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How to recycle your Y.O.U underwear

We care about underwear at the end of its life too, and since 2022 we have been able to recycle your old undies to give them another chance at a useful life!

We currently have 2 recycling solutions, depending on the items returned to us:

For all cotton underwear and socks made up of more than 85% cotton (for example all Y.O.U undies), we recycle them through the Cotton Lives On™ recycling programme.

For more synthetic products, we use TerraCycle, who collect garments and turn them into usable products for industry, rather than them going to landfill.

As well as accepting our own underwear, we will recycle socks, underwear and tights from any brand. We also collect bras and send them to Smalls for All.

The TerraCycle recycling box in situ next to the till, at our Oxford pop-up

How To Recycle

If you're local to Oxford, you can drop your clean underwear, socks & tights at our shop in Oxford’s Covered Market, directly into our collection, 7 days a week.

If you're elsewhere, or can't get to the shop, you can post them to us at:

Y.O.U Underwear, 11 Bodley Place, Oxford, OX2 7TF

and we’ll make sure they get recycled!

Unfortunately, as a small business, we can't cover the postage costs. We are covering the recycling costs though, so you don't need to pay to have your garments processed.

Cotton Lives On™ and Naturalmat

We collect your old cotton underwear and socks (any brand!) to recycle them through the Cotton Lives On™ recycling programme and Naturalmat, who will turn them into roll mats for community organisations.

The underwear will be shredded and reprocessed into a pad which Naturalmat will work their magic on to turn your old cottons into something brand new.

We need items with 85% cotton or more to turn them into roll mats, so check your labels and empty your drawers of doom knowing the items will be recycled to benefit others.

Who are TerraCycle?

We recycle items that are made of more synthetic fibres (e.g. some underwear, tights & swimwear) using TerraCycle's textile recycling programme.

TerraCycle can collect and recycle almost any form of waste and so save millions of pounds of waste from landfill and incinerators every year.

In front of a pile of jeans and white jumpers, a handdrawn green recycling logo is propped up

Looking Forward...

Although both of our current recycling programmes are working well, we're still looking to improve what we do and find an even more sustainable option to do our bit to end textile waste. Our end goal is to find a fibre-to-fibre recycling programme that will turn (y)our unwanted undies back into new fibres, but unfortunately as a small business it can be difficult to get the quantity and financing to do this.  

We’re hoping to grow and improve our circularity as both our brand and the industry's innovation grows though, so we welcome any of your feedback or thoughts - or even help - on this.

We hope this is the first step of many towards a totally circular economy!