My Knickey Review — Organic Cotton Underwear With a Focus on Sustainability
Cotton Underwear I Feel Dang Good In
Knickey is a female-founded brand that makes comfortable, stylish, and sustainable underwear from certified organic cotton. Their line of offerings is uncomplicated, consisting of 5 silhouettes in a small selection of contemporary colors; they leave the snazzy details to their responsible supply chain and underwear recycling program. Knickey’s organic materials are free from the toxic chemicals that are contributing causes of fungal infections in women — they are vocal about women’s health, and share the details of their decision to use organic cotton proudly.
Where do I come in? Hi, I’m Christen, and at the ripe age of 31, I have positioned myself squarely in cotton underwear territory. There are a combination of factors that inform my ways: a belief that you can’t rock your personal style confidently if you’re uncomfortable, a history of recurring fungal infections, and the increasing availability of well-thought-out cotton designs that are made for the modern woman. It’s no shock that I’m psyched on Knickey.
- $13 per pair.
- Starter Sets cost $60 for 5 pairs (or $12 per pair).
This review is of the Starter Set.
This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
- Ships to the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Orders ship via USPS Standard First Class Mail (2-7 days transit time). Orders over $60 ship free; orders of $59 and under cost a flat rate of $4.
- Expedited USPS shipping (1-3 days) can be selected at checkout; rates vary by U.S. destination.
- COVID-19 Note: shipping delays are possible due to COVID-19 impacts.
- Ships to Canada, the U.K., France, and Australia.
- Shipping costs, duties, and taxes are calculated during checkout.
- International orders ship out within 3 days. Standard shipping generally takes 5-14 business days in transit; expedited shipping typically takes 1-5 business days in transit.
Part of Knickey‘s purpose for using certified organic cotton materials is in the name of vaginal health. It’s not uncommon for women’s healthcare providers to recommend wearing undergarments made from natural fibers for the sake of breathability, perhaps in the same conversation where they advise not to use soap for feminine hygiene. But that’s usually about where it ends—it’s not like your OB-GYN is going to help you shop for the pair of cotton undies that makes you feel your best. I love that Knickey is taking part in this conversation, spreading the word that what one wears can contribute to their overall well-being. They’re going beyond just selling classic underwear with a contemporary spin; they’re connecting dots that are worth being connected.
It’s about more than breathability, though. It’s kind of criminal that purveyors of both underwear and feminine hygiene products aren’t held to higher safety standards. Some of the mainstream brands of feminine care products contain toxic chemicals, including preservatives that release formaldehyde, which, aside from being a carcinogen, is a common allergen. The same is true of some underwear and clothing made from synthetic materials—formaldehyde is a chemical used to set certain dyes. That’s just one example of a larger list of problem chemicals commonly found in clothing. Why is it problematic? Well, if a woman reports a symptom like itching to her care provider, she is more likely to be set on a (potentially expensive, invasive) path of figuring out what is “wrong” with her body, rather than examining the products being marketed to her as something she can trust. This is a gross oversimplification of the issue, and if you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to dig in and do some research yourself!
Bringing it back to Knickey, their product is free of all those harmful chemicals. Unless you’re a sustainability warrior you may not feel compelled to go all-organic with your wardrobe—that’s a long game that takes serious commitment, anyway. For me personally, I both believe in sustainable fashion and am also a flawed human who makes impulse purchases and appreciates occasional trends, but going green & clean with my underwear has become a non-negotiable. (Similar to how I don’t buy all-organic groceries, but I do buy organic produce.)
Knickey‘s website shows the difference between cotton that’s certified organic vs. non-organic, breaking the details down into various categories of production:
From farm to ginner, to spinner and fair-trade factory, all the way up to their HQ in New York City, Knickey‘s supply chain is organic and ethical. It’s not every day you can say you’re rocking farm-to-butt undies! (Unless you’re already on the organic cotton underwear train.) Each step of their production takes place with a different trusted partner in India, and you can find a little more info about them right here.
Knickey touts three certifications they’re proud of, and they’re regarding the quality of their organic cotton, the non-toxicity of their product, and their fair trade practices. Here are a few details…
Organic Cotton — in order to ensure they’re kept honest about the strict GOTS certification requirements, their supply chain is checked regularly by third-party auditors. The three areas that are examined are:
- Environmental safety & conservation
- Technical quality & human toxicity
- Social responsibility
Toxicity — from Knickey:
Oeko-Tex is a global certification that ensures textiles are free of harmful chemicals like Azo colourants, nickel, lead, cadmium, formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol… and other impossible to pronounce substances. It’s our promise that no toxic inputs are used throughout the production process.
Fair Trade — all of their factory partners are fair trade certified, ensuring “living wages, safe working conditions, and absolutely no toxic substances that could be harmful to people’s health.”
Knickey‘s eco-friendly efforts are multi-faceted. They’re working to counteract some of the big fashion industry issues with overproduction and waste with the materials and production practices they’ve chosen, as well as by doing their part to keep old undies out of the landfill. They provide lots of info about these efforts on their site, but this graphic gives a great snippet.
Their recycling program can be found here. When you’re ready to retire your underthings—whether they’re Knickey brand or not—you can print a recycling label, package up your textiles, and send ’em over to Knickey. They’ll work with their textile recycling partner (an NYC-based non-profit) to break down the fibers in the old undergarments, make them into new fibers, and turn them into insulation, rug pads, and rags. There’s a perk to your participation in this sustainable act: for each box of underwear you recycle, you’ll be sent a free pair of Knickeys in your next order. The recycling program is only available to U.S. customers at this time.
Finally, Knickey ships orders in packaging that’s made from post-consumer waste and printed with low-impact inks. Their boxes are produced by FSC-certified suppliers who prioritize the preservation of natural ecosystems and prevent deforestation.
While Knickey doesn’t currently offer a subscription, they do have a way of getting familiar with their silhouettes, and that’s the Starter Set. As you can see below, you’ll be sent 1 pair of each silhouette they carry in your size. That’s 5 pairs total. Every pair of undies on their site is made from 95% GOTS-certified organic cotton and 5% elastane.
Their size chart isn’t readily available on the Starter Set page, but it can be found on each individual product’s page and it’s the first thing you’ll encounter in their FAQ. They provide a range of measurements for each size from XXS-XXXL and recommend sizing down if you’re between sizes. Another thing their FAQ notes is that they’re working on expanding their size range.
When you know what size you’d like, you’ll scroll through your color options. You could go with an assortment of all-neutrals, a limited-edition assortment of bold cool tones, or stick with one hue you like. Select your size and you’ll be ready to checkout. It’s that simple!
My Knickey Starter Set Review
My Knickey order arrived in a small pink box with a tri-fold card that provided info about some of the highlights of the brand. The founder occasionally includes handwritten notes in orders, as was the case with mine.
Low-Rise Bikini in Midnight Moon — Retail Value $13
The low-rise bikini was the first pair I happened to pull out of my box, and thus they were the first pair I tried. My first impression was that they offer a great fit. They’re kind of cheeky! Not as much as a boyshort or tanga cut would be, but as someone with ample hips and buttocks, the narrower coverage was noticeable. That said, they didn’t ride up or cut into me at all for the full day that I wore them—the edges totally stayed in place. They’re comparable to Everlane’s hipster cut underwear, for those familiar.
Mid-Rise Brief in Midnight Moon — Retail Value $13
I’ve just met my new favorite underwear! The mid-rise falls comfortably between my belly button and pubic line, and the back has full coverage that doesn’t cut in. I honestly don’t have much to say about them beyond that because I didn’t think about them at all throughout the day—and if that isn’t a testament to comfy panties, I don’t know what is.
High-Rise Brief in Midnight Moon — Retail Value $13
I just sang high praises of the mid-rise brief, but don’t get me wrong, I am also a die-hard high-waisted underwear lover. Some of my most cherished pairs are the ultra-high-rise undies from Arq—so high they shoot clear past my high-waisted jeans and reach up toward my bra line. There is liberation in that silhouette! But if you’re like me, you may be drawn to different underwear fits in different seasons of the year or of life, so you’ve got to keep the regular rotation going. These high-rise briefs offer a very different wear experience from what I just described. Their waistline comes up to my belly button but not much higher, making them a pair that would nicely align with a high-waisted pant or skirt without peeking out (what I assume most people would prefer). Their legs are also high-cut, so they fit my bum similarly to how the low-rise bikini did, offering a hint of cheekiness while still remaining comfortable and modest.
Mid-Rise Hipster in Midnight Moon — Retail Value $13
These mid-rise hipsters are similar to the mid-rise brief but with a little less bum coverage. These days I’m spending so much time at home—mournfully absent of the distractions that a social life provides—that if any article of clothing on my body offers anything less than heavenly comfort, I’m noticing it. So, in a head-to-head faceoff, Knickey‘s mid-rise briefs would win over the mid-rise hipsters for me. But, I mean, we’re talking in terms of heavenly vs. almost-heavenly, so know that this pair is pretty dang comfy.
Another thing to consider is that the two are almost impossible to tell apart in my drawer, so I’m basing this assessment off of my initial try-on and otherwise am just happily going about my days in whatever Knickey underwear I happen to grab.
Low-Rise Thong in Midnight Moon — Retail Value $13
This is my ideal thong: it’s simple, it sits on my curves nicely without squeezing me, and it’s breathable. If I were a daily thong-wearer, I could see myself feeling really cozy and at home in this style. I don’t wear thongs day-to-day, but I keep a few in my top drawer for wear with certain garments. I would be happy to have my small thong collection be made up solely of Knickey ones when my current pairs wear out and are ready to be recycled.
I also find it very clever that they printed the “tag” on the inside of the front. I’ve never seen this before, but why not? There’s so much more room there. I did almost put this pair on backward as a result (cringe), so don’t do that.
How Do They Hold Up In the Wash?
The wash instructions printed inside Knickey underwear advises, “Machine wash cold and hang dry to save energy.” Their FAQ adds, “In a pinch, they can go in the dryer too.”
Companies with a focus on sustainability often recommend hanging clothes to dry as an easy way to save energy. Depending on what else is going on in life at any given time, my family is sometimes really stellar about line-drying our clothes; at other times, we just toss everything in the dryer as an easy shortcut for maintaining sanity. My Knickey underwear has now gone through the wash several times, and the dryer once. How’d it fare? The short answer: great!
The details: The fit integrity remained totally intact after a couple of washes. They didn’t show signs of stretching nor shrinking, and everything stayed in place just the same as when I first wore it. The main difference was that the color wasn’t that crisp jet black anymore. They’re cotton, after all. As I’m sure you can imagine, similar to a black cotton T-shirt, my underwear welcomed some errant fuzzies, and I’m guessing they’ll probably fade and soften a little over time. That hasn’t happened yet but when it does past the point of my liking, I love that I have the option to recycle them through Knickey!
Returns, Exchanges, & Underwear Recycling Program
First Pair Guarantee
If you’re a Knickey newbie, you can try one pair of each style and size from your first order and return as needed, no questions asked.
Returns & Exchanges
Returns from U.S. Customers
Knickey accepts returns and exchanges within 30 days of purchase. If you’ve ordered multiple pairs of the same style, Knickey asks that you only try on 1 pair per style. Any duplicate pairs should be unopened with the belly bands intact. Head to the Knickey Returns Center to start a return (you’ll need to have your order number and shipping zip code handy). They’ll provide you with a pre-paid shipping label.
If you opt for an exchange or to receive store credit, return shipping is free. If you’d like a refund, you’ll have to pay for return shipping—the cost of shipping will be deducted from your refund total.
International orders can be returned for exchange, store credit, or refund. International customers must pay for their own return shipments. Visit the Knickey Returns Center to start a return (you’ll need to have your order number and shipping zip code handy).
I would safely consider myself a Knickey superfan. Prior to even trying their underwear on my body, I fell in love with their sustainability promise, their supply chain ethics, and their materials—and their transparency about all of it, letting me, the customer, decide for myself that I can trust them rather than just taking their word for it. I’m also so enthusiastic about the ways in which they address women’s health as being something that’s completely intertwined with your underwear choices.
In terms of how they wear, Knickey gets two thumbs up. Through trying the Starter Set, I was able to determine that I really like the fit of every silhouette they offer for different reasons—but I also had the chance to decide which cut was my top pick (that would be the mid-rise brief) so that I know which ones to stock up on next time I’m ready to place an order. If I were to do one thing differently, it would be to have gotten a multi-color Starter Set so that I could differentiate between similar silhouettes in my top drawer. (Actually, the Core Assorted color variety would have been my first choice, but they are currently sold out of it.)
As for value, Knickey costs $13 per pair, or $12 for 5 pairs if you purchase the Starter Set. I find that pricing to be extremely affordable, especially when you consider all the clean and conscious decisions that go into making these undergarments. Plus, Knickey offers the perk of a free pair of underwear with your next order when you send in a box of past-their-prime undies through their underwear recycling program. That only adds to the value!
Have you tried Knickey underwear? Which is your favorite silhouette?