We are very pleased to have received our first order from our newest stockist Aura Que. Their bags and accessories appeal to both the fashion conscious and the ethically aware consumer.
Following the success of her graduate collection at the prestigious Drapers Awards, Laura Queening established Aura Que in 2008, and decided to take the opportunity to develop Aura Que accessories which are manufactured according to IFAT fair trade guidelines, to promote ethical production and fair trade principles in developing countries.
Laura decided to focus on fair trade production in Nepal, having lived there in 2003, and the launch of AURA QUE has enabled her to combine her passion for design with ethical principles. Laura’s connection with Nepal began when she taught English in a rural school in South Nepal for five months. Living with a local family, she soon became totally immersed in the Nepalese community. Nepal was the natural choice for the manufacture of Aura Que. With the political situation hitting the country hard, stunting most development it was in dire need of support.
All Aura Que materials are sourced in Nepal and created directly in the country with local producers, in conjunction with The Nepal Fair Trade Group. Through this work, Aura Que works with the Nepal Leprosy Trust, an organisation which provides employment and support for people affected by disabilities which may otherwise lead to their segregation from the community.
Through its work with the Nepal Fair Trade Group, Aura Que aims to promote the organisation in the hope of encouraging more trade throughout the country. With regards to design and creativity, Nepal has a great wealth of natural materials and traditional crafts, and the work of the Nepal Fair Trade Group ensures a great base for ethical production.
Aura Que works with various charities within Nepal, and is particularly involved with the Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT). NLT oversees its own leather production unit, based in Kathmandu, as well as running the Lalguardh Leprosy Hospital in Janakpur, South Nepal. Officially opening in 1996, the hospital has gone from strength to strength and now provides treatment for 30,000 patients every year, with those affected by leprosy receiving all treatment free of charge.
In June 2008, Laura took the seven hour jeep ride to the Terai area of Nepal, to visit the rural hospital and see the NLT in action. The NLT runs several programs through the hospital, including the Social Economic Rehabilitation Programme, which offers support not only for leprosy patients but other marginalised people in the Terai communities. NLT’s Community Development Department provides small business loans for individuals to earn an income for themselves and their family. As the brand becomes more established, Laura believes that Aura Que has the potential to set up production units to provide employment for marginalised people in the area, and strengthen its links with the Lalguardh Leprosy Hospital.
With a passion for ethical fashion, Laura was involved in the LCF Shared Talent Fair Trade Project in South Africa, and had previously worked for Charlott Vasberg, Stori Sac and DKNY; and had won the Drapers Student Accessories Designer of the Year 2007.
Laura has produced an amazing range of accessories, and whose manufacture directly support poor people in Kathmandu and other regions of Nepal.
We love their range. We hope you do too. We’d love to hear what you think so do let us know.
Speak to you soon,