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

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Eco Luxury for Less

Elegant and timeless pieces, with cuts and fabrics to endure seasonal trends, are the ultimate luxury items. Watching your finances should not mean weaning your wardrobe off beautiful pieces. The summer Sales are the perfect time to indulge, with glamorous eco garments available for less. It's maximum style, for a minimum price. Here are our biggest bargains on top-end luxury ethical fashion.

1. Wildlifeworks Karen Dress, Sale price £94.00 Was £235
This is the perfect timeless piece for chic office wear. This classic organic cotton shirt dress, in an elegant and subtle shade of navy is a guaranteed boardroom success. Pair it with high heels for eco power dressing at its best, or with colourful flats for a casual Friday look. Your colleagues will be jealous of both the immaculate tailoring and 60% discount.

2. Edun Zimba Wrap, Sale Price £194.00 Was £322
There is nothing quite as luxurious as the soft feeling of silk on the skin. This Edun Zimba dress is the perfect feel-good evening dress. In an unusual and sweet shade of baby pink, this silk wrap dress will take you from happy hours to dinner to clubbing. The shape and shoulder appliqué are reminiscent of the 1980s. With a 40% discount and fair-traded silk, it’s a guilt-free purchase.

3. Noir Martin Jacket, Sale rice £225.00 Was £450
This beautiful black jacket, in fairly traded fabric, will make your outfit day and evening. Paired with a pencil skirt, it’s the perfect work wear. Wear it on bare skin or on a beautiful dress such as this Noir Jersey Cross Dress for the ultimate glamorous look. With a 50% discount, it’s an investment piece which will soon become a wardrobe favourite.

4. Killerich Coat with Piping, Sale price £159.00 Was £390
Be financially savvy and buy your next winter coat during this summer's Sale! This Killerich coat, in a soft and warm blend of fairly traded wool with a cotton lining, is incredibly flattering. Not your average black coat, it stands out thanks to electric blue piping and buttons. A near-£400 coat you’ll wear for ever for just £159!

5. Matt & Nat Royksopp Tote, Sale price £135.00 Was £195
No outfit would be complete without an indispensable handbag. This Matt & Nat Royksopp vegan tote is the perfect alternative to fast fashion It-bags. It’s stylish, incredibly chic, and will add a splash of shocking red to any outfit, all year round. The interior of this roomy handbag, which includes practical and large pockets, is lined in 100% recycled red faux suede lining.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Five Top Picks for under £50

We hope that Equa will be your first destination for ethical fashion once you check out these five must-have pieces from our current range, all at under £50. Unique and boutique, we pride ourself on offering accessible, stylish and ethical fashion – without the hefty price tag. Shop online or visit our London boutique at 28 Camden Passage, Islington.

1. Made Brass Hoop Pendant, £35.00
This irresistible chunky brass chain, £35 by Made, is the perfect piece to team with a white cotton day dress and gladiator sandals - to add an edge. But don’t let it weigh you down, as Made provides fair wages and support to the people who create their products – helping to break the cycle of poverty. The three larger hoops linked into the chain make this pendant a simple yet unique eco-friendly gem.

2. Eco Noir Bamboo Camisole, Sale Price £37, was £55
You can never have too many black camisoles. This one would be perfect worn under a too-deep décolletage, as a pyjama top or for casual summer wear. It was ethically made in a process free of any chemical. It will make a simple, but stylish and effective addition to your wardrobe.

3. Noir white shirt, Sale Price £45, was £95
Team pegged trousers with Noir’s white shirt, for a crisp tailored look - the half collar adding a casual appeal. Whether you’re on the beach or in the city this organic cotton shirt is comfortable, stylish and you can wear it with a clear conscience. A staple item for your wardrobe at just £45, invest in one now and you can wear it under a blazer in winter.

4. La Lesso Jua Skirt, Sale price £32.00, was £44.00
This is summer in a skirt. This beautiful high waisted skirt in vibrant hues was ethically manufactured in Kenya in self-owned workshops It would look amazing with a bright primary colours top and simple sandals, or quickly thrown over your swimsuit on the beach. The full skirt shape was seen on many catwalks this season, from Michael Kors to Azzedine Alaia.

5. Alchem1st Bikini, Sale Price £25.00, was £50.00
When it comes to swimwear, join the girls by the pool this summer in a halter-neck bikini. Alchem1st's beige and brown two-piece is all you need for lounging on the beach. With a halter top and side-string bottoms, it’s a flattering choice for most. And the laume print is great for showing off your tan. Now priced at £25, hurry to our online store before you miss out.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Our favourite Sale picks

There are plenty of perks that come with working at Equa, and one of those is certainly having the first pick of the Summer Sale. It's been a great season for versatile wardrobe staples, and we've had our eye on quite a few since they arrived in-store. The team here, that's myself (Penny), Thalia, Marta and Christina, have each chosen our absolute favourite pieces from the Sale. We're secretly keeping our fingers crossed that you don't get to them first!

Director and buyer

1. Alchemist Linen Bell dress, Sale price £69 Was £130
"I love the shape of this dress. It is a perfect summer holiday dress, light and airy - you can’t beat linen as a good summer staple."

Team this white fair-trade linen dress with a chunky waist-belt and wedges for the perfect summer party look.

"This cardigan is so beautifully made. I love wearing mine with a bright colour underneath so you can see it peeking through the lace knit – it looks fab with the Amana Eleanora Coral Dress."

Made from knitted organic cotton, this cardigan is perfect for any chilly summer evening. With a beautiful ribbon front tie, you can slip in and out of this as quickly as the weather changes.

3. Amana Tahini Skirt, Sale Price £44 Was £85
"I don’t have many skirts in my wardrobe and this one would fit in perfectly. I love the wide pleats that fall from the waist which can be worn high up or low on the hips depending on the outfit."

This navy skirt would look great with a camisole tucked in and some flats. It’s an organic mix of cotton and soya, with a white double lined trim adding extra detail.

Sales and marketing manager

1. Edun Tuareg Tunic, Sale Price £189 Was £299
"This dress is elegant without feeling too grown-up. It’s also light and airy for muggy summer days. I’d wear it with plimsolls through the day to dress it down, but with a pair of heels and a dramatic necklace it would take me through the evening too. I love the detailing of the animals embroidered on the back panel. At £110 off the original price it’s a great buy."

In stunning silk, this fair trade pixel-print dress also comes with a cotton slip that’s detachable. So when you’re on the beach this light silk would make for a great cover-up, or wear with the cotton slip for an evening dress.

"In the summer I always go a bit crazy for all things nautical and these striped wedges are no exception."

Wear these vegan sling-back wedges with a linen playsuit to stay cool and stylish this season.

Sales Assistant

"It is the best and most unique piece of its kind. And it's black - my favourite colour for the evening. It is easy to combine with flat gladiator sandals or, for a smarter look, with high heels in any colour and shape. It’s great with gold accessories too."

All-in-ones have taken over the catwalks this season, and this little black number shows us why. In 100% silk, this onesie is light and airy –with a cinched waist and delicate sleeves. Take the plunge and swap your little black dress for this all-in-one while on Sale.

"The colour is amazing and the denim is so soft and light that it makes these jeans a perfect summer buy. These are the first pair of flared jeans I own and I love them! Soo flattering."

A great pair of jeans are hard to find and last for years. Tuck a vest top into these and team with a pair of ballet pumps for a great casual summer look.

Sales Assistant

1. Alchemist Bamboo Tie Dress, Sale Price £72 Was £120
"The drop-waist is comfortable while being elegant."

In Bamboo jersey this is soft, comfortable and smart - perfect for the office. You can look chic in this tie dress, without compromising on comfort.

"It's a flattering shape and the brass detailing gives it an extra twist."

Tribal prints are flattering, fun and a trend that’s hard to miss. With this fair trade giraffe-print camisole, made from silk, you will definitely be noticed – the nipped-in waist will make the perfect hour-glass silhouette.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Equa Style Tips: The perfect dress

We love a perfect little dress at Equa, and we know you do too. Hey, you're female right?! Dresses are the ideal summer garment: easy to throw on, easy to dress up for evening. Whether you’re holidaying in the city, or relaxing by a pool, this season is all about the dress.

And the good news? When it's time to put summer dresses back in storage, AW09 rolls along with its own version of the perfect little dress. But both are just a warm-up for the big event of the year - choosing that head-turning Christmas party dress. Go on, admit it, dresses are sheer fashionista fun!

We're not short of dress fans here, so it's been a lot of fun choosing our recommended dress picks for summer, a selection that will translate well to AW09 too, and a Christmas party dress for early birds. You'll find lots of Sale bargains here too - I know, we're spoiling you.

Our picks for summer dresses...

On the catwalks, Calvin Klein, Day Birger and Mikkelsen and Mulberry all showed ethereal, beautifully cut dresses in innocent pastels. You can work the trend with this fair trade white linen Alchemist Bell Dress in a flattering bell shape or with Ciel’s demure Smock Dress.

In line with the current 1980s revival, Alexander Wang designed some nostalgic body-con numbers. This organic cotton Stewart Brown Long Merrow Tank would be perfect for an afternoon in the park or drinks on a terrace.

Prints were another star of the summer runways. Edun's Tuareg tunic has got to be the perfect tunic. Made in India from fair trade sources, this tunic will be perfect for very hot days, or over jeans or leggings when the weather gets chillier.

No summer wardrobe would be complete without a maxi sun-dress. Killerich has designed the ultimate maxi dress, in this season’s hit yellow (pictured). Perfect to cool down on a very hot day in the city, or to dance at a pool party!

And on to AW09...

Ethical fashion shoppers will be pleased to hear that many trends from SS09 will carry through to autumn/winter this year, starting with statement prints, and especially timeless animal prints. The Shazia Saleem Giraffe dress, made in peace silk and fairly traded in India (pictured left and above) will be perfect worn over opaque black tights.

Shazia Saleem has also designed a Check Weave and Frill dress which plays on another runway favourite: block colours. The mix of navy blue and pale green has the perfect amount of understated elegance which will take you effortlessly from the office to evening drinks. The silk was processed without the use of chemicals, making it a truly ethical and fair trade garment.

This Ciel Sophia Dress in a beautiful purple is reminiscent of the 1980s palette seen on Marc Jacobs’ runway. Its bright colours and organic jersey cotton is guaranteed to lift your mood on a sombre winter day.

Christmas party dress treat for early birds...

The Christmas party dress: a potential end-of-year pitfall against which our other sartorial choices will be judged. Ideally, it needs to check a few boxes: affordable, stylish, sparkling without turning you into a Christmas tree. It should be fashionable and sexy, but ensure that you keep your composure in front of fellow guests, no matter how many glasses of wine you've had!

The Amana Eleanora (pictured) is the perfect dress for the occasion. Its coral pink shade is the ideal alternative to the usual red or black, and will ensure you stand out in the crowd. The fluidity of its fairly traded and organically produced silk means you’ll want to dance again and again and again in it.

The LBD is the ultimate party fail-safe. This Edun Tribal One Piece is a successful spin on the season’s hardest look: the jumpsuit. Ethically made, this outfit will flatter your every curve thanks to its perfect tailoring. This is black with a twist guaranteed to put you firmly on the office best-dressed list.

See all day dresses at Equa

See all evening dresses at Equa

Visit the Equa Sale