Friday, 4 March 2011

Life after Fashion Week... let's get authentic.

One of the really exciting things about our onfriday adventure is that we are starting to work with some incredibly talented and passionate young designers. Ethical fashion is still in its infancy, which means there are very few old hands or really big players in the business who dominate current thinking or determine future direction.

Unlike much of mainstream fashion where the bottom line is often a top line priority and so much practice pushes both our moral and ethical boundaries, we are starting to discover a growing number of truly remarkable young people who are successfully combining cutting edge design with an genuine commitment to and deep understanding of the concept of ethical production and fair trade. 

Laura Queening is a perfect example of that. Having graduated from Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion in 2007, Laura established Aura Que a year later following the success of her graduate collection at the prestigious Drapers Award. So, with a passion for ethical fashion and her love of Nepal, Laura set about creating a production base in Kathmandu that would see her unique designs come to life.

Aura Que Bucket Bag in Brown
Her connection with Nepal started over six years ago when she taught English in a rural school in the south of the country for five months. Living with a local family, Laura soon became immersed in Nepalese culture, witnessing firsthand how the political situation had hit the country hard, stunting most development. So when Laura set up Aura Que, Nepal was a natural choice of country for the manufacture of her bags – a very practical and effective way of contributing to the country’s regeneration. 

All Aura Que materials are sourced in Nepal and each design is brought to life in a Nepalese factory that employs local people, some affected by disabilities, providing an income and security for themselves and their families. Aura Que only work with manufacturers who are members of IFAT, the International Fair Trade Association, which means that working environments are healthy and safe and workers receive a fair wage. Laura is also keen to encourage trade directly with small Nepalese family businesses too, so she’s working hard to build long term relationships with these skilled artisans based on the principles of fair trade.

So, rest assured, our wonderful Aura Que fair trade bags are packed full of goodness! Each individually hand-crafted bag is created using the best natural materials and fibres Nepal has to offer. Every Aura Que bag has its own unique story to tell, inspiring and uplifting, which only adds to its charm!


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