LUXE MERINO RISI PONCHO £39>£30 FOR MOTHER'S DAY UNTIL WED 6 MAR 9AM - SALE EXTENDED ON LUXURY MERINO & HANDCRAFTED LEATHER - UK DELIVERY £3.95, FREE FOR ORDERS £60+ - TISSUE PAPER GIFT WRAP £3

We strive to incorporate local and sustainable materials where possible and our design process is led by traditional methods mastered over generations, with some modern tweaks along the way!

    

 

 

Banana Fibre Our sustainable banana fibre is produced from the waste foliage of the banana plant, grown in the Terai flat farming area of South Nepal. The plant has to be cut back after the fruit harvest so that it regrows for the next season, so trading this waste product provides an extra income to the farmers. We only use azo-free dyes for our banana fibre. While the woven scarves reveal their silky softness after their first wash, our wristwarmers arrive super pliable from being hand knitted. Banana yarn is suitable for vegans and is an ideal alternative for those who suffer wool allergies. Read our blog post about how we use banana fibre here.
Brass Our brass jewellery, buckles and specialised fittings are handmade from brass by artisans in Kathmandu who hand cut, file and polish local Nepalese brass into shape.. The remnants from cutting are not wasted - they are melted down and used to cast the bell pendant for our RANI necklace and our waste-conscious metallic beads. The brass is gently polished for a warm and subtle finish.  Brass is the traditional material for the 21st wedding anniversary gift. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, of historical and enduring importance because of its hardness and workability. Brass can be recycled an infinite number of times with no loss in properties or performance. Read our blog post about how our cut brass jewellery is handmade in Nepal here.
Cotton - Canvas Canvas is an extremely durable plain-woven fabric. Ours has a thick strong feel and a natural durability. While our medium weight and heavy cotton fabrics are woven from pre-dyed yarns, the cotton canvas is woven from the undyed cotton fibres before being dyed as a piece. Unlike many modern canvas fabrics we do not use any PVC in our canvas, which is 100% cotton.
Cotton - Kaffe Fassett Made from high quality finely woven 68s cotton. The fabric has a smooth silky feel which is very different to our textured handwoven cottons. The screen-printing is a labour intensive process due to the 13 colours required to create Kaffe Fassett's artisan design! AURA QUE has collaborated with Kaffe Fassett, working with his artisanal fabric to produce contemporary accessories handmade by fair trade producers in Vietnam. Read our blog post about our collaboration with Kaffe Fassett here.
Cotton - Handwoven The multi-tonal cotton fabric is handwoven using several different coloured strands to produce the colour and texture effect. The subtle two tone effect means these fabrics look slightly different in different lights - and can disguise a bit of the rough and tumble of everyday use! The yarn is hand dyed in small batches and therefore slight colour variations occasionally occur between batches; if you are looking for a perfect match to a particular item of clothing or to a previous purchase, please contact our sales team who will be happy to advise. Read our blog post about three yarn weaving on a handloom here. In addition to the main cotton range, our limited edition cotton products bring to life small quantities of surplus fabrics that might in some societies be discarded.
Cotton Macrame Thread For the beaded necklaces, the macrame cotton thread is strong and decorative at the back, with the necklaces being long enough to put on without needing a fastening. Macrame is a form of textile produced using knotting techniques.
Felt Carefully hand-felted from 100% raw sheep wool with soap and water. The felt is made in sheets, moulded round a wooden resist or hand rolled into balls, dried in the sun on the workshop roof and then hand-stitched in the workshop. The shades of grey, brown and cream are completely natural, while other colours are produced using azo-free dyes. Wool is a natural insulator, with high breathability, and it resists odours due to its natural antibacterial properties. Wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics in existence; renewable and biodegradable, it requires relatively little water for its production. Our wool is mulesing free. Read our blog post about the craft of hand making felt in Nepal here, and our blog post about how our felt ball tableware is made here.
Felt Slippers Our slippers are carefully hand-felted using 100% raw sheep wool, soap and water. The shades of grey, brown and cream are completely natural, while other colours are produced using azo-free dyes. Wool is a natural insulator, with high breathability, and it resists odours due to its natural antibacterial properties. Wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics in existence; renewable and biodegradable, it requires relatively little water for its production. Our wool is mulesing free. Read our blog post about how our felt slippers are made here.
Fittings - Coconut Shell Local Nepalese coconut husk is carved into natural and sustainable buttons and beads.
Fittings - Zips Regrettably we have moved to using plastic zips rather than antique brass ones in our cotton bags. The primary reason for this is that brass zips unfortunately break sewing machine needles, and it is imperative to conserve machinery and resources in a developing country like Nepal. Plastic zips also have the benefit of being machine washable thus prolonging the lifespan of the product. Moving away from brass fittings also enables us to keep the bags affordable for customers. We still use brass zips for our wool, felt and leather accessories which require more hand stitching and are not washable.
Glass Beads - Pote 'Pote' is the common name for the tiny colourful glass beads that are very popular in Nepalese society and culture. The colourful pote necklaces are a symbol of luck for the married women in Nepal especially in the Brahmin, Kshetries and other Hindu communities. The pote beads used in AURA QUE jewellery designs are bought locally in Kathmandu. Read our blog post about how our pote bead jewellery is made here.
Glass Beads - Recycled These beautiful handmade recycled glass beads are produced from crushed bottles and jars, using techniques passed down through the generations. They are made in the south of Nepal on the border with India. The traditional glass bead necklaces are worn by women in the hill and mountain regions in Nepal. These beads are handmade in small batches so there are sometime slight variations to previous stock. The close cropped images show the actual beads available. For any queries about matching to previous beads, please contact our sales team who will be happy to help.
Lavender Flax Rice Mix (eye pillows) The pillow inner is made from soft woven cotton called kora in Nepal. It is filled, in our Hastings studio, with dried rice and flax seed (linseed), both UK sourced, and UK grown dried lavender. Lavender has been found to have positive impacts on mood, stress and anxiety, and to aid insomnia. Lavender is the traditional material for the 26th wedding anniversary gift.
Lavender Rice Mix (lavender bags) The inner refill sachet is made from soft woven cotton called kora in Nepal. It is filled, in our Hastings studio, with UK sourced dried rice, and UK grown dried lavender. The rice absorbs moisture to help resist mould, while lavender keeps your clothes smelling fresh! Lavender has been found to have positive impacts on mood, stress and anxiety, and to aid insomnia. The moth repellent properties of lavender have been attributed to the naturally-occurring compounds 1,8-cineole and camphor. Lavender is the traditional material for the 26th wedding anniversary gift.
Leather Our leather is sourced from a small family tannery in Kolkata and road-freighted to Kathmandu in bulk, to be used for all our leather and suede products; all chemicals used in the process are contained and reprocessed within the water treatment facility on site. Leather is the traditional material for 3rd wedding anniversary gifts.
Lining - Cotton The soft woven cottons used to line many AURA QUE products are called kora and shyama in Nepal. Our black jersey cotton lining provides warmth and softness and is sourced locally in Nepal.
Lining - Elastic (beaded bracelets) Our UK sourced elastic thread is high quality and extra strong, with sufficient stretch for the bracelets to go on without needing a fastening.
Lokta Paper Lokta paper is made from the bark of the bush named Daphne Papyrus, which only grows at an altitude of 6500ft or above in the Himalayas. The bark is gently removed from the trees without damaging the root system, and harvested in rotation to allow the bark to regrow, making it a truly sustainable resource. Every single sheet of paper is handmade by a cupful of lokta pulp being added to the wooden/mesh frames. Amazing accuracy can be achieved by the skilled artisans, and a variety of thicknesses from just 5gsm are produced. Paper is the traditional material for 1st wedding anniversary gifts. Read our blog post about how our lokta paper products are made here.
Merino Wool Our merino products are made from supersoft finely spun merino wool; woven or knitted on hand-powered machines, each piece is finished by hand, including any linking and dip-dyeing. Wool fabrics are resilient and easy care, providing low temperatures are used, and retain their natural qualities of insulation, breathability and elasticity. Due to its natural antibacterial properties, wool naturally resists odours and requires infrequent laundering. Wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics in existence; renewable and biodegradable, it requires relatively little water for its production. We only use azo-free dyes for our merino, which is mulesing free. Read our blog post about how we use merino here.
Recycled Fabric - Sari Our founder Laura is "like a kid in a sweet shop" when she visits fabric trader Dhiraj who supplies our recycled saris. In this treasure trove of vibrant colours, intricate patterns, textures and sparkles, it can be very difficult to choose! With intricate printed patterns and luxurious smooth textures, saris are works of art, often passed down families through generations. Nepali culture is very waste-conscious and re-purposing fabrics that have reached the end of one stage of their lives is commonplace. We have given these fabrics a new lease of life, and another chance to tell their stories. Every piece is one of a kind. Please note that there is a high likelihood sari fabric may contain silk, so these products are not suitable for vegans.
Recycled Oak Barrel Made using recycled staves from oak wood whisky barrels sourced from the Speyside Cooperage in Scotland. Each wooden barrel can have up to 50 years usage by the surrounding Speyside Whisky distilleries, with the aroma of the whisky soaked into the wood after years of the distilling process. The nature of the wood and its purpose mean that there is a variety of shading in the grain of the wood, related to the reaction with the whisky in contact with it. Wood is the traditional material for 5th wedding anniversary gifts, and oak is for the lucky few reaching their 80th wedding anniversary!
Recycled Paper The paper for our recycled paper products is 100% recycled. Waste paper is collected, sorted, shredded into small pieces and soaked overnight. The soaked paper pieces are then mixed to form a gooey pulp, which then is strained, and dried into sheets in the sun. Recycling paper helps to conserve the limited natural resources and environmental habitats. The process uses less energy and water than producing non-recycled paper, and produces lower carbon emissions. As paper can be recycled 4-5 times, choosing recycled paper is an effective way of reducing landfill waste.
Recycled Paper - Beads These lightweight beads are rolled by hand using recycled magazine paper and sealed with water-based glue, paint and varnish. The artisans make each product by hand, with minimal water, basic tools and sunlight. As much as possible the materials are locally sourced and environmentally friendly. When designing their products, Quazi Design aim to keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Paper is the traditional material for 1st wedding anniversary gifts.
Recycled Paper - Rock Over the years, Quazi Design have experimented with various techniques and have created their own original methods. Their recycled 'paper rock' is handmade using waste newspaper which is broken down into a pulp with water and dyed with pigment. Textured yet smooth, the paper pulp is durable and very lightweight, meaning chunky designs are comfortable to wear. Water-based varnish is used to seal the product. The artisans make each product by hand, with minimal water, basic tools and sunlight. As much as possible the materials are locally sourced and environmentally friendly. When designing their products, Quazi Design aim to keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Paper is the traditional material for 1st wedding anniversary gifts.
Recycled Paper - Wood When coming up with their 'paper wood' collection, Quazi Design were experimenting with layering the magazine pages using water-based glue. The resulting shapes were raw and unfinished, and needed much more refining and developing. Inspiration struck when founder Doron was collecting wooden displays for their local retail shop in Swaziland from a local carpenter and she thought – why not treat it like wood? Using a sander, saw and drill, paper was brought back to its original form as wood. Using local skills and accessible tools, Quazi Design have created an innovative material and a beautiful finished product. Water-based varnish is used to enhance durability. The artisans make each product by hand, with minimal water, basic tools and sunlight. As much as possible the materials are locally sourced and environmentally friendly. When designing their products, Quazi Design aim to keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Paper is the traditional material for 1st wedding anniversary gifts.
Salts - Himalayan Deposited by ancient oceans and covered by lava, ice, and snow for millions of years, Himalayan salt is free of many modern pollutants. While mineral bath soaks can aid skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema and insect bites, their main benefit is promoting relaxation.
Soap - Slab Richly scented with 100% natural essential oils, this cold process soap is palm free. Excluding honey options, the soaps are vegan. We source only high quality essential oils and natural ingredients including coffee grounds, lavender buds, annatto seeds and clay powders. The honey for our honey soap is harvested by local beekeeper Aimi from her hives in Hastings. We refrain from using ingredients where production is environmentally unfriendly. Slight variations are present due to the small batch handmade process. While made to 100g weight, the soap loses approx. 15% weight as it cures and becomes increasingly concentrated.
Soap - Felted The cold process natural soap is made without chemicals and preservatives. 100% palm free and SLS free. Hand-felted from 100% raw sheep wool. The shades of grey, brown and cream are completely natural, while other colours are produced using azo-free dyes. Wool has high breathability and it resists odours due to its natural antibacterial properties. Our wool is mulesing free.
Soy Candle Wax Our handmade candles are inspired by nature, sea air and the changing seasons. Made from natural soy wax blend, which is vegan, palm free, biodegradable and renewable. Sox wax burns at a cooler temperature than paraffin, which means your sox wax candle can be enjoyed for 30-50% longer than a paraffin candle of the same size. The flat, coreless wick is made of pure cotton and specially treated thin paper filaments interlaced for a more stable and consistent burn. Each piece is richly scented with our chosen blend of fragrance oils, for the best cold throw as well as hot throw for the scent. We refrain from using ingredients where production is environmentally unfriendly. Slight variations are present due to the small batch handmade process.
Semi-Precious Stone - Agate Individually handcrafted from natural semi-precious stones, every piece is unique. Agate is an ornamental stone, a microcrystalline manifestation of the mineral quartz, formed primarily within volcanic and metamorphic rocks. These agate pebble beads have been tumbled to gently polish the surfaces; the subtle low gloss finish brings out the tonal beauty of the banding without detracting from the natural look and feel of the pieces. The jewellery has a comforting weightiness that can help the wearer feel grounded, making these beautiful pieces ideal for those practising mindfulness. Agate is considered to have metaphysical properties associated with mental function: improved concentration, perception and analytical abilities. The stone is also believed to dispel negativity. A great gift for those nervous about exams or a new job! Agate is the birth stone for September, the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Gemini, and the accepted gemstone for the 12th and 14th wedding anniversaries.
Semi-Precious Stone - Carnelian Individually handcrafted from natural semi-precious stones, every piece is unique. Carnelian is an ornamental stone, a variety of chalcedony formed from the intergrowth of two silica minerals, moganite and quartz. The rich earthy red orange colours are 100% natural, derived from iron oxides. The pebbles have an interesting waxy texture that is comforting to hold, and the jewellery has a weightiness that can help the wearer feel grounded. These beautiful pieces are ideal for those practising mindfulness. The metaphysical properties associated with carnelian are all about positive energy! The stone is believed to enhance self-esteem, improve self-worth, and increase motivation and physical energy. The stone is also thought to enhance creativity. Carnelian is one of the birth stones for August, the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Virgo, and the accepted gemstone for the 17th wedding anniversary.
Stoneware Ceramics All our stoneware ceramics pieces are unique, handmade on the potter's wheel from a mix of local Nepalese clay. Any hand-carved details are added before each piece is dried in the sun, glazed and fired at high temperatures in large kilns. The richly coloured glazes used for our stoneware are sourced from North India. To maximise efficiency, not an inch of space is wasted in the kilns, which run for days at a time to maintain the heat. The high firing temperature makes our stoneware ceramics dishwasher and microwave safe, and surprisingly chip resistant. Please note that slight variations are part of the appeal of our stoneware, so these pieces are not appropriate for those seeking production line uniformity. Read our blog post about how our ceramics are made here. None of the materials used have lead content. As it is impossible to rule out tiny traces of lead in any product containing natural minerals, ceramic products are described as lead safe rather than lead free. As the pieces very durable, the glaze won’t break or crack easily. Even if it were naturally present in tiny amounts, the potential for lead exposure is minimal to non-existent.
Suede The natural buffalo suede is sourced from a small family tannery in Kolkata and roadfreighted to Kathmandu in bulk, to be used for all our leather and suede products. All chemicals used in the tanning process are contained and reprocessed within the water treatment facility on site. Leather is the traditional material for 3rd wedding anniversary gifts.
Wool Our hand-knitted products are made from 100% sheep wool. The shades of grey, brown and cream are completely natural, while other colours are produced using azo-free dyes. Wool fabrics are resilient and easy care, providing low temperatures are used, and retain their natural qualities of insulation, breathability and elasticity. Due to its natural antibacterial properties, wool naturally resists odours and requires infrequent laundering. Wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics in existence; renewable and biodegradable, it requires relatively little water for its production. Our wool is mulesing free. Leftover yarn from the AURA QUE wool knit range is used to create our upcycled eco waste wool range - no scrap is wasted!
Yak Fibre Wool Handwoven from handspun 100% natural black or brown yak fibre wool from the Nepalese Himalayas. Produced from the coat hair of the yak, a long-haired bovine, yak fibre wool has been used by nomads in the Trans-Himalayan region for over a thousand years to make clothing, tents, ropes and blankets. It outperforms even merino wool in terms of warmth, due to its richness in myristic acid, a type of hydrophobic fatty acid. The diameter of the down fibre of yak fibre wool ranges from 16–20 microns which is comparable to that of cashmere, making it extremely soft and luxurious. Wool fabrics are resilient and easy care, providing low temperatures are used, and retain their natural qualities of insulation, breathability and elasticity. Due to its natural antibacterial properties, wool naturally resists odours and requires infrequent laundering. Wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics in existence; renewable and biodegradable, it requires relatively little water for its production.