Ethical UK designer Laura Queening incorporates traditional skills and beautiful Nepalese materials for accessories label Aura Que. Developed in collaboration with small groups of producers in Nepal, its bags purses, scarves, hats, jewellery, ceramics and stationery have been featured in who applauded their “durable yet… elegant designs”.

Established in 2008, Laura develops accessories manufactured to IFAT fair trade guidelines and, besides leather, woven fabrics and brass metal fittings, she also uses an array of exotic materials native to Asia such as 100% banana yarn fibre, lokta paper, mohair and merino wool.

Aura Que seeks to promote ethical production and fair trade principles in developing countries and employs local people, affected by discrimination or disabilities, in various charity handicraft units and World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) producer groups. In this way, Aura Que produces beautiful handcrafted pieces while encouraging empowerment through being a maker.

Laura enjoys the technical challenges that emerge through the creative process, as well as working with interesting people from different cultures. She also pays regular visits to Kathmandu – to source materials, new designs and maintain quality control – and in doing so also gets to catch up with old friends and feed her wanderlust.