Equa Blog - News, Views and Ethical Styling...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Equa's Advent Calendar

View Equa's virtual Christmas Advent Calendar:

Each week in December Equa will be sending out an Advent Calendar to reveal some ethical Christmas treats for yourself or someone you love. Click here to view week 1.

If you would like to sign up to our mailing list please email us at info@equaclothing.com to let us know.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Equa's Christmas Windows

The festive season is upon us and at Equa we have put two of our favourite party outfits in the window to celebrate.

Pictured above is Annie Greenabelle's organic cotton Prom Dress in black accessorised with a Chain Necklace by Pippa Small for Made and Silver Leggings by Noir. It's all about the sparkle!

Keeping the metallic theme here we have the Bronze Hobo Dress in a hemp silk mix by Julia Smith teamed with organic cotton jersey Ski Pants by Annie Greenabelle. Also just seen is a the Brass Link Bracelet by Made.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Agyness, Angelina & Alexa get an Equa eco-style makeover on Greenmystyle!

Equa has teamed up with one of their favourite online glossy ethical magazines Greenmystyle.com to give three lucky celebs a virtual Eco makeover. Click here to see the full article on Greenmystyle.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Noir at RE:Fashion Awards

TV presenter and sustainability consultant Joanna Yarrow introduced the RE:Fashion awards in style wearing Equa's Noir Bllack Silver Dress.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Debbie Little at the RE:Fashion Awards

Presenter of the 2008 RE:Fashion Awards, the lovely Louise Roe, showed a funky new way to wear her Debbie Little netting skirt at the awards ceremony last week. Lent to her by Equa, the skirt comes with the Debbie Little recycled Parachute Dress. Two dresses in one!

She also wore the Wildlifeworks Silk Pleat Dress from Equa and looked fantastic! Click here to read more about the Re:Fashion awards.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Equa Sponsers V&A Fashion Show

Equa are sponsoring a fantastic ethical fashion show at London's Victoria & Albert Museum on Sunday 9th November.

The show is part of the V&A's Conscious Style day, an event to explore the growing popularity of ethical fashion with swishing, styling workshops, talks and the fashion show all taking place in the V&A's brand new Sackler Centre for education.

Featuring in the show will be Amana's Zahire Dress (pictured bottom) and a dress made by Wildlifeworks in conjunction with the RSPCA (pictured top). Other pieces by labels such as Noir, People Tree, Stuart & Brown and Del Forte will be shown alongside gorgeous shoes from Terra Plana.

Events begin at 10.30 am finishing with the fashion show at 4pm. All events are free but some are ticketed due to limited places. Tickets for the fashion show are available from 1pm, so best get there early!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Your Wardrobe's Water Footprint

We hear a lot about our carbon footprint and the need to reduce it, but do you ever think about your water footprint?

On the Water Footprint Network (WFN) website you can calculate your individual water footprint. The links between domestic water use and the size of your footprint are fairly obvious but I found the section on virtual water use particularly thought provoking. The virtual water content of a product refers to the sum of all the fresh water required to produce it. Along its various stages of production one cotton shirt for example requires approximately 2,700 litres of water to produce (See the WFN product gallery for more details). The effects of this consumption are felt most keenly in the areas where the cotton is grown, often in semi arid conditions in developing countries. The consequences of intensive irrigation can be disastrous. In Uzbekistan drawing water for irrigation from rivers that feed the Aral Sea caused it to loose 60% of its area and 80% of its volume between 1960 and 2000 (See The water footprint of cotton consumption).

This highlights to me the importance of choosing less 'thirsty' materials such as hemp and utilising recycled fabrics. Or in the case of cotton going for organic cotton. Organic cotton is preferable to conventionally grown cotton for several reasons. Fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides all require water to dilute them. Moreover the crop rotation system used in organic farming allows the soil to have better water retention due to increased organic matter in the soil. In addition precious water supplies are less likely to become contaminated from run-off of agricultural chemicals used in the cotton fields.

From left to right: Recycled Parachute Dress by Debbie Little, Hemp/Silk Hobo Dress by Julia Smith, Organic Cotton Rennie Jeans by Ruby.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Equa loves the Luxe Card

Equa has recently become a member of the Luxe Card which is a luxury lifestyle loyalty card. It is mainly for West Londoners, however Equa has joined their online ethical fashion section. All members of the Luxe receives discounts at countless boutiques and high street stores as well as spas, gyms and more.

Visit their site for more information http://www.theluxecard.com/

The London Boutique

We are so proud of Equa's new look we just want to post some more pictures!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Equa In Grazia

The fabulous bronze Hobo Dress by London designer Julia Smith, now avaliable at Equa, features in this week's Grazia magazine.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Equa's New Logo

Equa has been closed for a few weeks and had undergone a fab make-over. The boutique has never looked better and our new logo looks great on the new shop front.

Our new website isn't too far behind so watch this space, but come and see us in our shop on Camden Passage, Islington.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

August Outfit of the Month

It’s sale time so this month you get two outfits for the price of one!

Outfit 1

Cropped Silver Linen Jacket by Alchemist. I think this piece is really cool and I’m surprised there are any left! Here it is teamed with jeans but it also looks great over feminine summer dresses.

Zeitgeist Tee by Edun. This 100% organic cotton tee comes in cream and black. It has sleeves that roll back and are fixed with mini printed epaulettes. We've had customers who bought this in one colour and loved it so much they came back for the other.

Vera Jeans by Ruby. These sexy hot pink jeans are 98% organic cotton and 2% elastin. They are best worn tight fitting but the stretch in the fabric makes them really comfortable. They are high rise, coming up to the top of the hip bone, so they look superb with tees tucked in.

Outfit 2

Prism Tunic by Edun. Made from a lovely light silk/cotton mix, this top has a subtle stripe running through the weave. It comes in black or pale pink with black trim. It can be worn loose but it looks very chic cinched in with the Alchemist Wide Patent Leather Belt.

Jackie Pants by Wildlifeworks. A classic cropped trouser. They have beautiful detailing with double darts leading down to the back pockets. 100 % Organic Cotton.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Equa in Time Out's Green Issue

Here we are in Time Out's Green A-Z of the best things to do in London. If you've not yet been to our Boutique why not pop in and see us when you're in Islington?

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Two for Tea at Equa

Our latest window display has come courtisy of Esther Coombs, who makes these beautiful cake stands from vintage plates and glasses that she decorates with her incredible drawings. She came to Equa last week and spent a few hours drawing a cafe sceen on our window and creating a wonderful story with our mannequins and one of her cake stands... http://www.esthercoombs.com/

Monday, 16 June 2008

June's Outfit of the Month...

This month's outfit has a distinct 70's vibe!

Hakeya Earrings by Made. Brass with recycled glass.

Royal Hide Bag by Alchem1st, Lovely soft vegetable tanned leather in a rich chocolate brown, with brass stud detailing. It has lots of compartments and is roomy enough for an A4 file or laptop. Vegans might prefer one of our bags by Matt and Nat.

White Shirt by Noir. A beautiful tailored white shirt with full sleeves gathering in at the cuff. A great new take on a classic piece.

White Vest by Alchemist. A really useful organic cotton basic. This is also good under transparent chiffon pieces such as the Alchemist pin tucked tank.

Farrah Jeans by Kuyichi. If you want a break from super skinny jeans these are perfect. A 70’s inspired cut, high waisted, loose in the leg but still tight enough round the hips to feel sexy. There is a cute denim tie at the waist but this could also be substituted for a thin belt for a sleeker look.

Beyond Skin Bella Wedges. I just love the Art Deco print on the wedge, here it peeps out under the jeans to provide interest to the outfit. The height and neutral colour of the straps lengthens the legs making these wedges great teamed with shorts or a pretty summer dress.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Florals Are Everywhere this Summer!

Our latest pieces from Annie Greenabelle are so on trend and perfect for the Summer sun (when it comes out). The Floral Party Dress, as featured in June's eco issue of Marie Claire, is due imminiently... the floral print is made from reclaimed cotton that Annie Greenabelle source. They are one of a number of ingenious designers who seek out end of rolls or off cut fabrics that other fashion designers don't want because there is not enough for a large collection... this means that these dresses are limited in number, which we at Equa think makes them even more special! The black body of the dress is made from 100% Fair Trade Foundation certified organic fair trade cotton.

Throw Away Bag Free Shopping

I never go anywhere without my Envirosax... since I was given one in my stocking last Christmas I haven't needed to use a plastic bag. I'm never caught out when I need to pick something up on my way home from work. They are great, they fold up so small they just live in your handbag so you never forget it.
In the UK we get through around 8 billion plastic bags each year, but unlike many other European countries the UK Government doesn't seem to be doing too much about it... while some supermarkets are now charging for their throw away plastic bags, it is no use unless the others have to do it too and it shouldn't be up to UK retailers to set the agenda, it should be those in power.
Judging by the popularity of our Envirosaxs at Equa and seeing the number of us walking around with our re-usable bags it seems that this is not an issue that is passing us by and so hopefully the UK will soon go the way of Ireland and enforce a charge for all throw away plastic bags.
Penny x

Friday, 18 April 2008

April's Outfit of the Month

For Equa’s debut Outfit of the Month I have chosen a nautical theme. A classic for spring/summer and a theme I never seem to grow tired of!

Retro Stripe Tee by Kuyichi. It has an irregular stripe in the weave which gives it a subtle texture. I also like the continuous binding which runs from the neck line, along the shoulder seams and round each armhole. A great longer length tee, in a larger size I would also wear this like a dress with leggings.

Regent Jacket from Edun. A gorgeous cropped lightweight jacket. The zips on the arms have the Edun signature leaf detail.

Cute Sailor Slouch Pants in Fair-trade Foundation certified organic cotton jersey by Annie Greenabelle. I love the mismatched reclaimed buttons which run in two rows down the front of a fold-down waistband. These are super comfortable and are a chic alternative to tracksuit bottoms when you are in a slouchy mood.

Made Sauda Bracelet (both white and black worn here). Comprised of brass, wood and bone. The wood and bone are collected from the ground on foraging trips by the artisans who make them, so no animals or trees are harmed!

Terra Plana Himalaya Heels. What can I say? Coral red, Fabulous!

Thalia x

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Our Biggest Challenge

I often get asked what the biggest challenge for the ethical fashion industry is. I was asked this recently by a journalist. I told him that the biggest challenge is for the 'ethical' fashion sector to be seen not as a niche market that deserves only a small amount of shop floor space in Top Shop or M&S, but as a norm.

When I see Top Shop's Fair Trade Foundation certified organic cotton fair trade t-shirt, I am pleased that large fashion companies see that fair trade fashion is something worth investing in, but it always makes me wonder what it says about the rest of their collections... Is an £18 pair of fair trade, organic cotton jeans really 'ethical'?

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Ethical Fashion

By Penny Cooke, Director of Equa

This is a new thing for Equa. With this blog we hope to bring to you our thoughts on ethical fashion, inside secrets from the boutique, first look at new collections including Equa staff's favorite pieces from the season, and raise issues regarding ethical consumerism and generally continue the debate.

The end of the season is coming, the sale is still on and we are selling out of many lines. Looking back at this season, which is our 5th, it has been a really exciting one. There have been many changes to the boutique itself, and we have added a few new labels. We have just had a bit of work done at the shop to improve lighting and space... all of which raise ethical issues of their own which I am sure I will talk about at another point.

My favorite new label from this season has to be Annie Greenabelle. This new label is designed by Rachel Plant and has without doubt been the most popular label this season, and having seen her collection for this coming Spring/Summer I think this trend will continue. The new collection is due in the boutique mid-February. Very exciting!

Annie Greenabelle was inspired from the make-do-and-mend philosophy that our grandparents were brought up on. This dress pictured is a combination of organic cotton (the white body), and reclaimed fabrics from end of rolls of fabrics. It works so well, using end of rolls means that each dress is limited in the numbers that can be produced providing an amount of exclusivity on the item... ever sick of seeing the same thing on every other person on the high street, I know I am.
This is just one new label that is striving to provide an alternative to the fast fashion high street that has become the reality of the fashion industry in the UK and around the Western world. Personally I detest the mostly badly made clothes that you can buy on the high street, that will end up in your bin, or in the Charity shops within a few months or even weeks. Throw away fashion is something that I struggle with, but seems to be something that we have become so used to.
When out with friends recently I noticed that when complementing someone on what they were wearing, the first response from her was 'It's great, only cost me £40 from Top Shop'. This seems to be a common theme amongst my friends, price comes up again and again as if that is the only reason for buying something. If you have only spend a nominal amount on something can you really place any value on that item, is it something that is going to be loved and looked after, or is it something that will be worn once or twice and then end up at the back of the wardrobe and eventually in the bin. The fact that 900,000 items of clothing are thrown away each year in the UK alone suggests not. I am proud that I still wear some clothes that I bought 10 years ago (and that I can still fit into them).
This is not to say that clothes need to be expensive, but I really believe they need to have some value or they are worthless and become disposable. I know that I love and look after something much more when I have coveted it for a while and decided it is something I want to invest in. It is not always the case that expensive clothing is better made, but it is a good rule of thumb. Look at the label, if it has been made from high quality fabrics by skilled tailors, and you look after it well, then there is no reason why you can't be wearing it in two years time.