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Knickey is now Subset


Impact Report

2023 was an exceptional year for our company and our most transformative yet: in September we rebranded from Knickey to Subset. The name change is a reflection of our growth and evolution as a brand. While we loved our previous name, our company, offering and the customers we serve have evolved, and we’re excited for a new identity that fits more with where we’re going. Subset is an evolution that builds upon our foundation of sustainably produced innerwear, for all humans all the time.

We remain a privately-held, female-led company, committed to the planet and its people. Each year, we strive to improve upon our standards as the most sustainable basics brand in the market: from the partners we choose to work with, to the materials we use to produce and package our goods. While we devoted many resources towards this unique transition, we also used our rebrand as an opportunity to progress our sustainability journey even further. Steadfast in our foundations as an environmentally and ethically-run business, we are excited to share the strides that we've made over the last year. Keep scrolling to read our 2023 Impact Report.


Make organic cotton your daily default.


Better clothing for this planet.


Our approach to sustainability is simple: focus on improving what we do best. We recognize there is not one silver bullet solution to climate change, so we solve for something simply, backing all of our decisions with scientific research and the highest quality certifications.

Subset Sustainability Pillars

Beyond our mission, vision, and sustainability stance, we set pillars that guide our business decisions. Always in mind, these guideposts represent Subset’s core values.

Drive Material Innovation
We stay abreast of the latest material developments and work to integrate new innovations into our designs.
Minimize Environmental Impact
We make business decisions that situate the environment as a key stakeholder in whatever we do.
Certify Our Claims
We back up our claims with credible sources and third-party certifications.
Support Our Communities
We give back to our communities regularly with volunteer work, monetary and in-kind donations.
Always Be Learning
Sustainability is a constantly evolving field, and we are always ready to pivot when we learn new information.

2023 in Review

Each year, we take a moment to look back on the sustainability goals we set, and the progress we made in achieving them. Here's a look at what we accomplished, and what we are still working on:


Redesign our packaging to reduce its impact

We overhauled our packaging system to streamline component complexity and material consumption. We now ship primarily in recycled mailer envelopes which are lighter and use less material compared to boxes.

Continue to improve our Recycling Program

In 2023, we kicked off our partnership with SuperCircle, allowing us to take advantage of their aggregate shipping network and finally launch recycling in Canada!

Recycle our returned inventory

Through our partnership with SuperCircle, we can recycle unworn returned inventory into new and usable yarn at scale. Learn more about our Recycling Program here.

Still Working On

Take advantage of ocean shipping

With long production leadtimes and worldwide shipping challenges, we were not able to accomplish this in 2023. Ocean shipping remains a focus going forward as we look for ways to reduce emissions directly within our supply chain.



Our Materials

Organic Cotton

There are many reasons why GOTS-certified organic cotton is our most preferred material - and why it comprises 95% of our portfolio. Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic and toxic pesticides or fertilizers, making it better for the planet and its surrounding communities. Additionally, our GOTS-certified supply chain ensures that no harmful chemicals are used throughout the entire manufacturing process, and that everyone involved in the production of Subset goods is paid fairly and treated ethically. 


Not only are we committed to using organic cotton in all of our products, we go a step further by ensuring our entire supply chain is certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard. Being a GOTS certified company means that organic standards for chemical use are upheld at each node of our supply chain, including weaving, dyeing, cut and sew, as well as distribution. Subset products are certified-free from harmful compounds like PFAs, carcinogens and volatile organic chemicals that are known to cause cancer, but remain unregulated in the United States. Plus, GOTS certification also requires strict social standards that align with Fair Trade practices, ensuring ethical production from farm to factory.


Our Material Portfolio

Organic Cotton represents the majority of our material consumption, and this year we introduced a Lounge collection made exclusively from 100% Organic Cotton - from our Classic Tee to our Essential Robe.

Organic Cotton

95% of Our Fiber Portfolio


0.3% of Our Fiber Portfolio


4.7% of Our Fiber Portfolio

Subset’s Material North Stars

In 2022, we refined what a “preferred material” means to Subset. With so much material innovation in the fashion industry today, we felt that we needed to set clear and ambitious targets for where we want our materials to be in the future. These are aspirational goals - they represent absolute ideals, and may not be possible today, or even down the road. As innovation progresses, we will work to get as close as possible to our North Stars each year.

100% Natural

Subset materials should be from natural sources, and should be from those that require the least processing.

100% Organic

Subset materials should come from sources that use organic farming practices. 

100% Recycled

Subset materials should come from recycled sources, with ethical feedstocks. 

Fair Trade Certified

All Subset materials should be made by workers who are paid a living wage, have reasonable working hours & time-off, and are not subject to discrimination of any kind. This should be guaranteed by a third-party certification that ensures fair labor such as Fair Trade or GOTS.

Organic for All

After many requests and years of development, we launched our Men’s Collection in 2023. Made with our signature Organic Cotton blend, Recycled Polyester waistbands, and natural Cardozo buttons - these products now provide non-toxic innerwear to a whole new customer base.

Subset Men's Underwear

Product Impact

We worked with Green Story to calculate the carbon footprint, water savings, and land area saved from pesticides of our products. This not only helps our customers to understand the impact of choosing more sustainable materials, but it also pushes other brands to begin measuring the impact of what they produce.

Mid-Rise Shortie

5% less CO2 emissions
than conventional alternatives
5% less CO2 emissions
than conventional alternatives
131.4 glasses of
drinking water saved
131.4 glasses of
drinking water saved
3.2 sq ft of land protected from harmful pesticides
3.2 sq ft of land protected from harmful pesticides

Excess Inventory

When we changed our name to Subset, we were left with a lot of inventory that still said Knickey on the label. Rather than destroy these items through incineration or ship them to the global south [like many brands do each season] we decided to stick with them. As a sustainable company, we're not big on waste. So, we're working through our old inventory that's good as new until it's gone. While this creates additional complexity in operations, it aligns with our values of minimizing our impact and maximizing resourcefulness.



GHG Measurement

Each year, we measure the Greenhouse Gas Emissions - aka planet-warming gasses - related to making our products and running the business, to keep an eye on the areas we can work to reduce. In 2023, our biggest impact came from making our products.

Purchased Goods & Services
[manufacturing, materials & packaging]
191 MT
Upstream Energy Generation
17 MT
Upstream Transportation & Distribution
[getting our products from factory to warehouse]
84 MT
86 MT
Business Travel
2 MT
Downstream transportation
[aka customer shipments]
12 MT

Total CO2e

metric tonnes

Shipping Offsets

To account for a large portion of our carbon impact, we offset the emissions that arise from shipping from our factory to our warehouse, along with shipping orders to our customers. In 2023, we worked with our import shipping partner, Flexport, to invest in two verified offset projects that protect tropical peat swamp forests in Indonesia from development. To offset the emissions from shipping customer orders, we worked with Cloverly to match offset projects closest to each customer’s address. These projects combat climate change in various ways, including investing in advanced refrigeration technology, preventing deforestation and improving the fuel efficiency of ocean freight.

Our Stance on Offsetting

Our Stance on Offsetting

We know that offsetting is not the solution to curbing carbon emissions. The most important way to do that is to actually reduce emissions in the first place! However, as much as we push to reduce our carbon footprint throughout our entire supply chain, there are some areas where we have little to no control over the total energy use or fuel source - like the gasoline that USPS uses to power their delivery trucks. We will continue to work to reduce energy use and emissions in areas that we can control, and use offsets to make an impact in the areas of our supply chain where we can’t.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Solar Powered Manufacturing
Our primary supplier in India uses rooftop solar panels, which provide 60% of the factory’s energy needs. This reduces reliance on the national electricity grid, which is still primarily powered by coal.

Localized Sourcing
The organic cotton used in all of our is grown and processed in India, and in 2022 we began sourcing all of our elastics in India as well. By sourcing most of our materials and trims locally, the impact of shipping goods to and from our factory is greatly reduced.

Minimize Environmental Impact Badge

Subset x SuperCircle

Since we launched in 2018, we have offered a Recycling Program to divert old underwear, bras, socks and tights from landfill. To date, we have recycled over 1.5 million garments into insulation, carpet padding and furniture fill.

In 2023, we kicked off our partnership with SuperCircle in order to achieve higher value recycling outcomes and leverage their multi-brand network of takeback schemes to recycle our returns inventory into brand new yarn.


100,000 lbs

of undies, bras, socks & tights


recycling packages processed

1.5 Million

garments diverted from landfill

202 3

Beyond the Brief

Fair Trade Manufacturing



Our manufacturing facility in India is a Fair Trade certified factory. This means that the workers who make Subset products are paid a living wage, provided a safe and healthy working environment, assigned reasonable hours, and allowed to organize and collectively bargain.

To celebrate the indispensable people behind the scenes, we participate in Fashion Revolution Week each year, sharing the individuals that make Subset clothes. This includes our manufacturing team in India, our design team, and our distribution team in New York.

Packaging Updates

Reassess, Redesign, Rebrand

Rebranding the company gave us the opportunity to reassess our entire packaging system with impact in mind. While we have always been committed to plastic-free packaging, we wanted to reduce our overall paper usage and streamline component complexity.

Through thoughtful design choices and a balanced approach to material selection, Subset's packaging is comprised of 100% recycled paper mailers and 100% recycled boxes - with two sizes offered for small and large orders. A single piece of FSC-certified cardstock within each package doubles as an informational pamphlet, and envelope for your order receipt.


Looking Forward

Our 2024 Goals

Donate products to people who need them
We'd like to increase our philanthropic efforts and make meaningful product donations to underserved communities and people in need.
Invest in material innovation
We’re working on introducing an exciting and innovative new fabric to our portfolio - stay tuned!
Reduce our shipping emissions
We will explore additional distribution in the U.S. to reduce the distance our packages travel to reach our customers.
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