Y.O.U Underwear makes soft, stylish, organic cotton underwear for men and women – it’s all about making a difference by changing something as simple as your underwear!
As a sustainable fashion brand, they have a buy-one-give-two promise in partnership with Smalls for All, a Scottish charity that collects and distributes underwear to vulnerable women and children in Africa and the UK. All their garments are made using 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, and they work with India’s leading ethical and sustainable manufacturer to produce their underwear. They are also Fairtrade, PETA-approved vegan, and the company operates on zero-waste principles.
Y.O.U Underwear also has a commitment to ethical marketing: they believe that all bodies are beautiful, and they aim to reflect this in their brand imagery by using a diverse range of models (often their friends and family!) and never airbrushing their images.
Sarah Jordan was inspired to start the company on a trip to Uganda in 2016, where she came face-to-face with the problems associated with not having underwear while working in local communities. In some areas, one in 10 girls miss school on their periods due to a lack of underwear and sanitary products – costing them up to 12 weeks of lost education (or employment) a year! When looking into how to tackle this issue, Sarah discovered the devastating impact of conventional cotton crops and the fashion industry, and she decided to address both issues by founding a social business.
Sarah Jordan, founder and CEO, is an award-winning entrepreneur who moved from the world of charities and digital technology to underwear in 2016, when a trip to Uganda led to her discovering some of the problems faced by women and children who didn’t have access to underwear.
Prior to that Sarah was a recognised industry leader in the ‘tech for good’ space, with a 20 year career spanning the not-for-profit, commercial and education sectors. Following several high-profile client-side roles, including as Head of Digital Strategy at Oxfam and Digital Director at the MS Society, Sarah set up her own strategic consultancy with a particular focus on business transformation, digital strategy and organisational change.
Sarah has always been a passionate advocate for women in business, co-founding NINE to support women in tech in 2014, and also running a successful positive change agency (BOLD) as a global programme to help women achieve their personal and professional goals for the past seven years. Sarah is a Trustee of The Beam Foundation, a startup tackling homelessness by crowdfunding support for education and training, and she remains a mentor, speaker and awards judge on a number of industry programmes.
So far, Y.O.U Underwear has donated over 10,500 pairs of underwear to Smalls for All, helping to support people in over 18 African countries as well as the UK. Their goal is to donate 23,000 pairs by 2023.
Y.O.U Underwear is also committed to having a positive social and environmental impact across its supply chain, measuring the amount of water, pesticides, chemicals and energy saved by using organic rather than conventional cotton. They are also committed to minimising their waste with no single-use plastics and have signed up to the 2020 Circular Fashion Pledge. The company is committed to introducing a take-back scheme for their underwear by April 2021 and are also working towards becoming a certified B Corporation.