Subtle Knotz is rooted in sustainability and ethics, and we believe in responsible and fair production. “Subtle Knotz” is derived by combining the words “subtle” meaning ‘small but significant’ and “knots” symbolizing ‘ties and relationships’, and these two words form the very essence of the values Subtle Knotz stands for. All the subtle aspects at every stage of our supply chain are well thought through in terms of sustainability and circularity, and we maintain strong and respectful relations with our artisan community. In order to always keep sustainability and ethics at the forefront of everything we do, we adhere to our guiding principles of designing durable garments, sourcing 100% natural materials, responsible production that supports the artisan community and promotes craftsmanship, minimising wastage at every stage of our supply chain, and judicial utilisation of energy and resources.

Best of nature

At Subtle Knotz, only 100% natural materials (wool and cotton) are used, and preference is given to the use of monomaterials, where an entire garment is made of a single fibre composition keeping in mind longevity and end-use. Natural materials are renewable and biodegradable, but by using monomaterials we are ensuring ease in the maintenance of the garments, re-use, effective disassembly as well as recycling of the garments.

In addition, the materials used are organic, where animal welfare is ensured and every process from the source of fibre to spinning, dyeing, etc. is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. The aim of GOTS is to set certain measures in order to ensure the reliability of the organic status of the yarns, right from the harvesting of raw materials, to manufacturing and up to the labelling process in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer regarding the environmental and social responsibility ensured in the production of the yarns as well as with regard to their quality.

Sense of community

Every ‘Subtle Knotz’ garment is made with love, from 100% natural materials and knitted by hand, stitch by stitch. Each garment is made by women, who are specially trained in advanced hand-knitting techniques in centres set up in rural areas of Sri Lanka, based on the concept of “taking the industry to the village”, thus providing them with employment in areas where jobs are scarce and the opportunity to support themselves and their families.

By purchasing a ‘Subtle Knotz’ garment, you are not only contributing towards empowering the life of these women, but also strengthening the hand-knit artisan community in Sri Lanka. Each garment is imbued with love and warmth by the knitter, and it contains and transmits the knitter’s essence in the form of her love for making the product for you in a way that machine-made garments cannot. By investing in their passion, you are building a sense of community.

Doing our bit to prevent over-consumption

Every year, a very large proportion of garments end up in landfill. This is due to the fact that the fast fashion model has led to an over-production of garments that are mostly made of inferior quality textiles, which then leads to consumers purchasing more garments every year as these mass-produced garments don’t tend to last very long. Would you rather not purchase lasting garments that are durable, which can be enjoyed over decades and then be passed down as heirlooms?

Over-production has also led to resource depletion and it is now essential to not only reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, but also the over-consumption of renewable resources at a pace that hinders their regeneration. Subtle Knotz only produces limited quantities of long-lasting garments and works on a Pre-Order model basis when stocks sell-out in order to tackle this problem of over-production and over-consumption. We produce only two collections every year and only a limited number of styles per collection to reduce the quantity of leftover dead stock and in turn waste. We encourage our customers to make responsible decisions and choose quality over quantity, by purchasing timeless garments that are made to last. Slowing down consumption through durable garments and lesser volumes will help resolve the issues associated with resource depletion and waste due to over-production and over-consumption.

Subtle Knotz also implements the concept of slow fashion in it’s supply chain, which is all about harvesting, designing, producing, consuming and living conscientiously. Slow fashion can be closely linked with the principles of circular economy, as slow fashion involves high respect and value for both natural resources and labour, and aims at slowing down the rate of withdrawal of natural resources, and where quality is perceived to have greater value than quantity. Through quality design and moral thoughtfulness towards our planet and the artisans making the garments, a lasting value is added to the garments.

Sustainability throughout our supply chain

In order to transition from a “cradle to grave” linear economy to a “cradle to cradle” circular economy, we at Subtle Knotz assess a garment’s life cycle and ensure radical transparency throughout the supply chain.

RAW MATERIALS – We believe in using renewable resources sustainably, and allowing them to regenerate at a natural pace. Our yarns, which are mainly 100% compositions of either wool or cotton, are natural, biodegradable, regenerative, but also recyclable at the end of their life. Besides, we only use organic yarns that are GOTS certified, which have been procured responsibly through organic farming, and processes that are chemical-free, ethical, humane, animal and nature friendly. This helps us create garments that embody strength and long life. The elastic used in our bottoms is 100% natural and biodegradable, and consists of 65% organic cotton which is GOTS certified and 35% natural rubber which is Oeko-Tex certified. Our labels also consist of 100% organic cotton. You can learn more about the raw materials used in making each garment in the ‘Raw Materials’ tab below the garment, which provides more details about the origin of the materials and where they are manufactured. The raw materials are procured on a made to order basis to prevent leftover stock and wastage.

DESIGN – Every Subtle Knotz garment is designed to last and with disassembly in mind, since they are made using the circular knitting technique which creates a seamless tube structure. This means that at the end of the life of the garment, the different materials can be easily separated and new life can be given to them.

PRODUCTION – By producing on a made to order basis, we ensure zero wastage during production and a reduction in dead stock. Simultaneously, since our garments are hand-made, we save energy and resources, as well as avoid pollution. We support fair trade and promote craftsmanship, while ensuring healthy and safe working and living environments for the women knitting the garments. Most of these women indulge in their knitting passion in the comfort of their homes. Thus, by supporting their passion, we aim to keep traditions alive and preserve the art of hand-knitting. Through strong relationships with these artisans and sharing of knowledge as well as information, we are not only providing them with employment, but also a means to support themselves and their families.

TRANSPORTATION – Since we only produce limited quantities and work on a Pre-Order basis when stocks sell-out, we have fixed periods in a year where we transport our raw materials to our artisans and our garments from the artisans to Denmark. By limiting the frequency of times we transport to and fro in a year, we are reducing our carbon impact as much as possible.

PACKAGING – Our hangtags are made from FSC certified paper. Our delivery boxes are produced from recycled cardboard and printed with an eco-friendly, water-based ink. Our packing papers are made from natural, recycled materials and printed with a water-based and acid-free ink. The boxes and packing papers are not only biodegradable, but also reusable and fully recyclable. The delivery boxes come with double adhesive tapes, which makes it easy to reuse and seal them again. Our logo stickers are also made of recycled materials and are fully recyclable.

DISTRIBUTION – Our garments are transported directly from the brand to the customer. We don’t have any distribution channels in between, which helps us avoid a few extra miles of transportation, thus helping us reduce our carbon impact.

USAGE – Our garments are made with longevity in mind, but to ensure their preservation we have put together a detailed garment care guide to help you take care of your garment in order to enjoy it over several years.

END OF LIFE – After several uses, if you are no longer in love with your garment, we offer a ‘Take Back Scheme’, where you are able to send your garment back to us. This enables us to reuse the materials to create something new. You can read more about our ‘Take Back Scheme’ below.

Sustainable Development Goals

We aim to work actively with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We closely align with:

GOAL 1 NO POVERTY – By providing employment to the rural women in Sri Lanka, we are contributing towards abolishing poverty.

GOAL 5 GENDER EQUALITY – By empowering these women and providing a means for them to support themselves and their families through their passion, we are striving towards closing the gender gap.

GOAL 8 DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH – The women work in safe, healthy environments and we ensure fair wages for their hard-work put in.

GOAL 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION – We strongly believe that sustainable practices within production promotes environmental responsibility through energy and resource efficiency and motivates us to address concerns regarding pollution, economic responsibility by reducing the over-consumption of resources, and social responsibility through ethical labour procurement and by improving their quality of life.

GOAL 13 CLIMATE ACTION – We ensure social and environmental responsibility throughout our supply chain to combat the climate change crisis.

GOAL 15 LIFE ON LAND – We are protecting and conserving terrestrial ecosystems while sustainably harvesting our yarn fibres, whether cotton or wool, through organic farming practices, thus preventing land degradation as well as ensuring animal welfare. Simultaneously, since our packaging is made from certified or recycled materials, we are protecting and allowing the restoration of forests and preventing biodiversity loss.

GOAL 17 PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS – Through fair trade and partnership with the rural women, we are not only improving their lives, but also ensuring sustainable development without encroaching on the needs of the future generations.

Take back scheme

The concept of “reverse logistics”, where waste is used as a resource could be extremely beneficial in reducing waste and making supply chains more circular. This is the reason why we have introduced a ‘Take Back Scheme’. If after several wears, you eventually fall out of love with your ‘Subtle Knotz’ garment, we offer you the opportunity to send it back to us, and we bear the delivery cost. We then collect the garments sent to us over time and ultimately send them back to our hand-knit artisans, where they can easily segregate the yarns and use them to create other new products. Prior to sending back your used ‘Subtle Knotz’ garment to us, we only request that you dry-clean it and package it well. If you’ve stored our reusable delivery box that you received upon delivery, you could use that to pack the garment.

If you’d like to take advantage of this scheme and simultaneously play a huge role in being a subtle supporter and saving the environment, then feel free to write to us at and we will get back to you with further information. In turn, you receive 10% off your next purchase with us.