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

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Forthcoming sale sneak preview!

Snowflakes have been floating down past our shop window this week! We’re feeling all whimsical – and warm (given that we’re inside). We just couldn’t wait to share with you the desirable items that we’re celebrating and already planning to put on sale in the New Year. Hurray.

First up is the knockout Magic Sweater Dress by style conscious Dutch brand Kuyichi. This slinky little knit number is created with a wonderful blend of cotton, viscose and luxurious angora.

In a wildly dazzling electric blue, it hugs the body in all the right places, giving you sexy curves, and is perfect for Winter layering – whether with tights or skinny jeans. It’s a firm favourite with our sale assistant Marta - in fact she put top it of her Christmas wish list this year!

Its V neck combines a flattering ribbed centre that reaches down to a deep ribbed hem. This ribbing also carries along the elbows through to the wrists, creating form as well as detail.

Usually costing £85, Marta will be delighted it’s on sale for £59!

Another figure friendly dress we can’t take our eyes off this season is the Edun Homonid dress. Good on Ali Hewson and her team! It has got a gorgeous, suggestive high round neckline with its edgy slash detail crafting such style that there’s no need for a necklace this time. It also provides a keyhole button at the back.

Classical with its long sleeves, it is made with 100% organic cotton jersey in a blue/grey colour that reaches down to the knees. It can be worn in many ways, from its original proud and effortless appearance, to being accessorised up with a wrap belt and killer heels, or even paired with a smart tailored jacket for some office chic. The price has been cut from £159 to a well-worth-treating-yourself price of £97.

We were talking today about how you can’t really go sale shopping without purchasing a stable pair of jeans to wear through the seasons. You can’t, can you?

We’ve got style substance - in the dark indigo and yellow top stitching variety - with Kuyichi Lil Jeans. I really like these as they are youthful and slim fitting, and able to show off a lady’s legs. They are a harmonious design for women with slender frames, and they can work in a seamless combination with a feminine smock blouse (such as the Alchemist silk blouse) or with tunic. The jeans not only look good but they are incredibly comfortable -with organic cotton denim softness that has been combined with 2% elasthane . They also offer practicality with five pockets and an extra internal hip pocket. At £68 instead of the usual £95, we hope you’ll enjoy!

If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on an ideal bag with plenty of room and zipped pockets for all your on-the-go gadgetry, then look no further than the Jorja Vegan Handbag by Matt & Nat. Each fairly traded handbag is lined with faux suede made from 18 recycled plastic bottles! This classic style bag - a cognac brown colour with antique brass hardware detailing and tone on tone stitching - is lifted into time with its contemporary glossy edge. Other features include a magnetic snap closure and an external zip pocket suitable for reaching any travelling essentials quickly. Usually the bag is £165 but it’s going to be on sale for a scintillating £115.

There are plenty of other items on offer including shoes and sexy lingerie! So watch this space for us to say the sale’s now open! The great news is that if you don’t feel like going out into the bitter cold Winter streets yourself, you can enjoy the sale just as much from our online boutique.

Gorgeous garments and accessories, also included in the sale:
Empire Line Dress by Annie Greenabelle
Price: £57 Sale Price: £45

Hendrix Ankle Boot by Beyond Skin
Price: £160, Sale Price: £112

Violet Haze Chemise by Enamore
Price: £89, Sale Price: £58

Doll Quilt Shoe by Terra Plana
Price: £120, Sale Price: £84

Equa's January sale - get seeking!

Party dress of the week!

Sexy spin moment: the People Tree Owlen Dress. This LBD will get you rocking around the dance floor at any Christmas party.

For £55, this V neck jersey dress is cut to achieve style- jealous glances and hot date offers with its super soft organic cotton fabric.

Its sexy petal skirt and curved hemming drapes to form the front of the dress that reveals a teasing, shorter fitted underskirt.

You can fall head over heels in love with this dress, particularly when teamed with a pair of bright red tights and some dancing shoes!

Now, where's that mistletoe?

Don't forget about free Christmas delivery (within the UK) - the offer ends 22nd December!

More womenswear to party in
Evening wear
Gorgeous day dresses
Accessorise up with tights
Accessorise up with jewels

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Party dress of the week!

Ahh! Annie Greenabelle. I’ve noticed that Equa shoppers often pick these feminine dresses off the clothes rack and encourage them to do a little spin on the hanger. This Annie Greenabelle Scoop Back Party Dress, for £72.00, is no different.

It’s got an absolutely divine shape to it, just asking to be swooshed and swirled on the dancefloor, as the design is cut so that it falls to mid thigh. Made from organic cotton and reclaimed fabrics, it’s got a unique vintage feel without losing any contemporary style with its black organic cotton jersey strap.

This strap boldly meets the beautiful reclaimed cotton floral print fabric for a high waist, and is adorned with a gorgeous contrast black bow. Black contrast binding at the side front pockets and a thick panel at the hem perfectly frames the figure.

The deep scoop back will reveal the party girl in you, while the neckline is classically elegant. It could be worn with a skinny tee underneath to keep the look casual, but our advice is to wear it by night as it will look ever so glam paired with some sexy party heels and black tights.

Don't forget about free Christmas delivery (within the UK) - the offer ends 22nd December! 

More party dresses - for night
More party dresses - for day
Jackets for winter
Jewellery to glam up with

Last minute stocking fillers!

Looking to style buy some last minute stocking fillers? We’ve got some lovely ideas that will ensure your stockings won’t stay hung up on the mantelpiece for long!

This fabulous and bright Saffron Winds Recycled Rice Bag Purse, £9.00 is a handy little friend to cheer you up and find a place for all those remaining coins after the big Christmas spend. Handcrafted by landmine and polio disabled artisans in Cambodia who are part of a fair trade group, it is made from a combination of recycled rice and fish sacks – hence the colourful design.  It’s got two open pockets as well as front velcro fastened coin pocket and a zip pocket. We suggest you pop some fair trade chocolate coins in for a real treat.

We all welcome essentials at Christmas and I just find the dazzling blue and contrast green logo of these Pants to Poverty Organic Boxers to be an antithesis to those suggested winter blues.

They are a designer bargain at £10, particularly as they are created with the quality softness of Fairtrade Foundation organic cotton. I particularly like the cheekiness of the green printed bull motif – a symbol of corporate wealth - that pokes a bit of fun at greed by taking on a Hindu spiritual dimension.

If tights are more essential for the New Year parties to come, then the G=9.8 Footless Tights for £22.00 are fabulously stretchy and thick with a 60 dernier look.

Produced ethically in France using a pine pulp viscose and the elasticated goodness of LycraWear, these are just perfect for wearing under dresses and tunics and your favourite pair of peep heels. The tights come in flamboyant red as well as the more classic black or ash grey.

It’s just lovely giving some new jewels as a gift as you can see your loved ones wear them, and this Just Trade Zola Bangle is just, well wonderfully eco! Made under the Zoe Project, a Peruvian grassroots fair trade organisation that supports creating quality contemporary jewellery and accessory collections, it ensures women and young people earn a decent and, most importantly, stable income.

At £18.00 this particular bangle is worth every penny, having been made from cedar wood offcuts from a local craftsman’s carpentry business within Lima, before being wrapped in the colourful Peruvian cotton in a choice of either berry red or this gorgeous teal.

For an array of colours, go for the LeJu Uva Earrings for £50.00. The vegetable ivory that these are made from are a real conversation starter – particularly as you can state that it naturally originates from the floor of the rainforest and is very hardwearing – and bound to receive compliments!

Drop earrings are so in fashion (think Eva Longoria and Jessica Alba), and when offset with silver plated ear hooks, the little carved disks that each have a cute message carved around the edge – such as ‘friendship’ or ‘smile’ – give it a real contemporary flavour!

If there are relatives staying who want some private afternoon nap time amidst the bustling activity, or you know a friend with eager children who need a signal to not jump on the bed and interrupt the rare festive treat of a lie-in, then the fairly traded Eco Boudoir Eye Mask, £35.00 is a luxury solution.

Made from silk and printed with either a flyaway red or pine grey/black design, it offers ultimate relaxation, particularly after a relaxing bath soak. Easy to pop over your eyes with its elasticated strap, it’s very soft with its very soft with its black hemp/silk lining. It is presented in a gorgeous pouch with a matching print trim.

Don't forget about free Christmas delivery (within the UK) - the offer ends 22nd December! 

More stocking filler ideas
More jewellery
More bath & body treats
Sexy lingerie and underwear - for him & her

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Party dress of the week!

Most definitely deserving of party dress of the week status, the OUTSIDER Circle Pleat Neck Dress is a gorgeous, stylish LBD that can help you look stunning for both work and play. It’s easy to sparkle it up with the appropriate jewellery or  some wonderful bright high heels!

Sleeveless so that it can be worn through the seasons, you can dance the night away – or add an extra layer by teaming it with the OUTSIDER blazer.

Available in sizes UK 8-14 for £79.00, it’s cut from wonderfully soft black linen and features the luxury of a sustainable hemp silk mix satin semicircular shine detail around the neckline, and satin binding around the arm holes.

Fastened at the front with lovable and showy black crystal buttons, the dress comes with the versatility of an elasticated waist band, just in case you eat too much Christmas pud!

More Equa party dresses
More from Outsider
More Style Tips

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Winter warmers & boots

That Nancy Sinatra must have been talking about the Po Zu Pep Sheepskin Boots when she said, “These boots are made for walking”. Po Zu’s ankle boots, £142.00, are incredibly comfy and warm as they are lined with sheepskin! Nancy did however forget to mention that they will stamp eco style on the pavement as you go.

You can wear them with jeans or tailor cut trousers and they are just perfect teamed with some cosy knitwear for an after-Christmas dinner amble. Produced ethically within the EU, the leather is neither dyed nor bleached – the leather is tanned naturally with vegetable extracts.

The rubber is pure vegetable latex obtained the traditional way from the sap of the Lectae hevea tree, while the sole and packaging is made from tough coir (a mixture of coconut fibre and natural latex). I love what the makers of these boots suggest: the biodegradable shoe box they come in can also be used to grow seeds!

If you are looking for a pair of boots with urban sophistication then go no further than Terra Plana’s Haiti Boot for £150.00. These are low-heeled (just 2 inches) to give you a little height without you losing the ability to keep up with fast-paced city life. As they are mid-length, they can be worn easily with jeans. Available in chocolate brown or black vegetable tanned leather with the usual Terra Plana recycled memory foam for comfort, they boast a sexy back panel of either dark brown suede or textured woven laces, which I just adore!

For an ankle boot that will approriately suit the classic LBD look or some skinny jeans, why not enjoy the utter elegance of the Beyond Skin Hendrix Ankle Boot for £160.00? Black hemp is given a treat with an attractive black patent trim at the ankles, and there's a purple lining that will show when worn to tease any admirers.

I love cosy pairs of gloves to keep my fingers frost-free, but I see so many pairs of gloves that are warm but forget to embrace the chic. Shocking really.

The solution? These People Tree Feather Knit Gloves for £17.00 that utilise feather and fan stitch are just the ticket. Lovingly hand knitted for People Tree by Kumbeshwar Technical School in Nepal, I especially like the jade green colour as it really highlights the stitch design. And you can get a matching beret that will prevent ears from getting all chilly and pink.

It’s time to adorn yourself with a jacket that has a warming colour and fight off any winter blues. Embrace the classic tailored design of the Cecilia Hammarborg Mandarin Coat, for £245.00. Made ethically here in London, it’s simplistic with its impeccable cutting and craft yet it creates a dramatic shape effect with its back of wide pleats, a high collar (that will keep the breeze out) and puff shoulders. The covered buttons add pretty, modern detail while remaining fully functional.

The perfect winter boots
More winter warm accessories
More from People Tree
More from Terra Plana
More from Beyond Skin 
More from Cecilia Hammarborg

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Party dress of the week!

Slinky, sexy and slimming – what’s not to love about the Alchemist Silk Dress, for £140.00 with its empire silhouette?

Made from sheer silk chiffon in dark grey, there is wonderful delicacy in the gathering detail of rectangular panels on the front and shoulders that will accentuate your bust, flatten your stomach and lengthen your body.

Perfect for any pear-shaped princess looking for her Christmas (k)night!

You can choose your weapon of choice to place under the dress, although the loose-fitting, delicate Alchemist Slip Dress for £85.00 in the same dark grey colour and spaghetti straps – which, by the way, are adjustable - is an absolutely perfect match!

Glitz up with some jewellery and heels to finish.

More Equa dresses.

Festive feet: eco party heels

‘Tis the season to let your hair down, kick back and glam up your feet. Equa has some beautiful eco party shoes to help you become the belle of the Christmas ball that we just had to share with you.

Be a stunning red bomb shell with the gorgeous Beyond Skin Derby Heels for £124.00. Altogether foxy, it's perfect to bring extra panache to this season’s LBD, and is just as gorgeous with a pair of skinny jeans and a tailored blazer.

Using faux felt, with a black patent style cone heel, the shoes are vegan and available in sizes EU 38 -41.

The Sofia Court Shoe for £150.00, also by Beyond Skin is another fantastic faux felt design, with its timeless design and neutral grey colouring offset by black patent effect.

A practical height with its brogue design, it’s suitable for both office wear with a trouser suit or an elegant pencil skirt but can add the finishing touches to any outfit for after work festivities, saving you the need to try and cram an extra pair of shoes into your handbag.

What’s more, the shoe comes lined with a slick and stylish purple lining.

Another item on the Christmas party outfit wish list should be these Terra Plana Doll Quilt Court pumps, £120.00.

The fact that Terra Plana’s memory foam lines the souls of these shoes creating real comfort - not to mention the low-heeled appeal - these make for great dancing shoes. Using only vegetable tanned leather in a stylish cream tone back panel that offsets its funky heel, the classic Terra Plana detail of bright recycled textured woven materials towards the front design will add some spice to any outfit, whether it is jeans or an evening dress.

What’s more, if you are buying online then there is free UK delivery until Christmas – so you can stay snuggled up if you wish!

Now all you need to add is the sparkle!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Greenmystyle.com Editor’s pick: Luxe gifts

Greenmystyle.com Editor Jen Marsden was in the Equa boutique this week, choosing her favourite Luxe gifts for Christmas. We asked her to share what she will be buying with us.

“I have a confession. I found it very hard to choose from the gorgeous selection of beautiful items in Equa. Mainly because the choice selection was already so quality and fabulous. I couldn’t just think about gifts for loved ones either - I had to choose one or two for myself!"

She immediately made a beeline for the OUTSIDER Pleat Collar Blazer, £149.00. "I have been looking for a tailored, gorgeous and ethical jacket like this for ages! I can dress up my jeans during the daytime and ensure elegance is not lost when I wear it over a dress or skirt when going for Wintertime after work drinks It feels absolutely lush with its hemp and silk mix and satin collar. I particularly love the flattering V neckline and practical single silver button, as well as the decorative pockets."

"I adore shower time, particularly when there is a lovely scent to wake me up! The Whishes Three Whishes Body Wash (£15.00) is really scrumptious, as it’s not only moisturising with its organic ingredients (and paraben free, I might add) but the citrusy and herbal elements of the lemongrass awakens the senses while soothing and toning my skin. Mmmn!" Jen thinks it's a, "perfect gift to help get people out of bed on a cold January morning."

"The scents of Timothy Han’s Orange and Clove scented 100% natural soy wax candle (£28.00) gives the home a really Christmasy feel - it reminds me of childhood - and is bound to bring smiles to the beneficiary. A real luxury treat!"

Jen declared that, "practical gifts are great".

And what would Christmas be without receiving a jumper?
"I love the V-neck organic cotton fine knit Edun Moraine Sweater, £169.00, particular it has a white owl pattern (somewhat angelic too) on the rear that sneaks to the front. Perfect to snuggle up in while looking eco chic."

Jen explained that she is currently seeking out someone to buy her the Fifi Bijoux Cheek Necklace, which costs £115.00. "It’s incredibly delicate and will sit as a feature on your neck, hanging from a 100% recycled gold chain .The pendant itself is made from 9 carat ethically mined gold from South Africa and made in my homeland of Scotland. I love the detail as much as the story of how it has been produced sustainably and fairly."

Jen adds: "I have a friend who would just love the natural and chunky nature of the LeJu Black Horn Resin Ring that has been cleverly carved out of just one piece of cow horn. Added to the charm is the inset coloured resin of purple, yellow and aqua blue, making the finger a feature." This costs £32.00.

Who wouldn't want a luxury gift at Christmas?

Gift Ideas £100 and over

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Win! £50 Equa Gift Voucher

Take advantage of our generousity splurge! We’re offering one lucky ethical fashion fan an Equa gift voucher worth £50, to either spend online or in the Camden Passage Boutique, Islington on whatever you wish for!

That means that any one of those gorgeous eco gifts under £50 that you saw in our blog last week could be yours! That could make for a cheaper Christmas gift spend  - or it could be a way to treat yourself.

For your chance to win, just email info@equaclothing.com with ‘£50 Gift Voucher Prize’ in the email subject title by 15th December.

Want to treat someone?
Buy Equa gift vouchers in multiples of £5, with a minimum value of £15. To redeem, each voucher contains a unique code that can be entered in the check out area of the website.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Christmas Gifts for under £50

The Christmas lights have been switched on. I had a festive moment: I began planning what gifts to buy the near ones and dear ones for Christmas. Some of my friends have been planning their ethical Christmas gifts for a while, creating loads of homemade chutneys spiced and packaged with all the festivities. I’ve not been quite as proactive but I now have a good idea of the presents that I wish to give – and hope to receive, naturally! And they all come straight from the Equa boutique.

I thought I would share some of my favourite gift ideas that will provide eco chic style to the Christmas routine and all cost less than £50!

These Violet Haze Short from Enamore, for £44, is likely to heat up the boudoir. A sexy and ethical item I think any girl will be pleased with if she finds it under the tree.They are full knickers made from organically grown silk in a luxe purple colour with a black lace trim. It also has a contrast off-centre yellow bow that oozes sophistication and elegance – while being a tad cheeky.

You can’t go wrong with this gorgeous, slouchy lilac People Tree Trinity Beret, £19. A practical buy for keeping you warm throughout the winter, it offers much seasonal style charm too. Fairly traded from Nepal, it uses the hand knitting craft of open trinity stitch. There’s also a matching scarf for £29. And, if you would prefer another colour or knitting style, then we have currently got a wide choice in the boutique, including a bottle green feather and fan stitch beret or a Samantha Holmes Leaf Knit Hat - a charcoal grey, hand knitted alpaca wool beanie hat.

I just adored Whish Three Whishes Sugar Scrub from day one and so had to sell it in Equa as it makes the perfect pamper gift. Made in the USA, it contains organic ingredients and is paraben free. For £26, the exfoliating sugar works on your dry skin while adding many moisturising oils in so that you can lose the dull skin and begin to glow. In two scents, I love the pomegranate option at this time of year as it is packed full of antioxidants and is perfect for rejuvenation.

I also take pleasure in the Cotswolds organic purity creation of the Ila Body Balm for Feeding the Skin, £39. This is suitable for all ages and is particularly great for those with eczema, as it uses essential fatty acids and antioxidants to do just what its name suggests. It’s particularly good to apply the balm after a warm bath.

For those romantic nights in under the mistletoe, then Timothy Han’s Tin Candle, £7.50, makes a sumptuous and sexy gift. 100% natural and handcrafted in London from pure essential oils with soy wax, these are free from genetically modified ingredients and avoid the usual black-smoking petroleum and paraffin. For Earl Grey tea drinking lovers, the Bergamot scented candle is particularly lush, and promises to burn for 12 hours.

So. What are you going to use for all your Christmas and January sales shopping? Our Envirosax Reusable Bags can easily be tightly rolled up and stored in your handbag until they are needed, so you never need accept a plastic bag again! I also keep a whole stash of them by my front door to remind me to use them when I'm nipping out quickly to the shops. I love the different designs these bags come in: from the inspiration of Australian rainforests to bohemian Art Nouveau, as well as the straightforward Oxford design, which is perfect for men. Each Envirosax Reusable Bag costs £5.99, however we’re also offering a lucky dip, special offer where you get 5 random bags for £25, which you can keep all for yourself or treat friends and family to as a bonus green stocking filler.

Other Christmas under £50 gift favourites:

LeJu Brown Horn Resin Ring, £32
Saffron Winds Recycled Cosmetics Case, £14
Eco Boudoir Eye Mask, £35

Gifts £50 & Under

Thursday, 5 November 2009

New arrivals! Autumn/Winter 2010 treats

I had a realisation this week and it’s one that comes to me about the same time every year as the atmosphere begins to feel very festive: running my lovely Islington boutique really is like celebrating Christmas all year around!

And, that feeling is never more pronounced than when the gorgeous ethical garments we’ve had on our wish list and ordered arrive into the shop. It’s a real joy opening the packages with anticipation and preparing them for the shop floor. I’m never disappointed.

Least of all this week, when we got the new range of jewellery by Made, the brand by the people for the people. Included in our bundle were these lovely Heart Hoop Square Earrings created out of thin slivers of recycled brass by cooperatives in Kenya. It’s a fresh take on the usual simple design hoop earrings, yet playfully adds one square and one heart into the mix. And there’s a matching pendant that should sit perfectly on any party diva’s neckline.

Not only that, the Made Hayley Mardon Rhombus Necklace  is a stunning piece
utilising the contrast of a quadrilateral shape with brass disks that sits just below the collar bone. This would look great with a V-neck top, blouse or jumper. The result is beautiful. I already witnessed a friend of mine prodding her boyfriend with a hopeful look that can only mean she expects them as a gift under the Christmas tree - if not before...!

For less fussy designs, there is also Made’s Square Brass Pendant and Earrings. These drop earrings are fast becoming a favourite of mine too because they are so adaptable! A perfect accessory for the ever-so eco chic party dresses that we have this season, suitable with both our fab ethical LBDs as well as our more casual range.

Speaking of casual, we now have both in-store and online these gorgeous Kuyichi Desi Jeggings! Yes, you did read correctly – jeggings (jeans come leggings) are a super hot look. Favoured by the celebs this summer, including Beyonce Knowles and Lily Cole, this trend continues into winter. 

These skinny jeans complement any tunic and are ideal for keeping warm when worn under a glamorous party frock through these cold winter months. And, if you’re worried they look a bit too skinny for you, worry not, they include a delicate touch of elastane to ensure they stretch and provide comfort.

I can imagine showcasing them at the weekend, offset with an easy top, while I warm up with hot chocolate in my local coffee shop.  As with all Kuyichi’s range, these legging jeans are made from organic cotton and are fairly traded.This new style has some decorative features added with a contrast silver grey stitched faux jean style pockets that give it a little extra sparkle compared with most I’ve seen. Divine.

More by Made

See all Jeans

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Style Tips - 2009's top Christmas party dress trend!

It's nearly November ladies, and that means only one thing - Christmas! Yay. We love this time of year. Of course, it's a season all about giving and we love planning the perfect gifts to buy for everyone. But there's definitely one self-indulgent highlight in the season - finding the perfect Christmas party dress of course! We don't know about you, but we're seeing Christmas party banners up in bars and restaurants already and we're dying to get glammed up.

2009 has been a fashion homage to the opulent Eighties, with the comeback of numerous Eighties trends, from outsized bows to towering platform heels to sequins scattered over everything we can get away with. Keep fashion's current penchant for excessive details, playful silhouettes and vivid colours in mind when picking out your dress for the season's Christmas celebrations. It's definitely the hottest look of the year.

Pair overly-girly Eighties-style dresses with tough ankle boots to epitomise this season's catwalk looks. Go body-con and channel Christophe Decarnin's models at Balmain, or choose a prom shape in a mini length like ones seen at Luella. Either way, check the dress from every angle, and think what accessories you would complement it with; there's nothing worse than buying a great dress and discovering that nothing in your wardrobe goes with it.

Equa has a host of ethically-made party dresses to pick from. New in is a capsule collection of one-off prom dresses by designer Tara Starlet, who recently starred in BBC3's Blood, Sweat And T-Shirts, exclusively created by Tara just for us. Tufts of taffeta jut out from structured waistlines in perfect party fashion. The feminine, sweetheart, strapless neckline is a modest way to show off some decolletage. The plaid print version of this dress (pictured above) will make an unexpected, yet darling choice for any Christmas party. Play on the dress's femininity by adding some elegant peep toe stilettos or, as suggested above, contrast the dress with some heavy ankle boots.

Blue is not an obvious choice to wear for the festive season, which is usually filled with reds, golds and LBDs. So, why not go against the grain and wow with this electric blue parachute dress by Debbi Little (pictured right)? The recycled parachute silk falls to the knee and comes with a separate net petticoat for masses of volume. In addition to getting our vote, this dress has the celebrity stamp of approval after being worn by style icon Daisy Lowe in The Observer Magazine Ethical Issue.

This bow dress by Sika wouldn't look out of place on Lady Gaga thanks to the huge bow on the shoulder. The amazing detail is balanced out by the simplicity of the rest of the dress, resulting in an offbeat LBD with a twist. This is ideal for those who want to stand out whilst staying true to something classical and elegant. It's available at Equa right now in black or green. By Amiee Mann

See all party dresses at Equa
More from Debbi Little
More from Sika
More from Tara Starlet
The perfect Christmas party shoes
Christmas party clutch bags
More Style Tips

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The ethical Christmas gifts we'd love to get (and give!) this year

Behind the scenes at Equa we're getting ready for the Christmas season. We love creating our festive shop window, coming up with our instore treats (mulled wine, anyone?) and displaying our top ethical gift picks. Islington looks so magical at Christmas, especially Camden Passage where we're located.

We make a special effort to capture that Christmas magic online too, at both our online shop and on this blog, where we will be highlighting our best gift ideas and running a special Christmas competition (watch this space). We couldn't help ourselves this week, what with so many lovely new season pieces arriving on the shop floor. We just had to pick the ethical gifts we'd love to find under our eco trees!

Penny Dowling, founder & director
I love the Saffron Winds wash bag made from recycled rice and fish bags from Cambodia. I have an old wash bag that I think was a freebie from a magazine, so I think I deserve a new one! This one has been catching my eye ever since they arrived in store and I'm hoping that I've dropped enough hubbie hints!!

If I don't get that (or maybe even if I do), then my Eternal Creation slippers that I bought three years ago at one of the Fashion Made Fair sample sales are now so threadbare that I don't think they will last much longer. A great classic Christmas gift of a pair of slippers wouldn't go amiss and these Po-Zu Peasy slippers fit the bill for me.

Eva Phillips, sales assistant
Hmm, it's tricky to pick just one as I would love pretty much anything! But I guess if I'd been a very good girl I'd love to receive the Edun Morain sweater. But then again, I would also love any of the Ila candles as I adore scented candles, especially such pretty ones. I can never justify buying them for myself!

Christina Harnois, sales assistant
I would love to receive the Cecilia Hammarborg Mandarin coat because every girl should have a red coat to brighten up those crisp Winter days! This piece would be in my wardrobe for years to come, the quality and elegance of the fabric makes it timeless and the whimsical design would make me feel like a character in a fairytale. Now, who will I find to give it to me...?

Marta Krsteva, sales assistant
Top of my Christmas gift wish list is Kuyichi's Magic dress. I love everything about this dress: the colour, the fabric, the style, the length and the detailing. I'd wear it as a dress and as a top too, with skinny jeans or leggings. Electric blue is such a powerful colour and is my favourite!

Thalia Warren, sales and marketing assistant
Beyond Skin Hendrix vegan ankle boots: This is the kind of gift I would give because I really want them for myself! A vegan friend of mine says she missed leather far more than she misses any food items but I know she would love these gorgeous boots. They are super sexy and very chic. The flash of purple lining gives them a fun edge too. I think the fact they are hemp rather than all over plastic, as many vegan shoes often are, would be appreciated too.