When it comes to sustainable fashion, the idea of creating an ethical wardrobe without compromising style is, without doubt, a daunting one. With the constant influx of information and countless new brands and designers to review, it can be hard to know where to start. A wave of new businesses are addressing the issue, but, By Adushka; an online fashion store that curates a selection of luxurious and sustainable brands, is changing the discourse and proving we can be fashionable and kind to the planet too.
Launched in 2020, By Adushka is a digital platform that encourages conscious consumption, through highlighting designer brands that showcase exceptional, craftsmanship and leave minimal negative impact on the environment. Founder Karin Kämpf is at the helm of this mindful business, carefully selecting brands that take into account environmental and human welfare, and preserve cultural heritage through centuries-old techniques and skill. The platform’s remarkable collections showcase a deep appreciation for quality and design, offering a destination for long-lasting fashion, that feels good and looks even better.
Already guiding consumers from more than 120 countries, and sharing weekly lifestyle and fashion conscious news, By Adushka is more than just a shop; it’s an entire community that empowers artisans and gives a voice to creative brands that design with purpose. The platform bridges the gap between consumer and designer; connecting shoppers with the stories, places and people that add value to the products — proving that craftsmanship lies at the heart of real luxury.
Read on for our interview with founder Karin Kämpf, where we discuss her inspirations, work ethic and the importance of championing artisans.
What inspired you to create By Adushka?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved fashion and accessories. For me, fashion is about creativity and craftsmanship, and the stories behind the clothes that makes them so special. Having worked 30 years in the industry, I’ve seen the decline in production standards and the overall ways in which fashion has lost its value. Whether its the over-consumption of water, the rise of fast-fashion and garment waste, or the exploitation of workers in unsafe conditions, fashion is the one of the largest-polluters to the environment — and I could not sit back and watch. By Adushka—named after my daughter—was my personal project and response to the problem: offering consumers a trusted space to discover beautiful, long-lasting fashion, while empowering a community of artisans and enabling them to share their craft.
How does By Adushka work and what do you offer to your consumers?
Our platform is designed to offer an unparalleled online retail experience that not only connects consumers with stylish and responsibly made products, but with the stories and cultural heritage behind them. We thoroughly research every partner brand, evaluating the materials—whether locally sourced or not—and production methods in place, while gaining a deeper understanding of their backgrounds. We then share informative editorial content with our consumers, which explores everything from sustainability to fashion, and the inspirations and design techniques behind each brand.
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How do you select the garments? Do you have a preference for certain brands?
Besides working with responsible brands who implement sustainable strategies and practices, they must also be aligned with our standards for design. We curate brands with a focus on high-quality materials and unique style, and select pieces that showcase exceptional, artisanal skill and craftsmanship. Sometimes we are totally inspired by the story or history behind a brand, and want to give a designer the platform to share their craft with a wider audience.
What are you favourite brands on the platform?
I love them all, for different reasons, but a few of my favourites include Phisique du Role, a sophisticated Italian brand from Carpi—the fashion capital for knitting in Italy—that offers elegant clothes made in Italy, using locally sourced natural fabrics with stunning details and artisanal touches; along with The Jacksons bags, which are hand-made by women in Bangladesh, preserving an ancient art of jute weaving with colours that reflect the vibrant heritage of their community; and My Sleeping Gypsy, a Ukrainian-born label that combines slavic heritage with a contemporary style, offering timeless, hand-crafted dresses made from a selection of animal-free materials; which are sourced locally, and support the local community.
How would you describe your personal style?
I wouldn’t say I have a particular style or dress sense, but it’s more about dressing through expression and wearing different clothes—colors, cuts and designs—depending on how I feel. Whether its my environment, a movie or conversation that sparked an idea, I am inspired by encounters and dress in response to them.
What does sustainable fashion mean to you?
100% sustainable fashion just doesn’t exist yet, but, by encouraging better practices and promoting forward-thinking brands, artisans and local craftsman, we can shop more consciously and compact the harmful impacts of the industry. It comes down to every individual playing their part to help the planet; whether its through buying less, renting fashion or shopping responsibly on fashion platforms like ours — every little counts and contributes to saving the environment. With By Adushka, our mission is to inspire and guide a community of conscious, fashion lovers, by offering a curated selection of luxury brands that are both fashionable and sustainable — and whose stories are worth investing in, keeping their craft alive.
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