KAESA: A Seoul-based design startup that merges Fashion with Sustainability

The fashion industry is one of the major contributors to climate change, accounting for 10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of water waste. Sustainable Fashion is the way forward. More and more brands are adopting sustainable ways to produce Fashion as consumer awareness about sustainability is also rising. Korean startup KAESA, which makes luxury fashion accessories, has adopted a sustainable way of working since its inception in 2018.

Eco-friendly, functional & luxurious designs

KAESA designs sustainable luxury handbags & accessories that fuse design with function. KAESA uses ethical materials to make its products that include natural plan-based materials and vegan leather. While the startup takes care of environmental impact, it also creates aesthetically pleasing designer products – mainly luxury handbags for women. Inspired by architecture & fashion, KAESA products blend rich colors, textures, and materials. 

The design company strives to create products that are a balance of high-quality materials, attention to detail, and exceptional craftsmanship, ethically & sustainably made. Each product’s interior design is also carefully crafted considering utility by embedding innovative organizational layers to fuse style with everyday function. The products have multiple pockets & compartments for good functionality and also look stylish to carry. KAESA claims its products have a long life and can last for many years, making them more sustainable. The company has two collections to offer currently – Aria and VLLR that includes box bags, clutches, pouches, and cross-body bags. 

Aspiring to disrupt the Korean fashion market with sustainable products

The startup was founded by Amy Chu, an architectural & interior designer trained in the USA. Amy got inspired to start a line of eco-friendly bags while working in New York and eventually designed her first luxury bag that was among the top five finalists at an international competition called the Independent Designer Handbag Awards. Amy shifted to her birth land – Korea, in 2016 to launch KAESA.

The availability of skilled artisans and a government supporting foreign startups motivated her to start the business in Korea. Amy has been part of the Seoul Global Startup Center incubation program and wants to attract more funding for KAESA to create more ethically designed luxury products. The company aspires to disrupt the fashion & design industry in Korea with its unique product line and encourage sustainability among consumers. 

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