
- Returns are not free
Is Sand Cloud a good company?
Sand Cloud donates 10% of its profits directly to helping marine conservation. Their current benefactors are listed below.
Marine Conservation Institute- a non-profit organization committed to securing permanent, strong protection for the ocean's most at-risk areas.
Surf Rider foundation- a grassroots non-profit focused on water quality, accessible beaches for all, and sustainable marine habitats.
Ocean Connectors- a nonprofit targeted at bridging the gap of inequality in San Diego when it comes to access to marine conservation knowledge and coastal access.
Hawaii Wildlife Fund- a non-profit dedicated to promoting the protection of Hawaii's native wildlife through research, education, and advocacy programs.
San Diego Coastkeepers- a non-profit organization that restores fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters in San Diego County.
Along with supporting both ocean conservation, marine life, and local community programs, Sand Cloud makes their towels and bags using Turkish organic cotton in traceable factories hand-loomed in Turkey.
Their t-shirts are also made from recycled water bottles. However, their glass bottles (though reusable), are made from virgin glass and are made in China. In fact, quite a few of their accessories such as their straw hat are made in China.
All of their fashionable gym wear is made in China using 78% recycled plastics. Using recycled plastics in clothing sounds like a positive thing, but early research suggests that with every wash of the garment, microplastics escape into our washing machines and go directly back into waterways.
As this recycled plastic is mixed with cotton, it also ends the usable lifespan of the material as it can no longer be recycled again.
On Sand Cloud’s ‘eco joggers’, they state that they are sustainably made but there is little information about them apart from the fact that they use organic cotton.
Can Sand Cloud Towels Get Wet?
Yes, they can. It’s recommended that you get your towel wet and dried a few times before its first outing as it’ll increase its absorbancy more and more over time.
It is designed to get wet and dry off quickly. It also has the added benefit of not stinking up your bag or your car like a traditional terry-cloth towel would.
There’s nothing worse than getting back into your hot car after a day at the beach to sit next to musty towels on a long drive home... we’ve all been there. Unlike a traditional towel, Turkish towels will also leave you sand-free!
As there are no sneaky fibers for sand to hide in, when you give your towel a shake, they’ll fly right off! The bane of the after-beach-trip experience is finally banished!
Is Sand Cloud Worth it?
Compared to the average towel, Sand Cloud’s Turkish towels are mighty expensive. Ranging in price depending on the size, they hit the pocket at roughly 3 or 4 times an average terry cloth towel.
But according to thousands of reviewers, they last a long time, are incredibly portable and convenient and do get better with every use. Not something one could say about any of those old towels we’ve kept knocking around a few months past their prime.
If you’re willing to shell out a few more bucks for a snazzy new towel that’s convenient, does what it says in the advertisement, and looks amazing, Sand Cloud seems like a safe bet.
Their dedication to protecting marine life and donating with every purchase is much more than some current brands lip-service and means you can spend your money knowing it’s going towards a good cause.
In terms of environmental impact, we’d probably skip the clothing but the towels are great. A sustainable long-lasting product that 'does good' with every purchase.