KI LEE is an accessories brand based in Seoul that creates futuristic designs using innovative sustainable materials. As vessels embodying the link between SCI-FI imagery and innovative eco-friendly material, KI LEE products seek to reconnect the consumers with fantastical imaginations of the future and foster a sense of hopeful agency in shaping the world to come.
KI LEE hopes to provide the public the ability to consume sustainably and thus empower them with proactive optimism that today's challenges can be overcome. Through its futuristic visual language and innovative materials, KI LEE presents a sci-fi fantasy of a future world people like to see themselves in.
KI LEE’s commitment to sustainable and responsible design began out of necessity as the business grew. Since the brand’s 2017 launch as a made-to-order leather brand, intelligent use of material and waste management have always been key to the brand’s business model and philosophy.
As business and production volume grew over the years, the brand transitioned from the handmade model to a larger production model, focusing on product development while working in partnership with local manufacturers. After one season of working in this new model, however, it became clear that the brand could no longer maintain its intelligent use of leather--a highly resource-intense material--or have a tight control over waste management.
In order to mitigate the negative environmental impacts inherent to larger-scale production and stay true to the brand’s philosophy of intelligent design, KI LEE carried out a comprehensive renewal, committing to finding and using innovative materials that could substitute leather.