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Founder of Oxford-based underwear business wins sustainability award


Sarah Jordan - founder of Oxford-based underwear business
Sarah Jordan, the founder of the Oxford-based underwear business that won a UK-wide sustainability award

The founder of an Oxford-based underwear business has won a UK-wide sustainability award for Small Businesses. 

Sarah Jordan, who runs Y.O.U Underwear in The Covered Market, has been recognised with the Sustainable Scale-up Award.

Receiving the award, Sarah said: “We’re a small team trying to make a big difference, so this really means a lot to us, and I just want to thank the team and all our customers for all their amazing support. 

“This makes it all worth it! I hope this win will help to raise awareness of us as a business, but more importantly of some of the issues we’re trying to solve too.” 

She added: “From period poverty and the terrible conditions in so much of the fashion industry to all the waste and also greenwashing… it’s important to shine a light on these issues and try to tackle them. 

“Awards like this really help to add credibility to what we’re trying to do and hopefully help us grow the business – and therefore our impact – too.” 

The awards are part of the ‘Plan it with Purpose’ initiative run by small business support platform Enterprise Nation in partnership with Aviva and TSB Bank. Its aim is to shine a spotlight on businesses that focus on sustainability and purpose.

Founded in 2005 by British entrepreneur Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation is a business support platform and provider delivering support to more than 50,000 small businesses monthly. 

Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses – through expert advice (including a comprehensive resources library), events, acceleration support and networking.  

Emma Jones said: “It’s wonderful to see the progress these small climate-friendly businesses have made and continue to make in their purpose-driven businesses. 

“The reality is, in the fight against the cost-of-living crisis, businesses that are leading the way in sustainability and energy efficiency while making a meaningful contribution to society must become an increasingly important feature of the small business community, and we must do everything we can to support them. 

“Building a business around the circular economy is compelling, and our awards recognise the vital contribution these founders are making.” 

Fiona Hyde, Head of Sustainability at TSB Bank, said: “We know that reducing our own environmental impact matters to customers and colleagues. We’re proud to support Enterprise Nation’s ‘Plan It with Purpose’ program, helping small businesses make a positive impact and recognising the success of the five brilliant businesses that have won today.”  

‘Plan it with Purpose’ has been designed to support small and medium businesses and business owners by increasing their understanding of environmental and social issues, showcasing relatable role models, and helping to build sustainable ventures while encouraging change through tailored resources, action plans and recommendations. 

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