Meet the designer

Laura Hanning, FALDAN

FALDAN by Laura Hanning

Faldan aims to create a better world through smart design. Founded by former UN Climate Negotiator Laura Hanning in 2019, Faldan has created the world’s first ethical luxury foldable bag, which shares its name.
Smart, geometric markings create a unique pattern and allow the bag to fold down seamlessly into an iPhone-sized purse. Faldan is the ultimate ‘second bag’ – a timeless way to replace all the carrier bags and cotton totes we accumulate. Once folded, the bag fits into a small handbag or a pocket, encouraging it to be kept close and used in case of ad-hoc shopping or for carrying laptops, books, or trainers.
The brand meticulously calculated the size of the open bag to hold at least 15 liters – the equivalent capacity required for carrying your groceries, gym kit, business documents, or tech. Think of Faldan as your new style partner in crime.

Wei Lin of PH5

"I believe that products should only exist if they have purpose and are part of the circular economy. We cannot keep on exhausting our resources to satisfy our wants." (The Trove, 2020)

Laura Hanning | FALDAN

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Mini Interview with Laura Hanning

Tell us about your passion for fashion and bags, how and when it started?
I am passionate about design for good. The fact that the first of my designs which successfully reached the market is a bag rather than, let’s say, a chair, is a chance and an evolution. I wanted to try and find a solution for conscious urban multitaskers like myself, so bag seemed like the best place to start. I wanted to create a bag that “works” just as hard as the owner of it. Faldan bag is perfectly foldable day to night carry all bag.  

Your luxury ethical creations are both practical and modern. What are the other inspirations for your creations?
I am against creating more “stuff” and peddling the consumption. Things need to deserve to exist, they must be either functional or pleasing. We don’t need lots of carry-all bags. We need one. A partner in crime in otherwise hectic life. I knew from the start, doing something that is simply ethically made is a vanity project, I aimed to create an item of desire, and icon that is both exquisite as well as functional.  

Tell us about the use of recycled materials for your packaging boxes, what is the story behind this intelligent packaging?
I had one pet hate. A lot of eco packaging I have seen is colourless. Some brownie colour of wood pellets. So I teamed up with an award winning packaging designer Vincent Villager and we set out to create a packaging that would look truly luxurious and vibrant, while being ethical within. We worked with G . F Smith paper merchants counting 135 years of business in finding paper made from recycled coffee cups to make Faldan boxes. It has ivory shell but vibrant Faldan red inside. Its truly magical. 

What are the stories you would like to share with your customers behind each creation?
At first, I wanted to find a designer to create the ethical luxury foldable leather bag I imaged. I talked to my friend who worked at Dior accessories and also flew to Tokyo to meet some origami designers but no one could produce what I wanted. That is when I decided to take a course at the London College of Fashion to do it myself. I would work on weekends and evenings when my daughter would fall asleep, but after years of trial and error I designed a mathematically perfect, fully foldable self collapsing bag. 

What cause is particularly important for you?
Conscious and responsible consumption. I am not against things but in the age of instant gratification, I think we lost the ability and joy of yearning for something, waiting, selecting, desiring. Our homes are not dumping grounds. We should only own and keep things that deserve us. I always say that we all should be more collectors and less hoarders.  

What is your favorite time of the day?
Morning. I have my rituals. I love getting up and opening shutters of our huge drawing room regency windows looking onto a garden. I open the door to pick up the morning paper and breathing in full lungs of fresh air. Although we live in central London, our place is an oasis filled with sounds of birds.

When are you the most inspired?
Design and being amongst people. I spent years working in UN climate change so meeting with former colleagues and hearing their stories about new currency development in Africa or counter intelligence efforts in Easter Europe fascinate and inspire me. I also love historic design and greatly appreciate decorative things that have been created hundreds years ago. They were made to last and are still beautiful: from antique furniture, ceramics, silver or paintings ect. 

What is your dream country to visit?
I cannot wait to go back to Istanbul. It will forever Constantinople - the city where East meets West in such an intense sense of history, colours, smells and visual delight. I love it.

Introvert or extrovert? 
Introvert, who needs people.

How would you describe your artistic style?
I love the philosophy of gesamtkunstwerk - "all-embracing art form”, where different art and design spheres, whether fashion, interiors, architecture, decorative or other are united by same unifying aesthetic. I enjoy working across the disciplines, collaborating with artist in exploring the idea of "owning less and becoming more". In my works I use recycled materials, repurpose and reinterpret functionality of objects.