• Home Home

This company will 'pay' you to responsibly recycle your old underwear instead of sending it to the landfill: '21 billion pounds of textile waste annually'

Subset has kept over 700,000 undergarments out of landfills.

Recycle your old underwear

Photo Credit: Getty Images

This eco-friendly top drawer brand will take back your old, unwanted undergarments, while granting you store credit to purchase brand new items in exchange. 

The brand

Other brands use fabrics made from crude oil –– materials like polyester and spandex. Not Subset (formerly Knickey). This brand ditched the toxic pesticides and fossil fuels for certified organic cotton.

Subset makes underwear that's better for your bum and the planet, using GOTS and OEKO-TEX certified cotton –– a breathable material that doesn't trap moisture, meaning it won't cause irritation or discomfort.

The brand carries undies in sizes ranging from XXS to XXXL, as well as maternity underwear and bralettes.

But comfy organic undies aren't the only things that make Subset special –– it's also revolutionizing how we handle discarding underwear.

Recycling program

Undergarments are one of the most difficult clothing items to discard responsibly. Most donation centers, thrift stores, and consignment shops don't accept used undies for sanitary reasons. There are very few options other than throwing underwear away, which is a massive issue.

This is where Subset comes in. It pioneered the undergarment industry with a recycling program that turns underwear, bras, tights, and socks into new materials, accepting any brand and material of undergarment –– men's, women's, and children's. 

Any ripped, ill-fitting, uncomfortable, and unwanted undergarments you send in will be recycled into insulation, carpet padding, and furniture batting.


Our industry leading Recycling Program is a staple to the Knickey community - take a peak at where your old Undies go when you send them to us, and don't forget that for each package of intimates sent into Knickey Recycles, you're credited a free pair in your next order💌

♬ Blue Blood - Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

Here's how to participate: once you make an account on the Subset website, you can place a recycle request. Count how many pieces you're shipping and then pay the $5 shipping fee. Print the email shipping label, say your goodbyes, and ship off your undies. 

And, for sending in your unwanted undergarments, Subset thanks you with 300 store credits – equivalent to 15% off your next order.

Since the brand started in 2018, Subset has kept over 700,000 undergarments out of landfills and recycled them into new products.

Keeping textile waste out of landfills

As mentioned, the fact that there are very few options for recycling underwear and other textiles is a critical issue.

Of the 25 billion pounds of garments created in the U.S. each year, 21 billion pounds of textile waste gets sent to landfills annually.

When you throw something like old polyester underwear –– a plastic fabric derived from crude oil –– away, it doesn't simply evaporate. It gets shipped to rot in a landfill, often in an undeveloped or developing country in the Southern Hemisphere. This plastic fabric decays in a landfill until it degrades into tiny plastic fibers that pollute the water we drink and the air we breathe. 

But because landfills across the globe are bursting at the seams, there's often not enough room to wait for fabrics to degrade. 

Instead, incinerating piles of textile waste has become a very common solution to reduce our towering piles of trash. Burning textiles pollutes the air with thick plumes of smoke and harmful gases that are dangerous for us to breathe.

Textile waste is a long-term pollution issue that we, and the generations after us, need to solve. To maintain our health and the health of our planet, it's crucial to keep textile waste out of landfills, especially those made with synthetic materials. Textile recycling programs like Subset's are a great way to get involved and close the loop on textile waste, all while saving money on your next underwear purchase.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider