Y.O.U Underwear's Environmental and Ethical Commitments
We recognise that we have a responsibility to the environment beyond legal and regulatory requirements. Therefore, we endeavour to:
- Continually improve and monitor environmental performance.
- Continually improve and reduce environmental impacts.
- Incorporate environmental factors into business decisions.
- Provide staff with relevant environmental training and resources.
- Make our impact reports publicly available to hold us accountable to our targets.
- We work with India’s leading ethical and sustainable manufacturer to ensure that the production of our underwear is as good for people and the planet as possible.
- We only use fully Fairtrade and GOTS certified organic cotton, ensuring it’s produced without the use of harmful pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals.
- We only work with manufacturers who operate under SA8000 certified social standards. This includes ensuring no child labour, working hour compliance, minimum wage compliance, overtime compensation and incentives, rights of Freedom of Association, and no discrimination for race, age, sex, political opinion or religion.
- We only use low-impact, fibre-reactive dyes that are safe and GOTS certified. These dyes use less water, less heat and produce less waste runoff than regular chemical dyeing processes. They contain no heavy metals or other known toxic substances and meet all EU criteria for eco-friendly garments.
- We do not permit the use of any other restricted substances or harmful chemicals at any point in our manufacturing process and continue to work with and monitor this with our suppliers.
- We have a written code of conduct for all our suppliers and we also ensure they are externally audited on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the necessary standards and certification. This includes Fairtrade and GOTS certification and SA8000 legislation.
- We visit our suppliers regularly, and try to visit on a yearly basis (travel permitting), to ensure our standards and expectations are being met and to build relationships with the team.
- Our underwear comes packaged in an organic cotton bag, which is re-usable and fully biodegradable.
- Our outer mailing envelopes are made from 100% recycled material with a biodegradable additive and can be recycled again, or composted in most areas of the UK (dependent on your local Council collection facilities).
- Any card or plastic that is used to send and protect our items on their way to us is always reused or recycled.
- We are collaborating with London-based small business, Yago Eco, to turn our old mailers into beautiful recycled plastic earrings.
- We recommend that our underwear is washed on a cool wash (30 degrees) and air dried. We do not recommend using tumble driers, as they are more harmful for your clothing and the planet through their energy usage.
- Our underwear is designed to last. Organic cotton hasn’t been treated with the same chemicals as conventional cotton, so the fibres are far more resilient. However, we recognise that even Y.O.U underwear won’t last forever! This is why we have detailed guides in place to help our customers get the most out of their underwear as well as a section in our FAQs which you can learn more abut here.
- Our underwear is made from 95% organic cotton, with a small amount (5%) of elastane added to provide stretch and help the items retain their shape. Elastane, as with all synthetic fabrics, can release microfibres during the washing process, so we recommend using a collecting device such as a Guppy bag or a filter on your washing machine to minimise this.
Product Lifecycle/after-sales journey
- Our underwear is designed to last. Organic cotton hasn’t been treated with the same chemicals as conventional cotton, so the fibres are far more resilient. However, we recognise that even Y.O.U underwear won’t last forever! This is why we have detailed guides in place to help our customers get the most out of their underwear. This includes guides on how to care and repair, as well as how to responsibly dispose of all used Y.O.U underwear. We are currently in the process of introducing a take-back scheme to facilitate the recycling of all Y.O.U underwear that has come to the end of its life, so none of our products end up in landfill.
- Until our take-back scheme is fully operational, we are accepting Y.O.U underwear that has reached the end of its life (and if it can’t be repaired), to be sent back to us for collection. Please ensure it’s washed and clean, and we will then hold all these pieces until our scheme is set up and we can include them in our first batch to be recycled.
2. Internal company operations:
- We pay all staff at or above the local Living Wage and are an accredited Living Wage Employer.
- We don't support free internships and will pay anyone who works for us fairly. The only exception to this is students who are completing project work or placements with us, where we strive to ensure interesting and fulfilling projects with full accreditation, recognition and references.
- We will minimise the use of paper when working in the office/at home.
- We will reduce packaging as much as possible.
- We will seek to buy recycled and recyclable paper products. We will reuse and recycle all paper where possible.
Energy and Water
- We will seek to reduce the amount of energy used as much as possible.
- We seek to minimise the use of water, to use recycled/brown water where possible, and to collect and re-use any wastewater where possible.
- Lights and electrical equipment will be switched off when not in use.
- Heating will be adjusted with energy consumption in mind.
- The energy consumption and efficiency of new products will be taken into account when purchasing.
- We will evaluate the environmental impact of any new products we intend to purchase.
- We will evaluate if renting/sharing is an option before purchasing equipment.
- We will favour more environmentally friendly and efficient products wherever possible.
- We will reuse and recycle everything we are able to.
- We will reduce the need to travel, restricting to necessity trips only.
- We will promote the use of travel alternatives such as e-mail or video/phone conferencing.
- We will make additional efforts to use public transport or bicycles.
- We will use local labour and materials where available to reduce CO2 and help the community.
Maintenance and Cleaning
- Cleaning materials used will be as natural and environmentally friendly as possible.
- Whenever we use plastic, it is always recycled and recyclable.
- We always dispose of E-Waste at a Certified E-Waste Recycler.
- We always reuse and recycle all our paper, as well as minimising its overall usage.
3. Customer Relationships
- We have a fuss-free exchange and returns policy and aim to reply to all customer enquiries within one to two business days.
- Our packaging includes a hand-written note from the CEO of Y.O.U Underwear, Sarah Jordan.
- Our underwear is checked on at least three separate occasions during the manufacturing and distribution process. The organic cotton fabric is checked as soon as it’s been spun, to make sure there are no imperfections. The finished underwear is checked by our manufacturer before it leaves the factory, and we also employ a third-party quality checking company at this stage to independently check our products before they leave the factory and are dispatched to us. The Y.O.U Underwear team also check every piece of underwear for size and quality upon arrival in the UK.
- However, all our underwear is spun, sewn and checked by humans, and sometimes humans make mistakes. We do our best to verify and ensure that mistakes don’t reach our customers, but if you do find any issues with our underwear please let us know. We can’t do anything about it if you don’t tell us and these errors help us learn and improve our processes in future too. We will do our best to rectify, replace or refund if you experience any errors too!
- We are committed to the principles of Ethical Marketing, showing an inclusive and diverse group of people in our images, and promising never to edit or airbrush our photos. We want everyone to feel happy and confident in their Y.O.U Underwear which is why we hide a positive message inside our undies for a daily reminder that You Make A Difference!
- We’ve had models from ages 18 to 80, and sizes 8 to 18 in our photoshoots (do get in touch if you’re interested in taking part in future!) and we’re always working to improve our sizing and show how our undies look on the amazing humans who model for us - who are often our friends and family.
Diversity, equality and inclusion:
- We are committed to diversity, equality and inclusion across all areas of the business, in all staff, volunteers and audiences.
- All private and published job listings and job descriptions include a statement to this effect.
If you have any questions about any of these policies, or anything else we do, please get in touch by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.