• No Products in the Cart

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LINEN & HEMP CLOTHING

  • Michelle Doyle
  • Fashion
  • Sep 8, 2020
What's the difference between linen and hemp clothing?
Hemp and linen clothing

In the age of sustainable fashion, natural fabrics are becoming popular particularly if they are consciously produced. Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp and wool are all biodegradable and thus don’t pollute the earth when disposed of (if they haven’t been treated with lots of chemicals). This season, we predict a big rise in the popularity of linen and hemp clothing. But even the Equilibrio team were wondering what the difference is between these two textiles and if one is better than the other.

WHAT IS LINEN CLOTHING MADE FROM?

Linen clothing has been around for centuries. One of the oldest textiles used by humans, linen is made from the Flax plant (the same one that produces seeds with healthy oils).

Linen clothing
Linen fabric is made from the fibers of the Flax plant.

Beyond its rich history and aesthetic appeal, linen is 100% biodegradable and will return to the earth in less than six months, leaving no trace behind.

Linen clothing is also water-wise, requiring very little for both growing the plant and making the fabric. It’s a hollow fibre insulator which means it thermoregulates. Linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight whilst still feeling dry to touch.

All of the linen items on Equilibrio are made in small quantities in South Africa.

WHAT IS HEMP CLOTHING MADE FROM?

Hemp textile is made using fibres from the stalks of the Cannabis sativa plant (yes, it’s legal). Over the years, two distinct strains of the Cannabis sativa plant have emerged. The plants that have been bred for textile purposes are very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other psychoactive chemical constituents called cannabinoids. Only the outer layer of the plant’s stalk is used for textile purposes.

Hemp Clothing
Hemp fabric is made from the Cannabis sativa plant.

Hemp is an eco-friendly crop. It requires virtually no pesticides and needs very little water to grow and renews the soil with each growth cycle. The plant has long roots which prevent erosion and helps retain topsoil. Hemp also grows readily in most temperate regions. It is said that the textile has three times the strength of cotton.

WHY WE LOVE LINEN & HEMP CLOTHING

In the past, we pushed against the propensity for these natural fabrics to crease and crumple. We now wear “our crease proudly” knowing that it’s evidence that we’re wearing natural, earth-friendly fabrics.

Linen and hemp fabrics have many positive attributes. They are virtually lint-free, non-static, non-allergenic, provide UV protection, are mould resistant and are naturally insect repellent.

Depending on the weave, hemp and linen clothing can feel scratchy at first. When washed, the fabrics do soften. Sometimes the fabrics are blended with other textiles like cotton or Rayon to give them more softness.

The hemp and linen are durable and long-lasting fabrics, and if cared for, the garments will last decades.

DID YOU KNOW?

difference between linen, hemp and cotton
Top: Organic sateen cotton Middle: Organic natural linen Bottom: Organic natural hemp

1. The natural, un-dyed or -bleached colour of hemp ranges from light beige to grey-beige depending on climate conditions. Linen, on the other hand, is naturally consistently light grey and isn’t impacted by the weather. Organic cotton, by comparison, is naturally off-white.

2. Linen and hemp are “bast fibres”, that are extracted from stalks of flax and hemp plants. They are combed and spun into long strands and woven or knitted into fabrics. Cotton is different, yarn is spun from the cleaned fluff of cotton plant pods which is then woven into a fabric.

3. Hemp and linen have a very similar, textured look and feel where cotton (because it’s processed differently) mostly feels smoother.

4. Hemp is more versatile than linen but cotton is by far the most versatile and can be spun and woven into many different kinds of fabrics like flannel or sateen textures.

5. Thanks to the hollow cores of bast fibres, hemp and linen insulate very well and are also moisture-wicking. They are also more breathable than cotton.

6. Hemp and linen can be grown at any scale where cotton generally needs to be grown at large scale to be economical. Cotton is far more labour intensive to produce and uses more water.

(RELATED POST: 5 LINEN STYLES FOR HOT SUMMER DAYS)

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AS SA REACHES COVID-19 PEAK

  • Michelle Doyle
  • Health
  • Jul 31, 2020

After more than 140 days of coronavirus restrictions, including a hard lockdown, South Africans are starting to allow cracks to form in their protective Coronavirus armour as their willpower starts to wane.

In recent weeks a surge in snaps and videos of family gatherings, braais with friends, neighbourhood get-togethers and birthday bashes have surfaced on social media – showing signs that South Africans are lowering their guard.

Quarantine fatigue. South Africans are lowering their guard.

Nicole Jennings, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics says up until now, the preventative practices of wearing masks, physical distancing and frequent hand sanitising have kept cold and flu viruses at bay.

“Influenza cases usually spike around mid to late April in South Africa’s flu season, but to date there has been little sign of it. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms has also been delayed. However, it is critical that we keep flu cases low to avoid overburdening our already stretched healthcare system as we near the COVID-19 peak.”

Jennings cautions that as lockdown rules ease, the public shouldn’t become lax in adhering to health and safety regulations.

“By now everyone is experiencing quarantine or social distancing fatigue, and many may be looking for ways to ‘cheat’ as ‘safely’ as possible. In time, people will want to expand the circle of people they see. Already, parents are allowing their children to ride bikes together with friends and are experimenting with picnics and socially distanced walks while wearing masks.

“People are yearning for some normalcy, but the reality is, the more we mingle – even when wearing masks and social distancing – it increases our risk of infection.

“Our response to the easing of the lockdown will largely depend on our individual approaches to risk taking. The more risk-friendly among us, will welcome the newly sanctioned freedoms, whereas those that are more risk-averse will feel cautious about navigating the new normal.

“Keeping ourselves healthy and finding ways to boost our immune system has never been more important.”

KEEP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM STRONG

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AS COVID-19 PEAKS
Boost your immune system.

For those living with a partner or family member that has a compromised immune system or underlying medical conditions, she has the following advice:

  • The first line of defence is to practice good hygiene. We hear it all the time, but washing your hands with soap and water, especially before preparing food and after sneezing, coughing or using the bathroom is essential.

  • Good nutrition from a well-balanced diet is key to a strong immune system. Choose fresh, plant-based foods as much as possible. Frozen fruit and vegetables are also a good choice. At least two-thirds of your plate should be filled with vegetables, whole grains and fruit. The remaining third can be protein from lean animal or plant-based sources. Also, try to limit the number of processed foods you purchase. [RELATED POST: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A RAINBOW DIET]

  • If you are unable to follow a well-balanced diet, take a multi-vitamin or an immune-boosting supplement to top you up.

  • If you’re working from home or at the office, take regular breaks – especially if you’re sitting for most of the day. Be sure to stand up and stretch at least every hour. Your body needs a mental and physical time-out.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking between six and eight glasses of water a day. It will also help reduce cravings for unhealthy food.

  • Beat stress and anxiety by exercising regularly. Try walking or running outside or any home-based workout – YouTube is a great source for home workout videos. [RELATED POST: 5 HOME WORKOUTS TO DO DURING LOCKDOWN]

  • End your day with a good night’s sleep. Healthy sleeping habits promote good sleep that is needed to maintain strong immunity.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET THE SNIVELS

Should mild cold and flu symptoms arise, Jennings recommends treating it with over-the-counter pain relievers that will help reduce a fever, sore throat and headache. Antihistamines and decongestant nasal sprays will also reduce nasal congestion, while cough syrups will help to break up phlegm. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting enough rest is also vital.

“The healthier you are and the better you take care of your immune system, the less likely you are to fall ill.”

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE COVID-19

Call your doctor before going to their rooms if you suspect you have COVID-19.

She says if you suspect you may have COVID-19, it’s best to self-quarantine and to contact your GP over the phone first before going to their rooms. “Your doctor will ask you specific questions in order to properly assess you telephonically and then advise whether you should be tested for COVID-19.

“Doctors and other admin staff around the country have been trained to deal with COVID-19 cases and will take the necessary safety precautions to assist you promptly when you arrive while safeguarding themselves and others from possible infection,” says Jennings.

(ISSUED BY PHARMA DYNAMICS)

MY LOCKDOWN DETOXIFYING & MOISTURISING MASKS

  • Michelle Doyle
  • Beauty
  • Jul 2, 2020
Detoxifying and Moisturising Masks

Skincare hasn’t been all that easy during the COVID-19 lockdown. For a while, we couldn’t get our hands on any products and of course, professional treatments were impossible. But once online sales of skincare products were allowed, I stocked up! In this post, I’m reviewing five detoxifying and moisturising masks that I’ve been using for quite a few weeks.

WHY MY SKIN NEEDED DETOXIFYING & MOISTURING MASKS

I’m in my 40s and although I’m not prone to breakouts, I do like to deep cleanse my skin regularly. I find that using the occasional purifying product helps to restore radiance to my skin. At the same time, I live in Jo’burg which has a notoriously dry winter, often leaving my skin dry and flaky. So I can’t detoxify or exfoliate without adding moisture back into my skin.

MY FIVE DETOXIFYING AND/OR MOISTURING MASKS

Finally we’re writing about a face mask that isn’t made from fabric! Although reusable fabric face masks are super important in the age of COVID-19, let’s talk skincare for a minute or two.

Hey Gorgeous Vitanol-A Sleep Skin Mask

Moisture rating: 5/5

Detox rating: 2/5

Bonus feature: No need to rinse off!

Want a quick, soothing moisture boost? The Hey Gorgeous Vitanol-A Sleep Skin Mask is more like a thick, rich moisturiser than a typical mask. This leave-on skincare product is just the thing when you have thirsty skin.

It has natural plant-based Vitamin A that has great anti-ageing and resurfacing properties and Vitamin C for a radiance boost. Simply apply a thick layer to your face and neck, pat it into the skin, and go to bed. No need to rinse off. Suitable for vegans and made in SA.

Shop: Hey Gorgeous Vitanol-A Sleep Skin Mask, R525

Natraloe Face Mask For Dry Skin

Moisture rating: 3/5

Detox rating: 4/5

Bonus feature: Very well priced

This mask definitely falls into both the detoxifying and moisturising masks category. Apply a generous layer after cleansing – be careful not to squeeze the tube too hard as I did, it will burst at the top!

I have sensitive skin and this mask makes my skin tingle quite a bit. The recommended absorption time is 20-30 minutes, but because of the tingle (and my impatience), I only leave it on for 15 minutes. After removal, my skin is smooth but not tight thanks to the aloe gel in the mask. My face is, however, a little rosy for a few minutes so I can’t apply makeup immediately. This mask provides a good, deep detox. Made in SA.

Shop: Nataloe Face Mask Dry Skin, R150

Lulu & Marula Nourishing Mask and Polish

Detoxifying and Moisturising Masks

Moisture rating: 1/5

Detox rating: 4/5

Bonus feature: Comes as a powder which means it stores well

This mask is definitely one of my all-time favourites for a good detox and exfoliation. It contains clays, botanicals and enzymes for a great facial rejuvenation ritual. It’s also rich in Vitamin C a great anti-oxidant.

Image credit: Lulu & Marlua

This mask comes in powder form which you mix with any liquid like a facial oil, water or toner (or even yoghurt). You then apply the “pink mud” to your face, wait for it to dry in about 10 minutes. To remove add some water, gently massage and rinse off. It can be a messy business so I find it best to wash the mask off in the shower. This version is for dry, mature or sensitive skin. If you have oily skin, go for the Purifying Mask and Polish. Made in SA.

Shop: Lulu & Marula Nourishing Mask and Polish, R360.

Esse Clay Mask

Detoxifying and Moisturising Masks

Moisture rating: 4/5

Detox rating: 4/5

Bonus Feature: Doesn’t go rock hard on the face

I love the majority of the Esse skincare range, they are based near my home town in Richmond, Kwa-Zulu Natal and have received high acclaim for their range of probiotic-rich products. If you haven’t tried their flagship Esse Probiotic Serum, you’re missing out. It’s expensive but absolutely worth the investment especially if you have dry, sensitive skin.

But back to the Esse Clay Mask, this product really does fall in the category of detoxifying and moisturizing masks. It contains Kaolin and bentonite clay to gently draw out impurities and shea butter and coconut oil to moisturise. Rooibos provides a shot of anti-ageing antioxidants. A great mask with a luxurious feel.

Shop: Esse Clay Mask, R420

Hey Gorgeous Acai Berry & Rooibos Face Mask

Moisture rating: 5/5

Detox rating: 3/5

Bonus feature: Smells like pudding!

I’m besotted with the rich berry “pudding” smell of this mask. And I have to confess I actually did give it a little taste (not recommended)!

When applied this mask feels purely like a moisture mask with a very rich texture but it actually contains many antioxidant ingredients. Acai berry contains lots of vitamin A, C and E and Rooibos also adds to the antioxidant list. Kaolin clay draws out impurities and juniper helps to unclog pores and balance the skin. It really is a yummy mask that lifts and calms the skin. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and simply wipe off. Made in SA.

Shop: Hey Gorgeous Acai Berry & Rooibos Face Mask, R189

VIDEO: GET A SENSE OF THE TEXTURES OF THESE DETOXIFYING AND MOISTURISING MASKS

In this video, you can get an idea of what the masks look like inside the bottle.

(RELATED POST: ENJOY A SPA-WORTHY BATHING RITUAL AT HOME)

LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF MASK? WE HAVE THOSE!

BEST FACE MASKS FOR EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES

  • Michelle Doyle
  • Fashion
  • Jun 5, 2020
scarf mask best face masks for various everyday activities

I’ve quickly learned that having only one or two face masks is way too few. One needs to wash them after every use and some work better for certain daily activities than others. I soon realised that I need a face mask wardrobe!

What is a face mask wardrobe you ask? It’s a range of different styles of face masks that are used for various purposes. The mask I use while grocery shopping, for example, doesn’t work well for my morning jog. It gets uncomfortable and isn’t breathable enough. And if I’m wearing my glasses while working on my computer, I need a mask that limits misting up. So, I think you can see how I quickly ended up with a big collection of face masks.

Here are a few ideas and tips for the best masks for various daily activities:

Infographic best face mask for

BEST FACE MASKS FOR RUNNING ERRANDS

When I’m quickly hopping in my car to go grocery shopping, I like wearing a mask that is easy to put on and take off, is breathable and doesn’t look too bad with my casual wear. I really like the ones from Joburg brand JMVB which are made from two layers of high thread count cotton and a third, middle layer of Spunbond, non-woven filter. These masks are made with elastics around the ears which make them easy to remove and they wash very well.

Denim is a great fabric for masks it’s high density and very breathable.

BEST MASKS FOR EXERCISE

It has been particularly difficult to find a good mask for exercising. Cycling isn’t too bad with a buff since you have air flowing over your face and your sunglasses don’t mist up too fast, but to find a mask for running was a pain.

During my jogs, I felt like I couldn’t breathe and my sunglasses kept misting up. I needed to find a highly breathable mask that fits well over the nose to limit misting. I tried plenty and finally found the best option. Erre buffs and face masks all have upper wire that help your mask fit snugly over the bridge of your nose. If you move the mask up to just under the eyes and mould the wire close to your face, misting is limited.

BEST MASKS FOR THE SCHOOL DROP

With schools starting up again we’ll need to get back into the routine of the early morning school drop. The chill in the air calls for a buff mask which is nice and warm and also convenient. Or better yet, wear the Erre Buff Top, a polo neck with a built-in double layer buff mask with filter. Use it when you need it and fold it away when you don’t. See our video below on how it works.

If you prefer not to use a buff mask, a comfy cotton mask that’s easy to get on and off is just the thing.

BEST FACE MASKS FOR WORK

If you’re back at the office, you may need to wear a face mask for long periods of time. Some people find that elastics around the ears get uncomfortable after a while and prefer ties around the head. Also, if you wear glasses you’ll need a mask that has upper wire over the nose. A snug fit over the bridge of your nose will limit misting or fogging up of the glasses.

Erre face masks have adjustable ties around the head and upper wire for a close fit over the nose. They are machine washable.

BEST MASKS FOR BLING

We haven’t got many opportunities to dress up these days but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want a little shine in our lives. Even though masks are over our mouths they can be a great way to express ourselves too. Choose a brightly coloured mask from your mask wardrobe to express optimism or a sequins one to add a little bling to your outfit. Masks needn’t always be boring and are an inexpensive way to add luxury to your wardrobe.

These sequins masks, exclusive to Equilibrio, are lined in either Duchess Satin or Silk Acetate which feel wonderful on the skin and not at all scratchy. Beautifully made in limited quantities.

(RELATED POST: 7 Ways to style your black leggings)

5 CLASSIC WINTER COATS AND HOW WE’RE WEARING THEM

  • Jill Moolenschot
  • Fashion
  • May 26, 2020

If there’s one item in your closet where you should invest a little more, it’s your winter coat. At Equilibrio we are obsessed with coats. We appreciate that you can dress up and elevate any cool weather outfit with the addition of a stylish coat. All this while achieving one of the most basic human needs, to stay warm! In SA we don’t need especially heavy coats. We prefer to opt for lighter versions that are perfect for layering during our relatively more moderate winters. When a cold front hits, we simply pile on the additional layers.

These are the 5 winter coats that are currently on the top of our winter coat hit parade and how we’re wearing them this season.

THE WOOL BOMBER

Classic winter coats 2020

A stylish wool bomber injects just the right amount of tomboy cool into an outfit. It can work just as well with a pretty dress as with a pair of jeans, and it’s really comfortable and warm!

The Mareth Colleen two-tone wool bomber is the epitome of bomber glamour. While it looks utterly fab with jeans and sneakers, or even a winter boiler suit, we’re up-styling ours this winter with some of our favourite dresses layered with stockings or leggings and boots for extra warmth.

Shop the look

THE CAMEL TRENCH

Classic winter coats 2020

A neutral, camel-coloured trench coat is probably considered one the most classic winter coats by the fashion set. It’s a wardrobe stalwart that you can build any outfit around. I pair mine with anything from sneakers and a hoodie sweatshirt, to workwear. Since comfort is the name of this season’s work-from-home fashion game, I’m currently wearing mine with a formal shirt, statement flats and 80’s inspired jeans. Mareth Colleen has an infinitely more affordable, yet no less expertly made, version of this classic.

Shop the look

THE PERFECT PARKA

Classic winter coats 2020

A navy parker is the classic sporty winter outerwear of choice. It’s favoured by the likes of Kate Middleton for her official engagements in the English countryside during winter. It doesn’t get much more “classic” than that. We found the perfect parka for our local climate by Mareth Colleen. It’s beautifully made, fully lined and features two waist pockets, ribbed cuffs and a detachable hood that zips off. They’ve finished off their design, which they said went through numerous iterations until they were happy, with a traditional fishtail detail at the back.

Shop the look

THE MELTON CAR COAT

Classic winter coats 2020

The classic women’s melton car coat is understated and minimally styled to dress up or down. A great basic winter coat for your everyday winter layering. We’re loving JMVB’s Thatcher car coat featuring of-the-moment details like oversized cuffs and lapels. It’s also a belted version that gives it a luxurious robe-like feel. This gorgeous coat is handmade – taking an expert seamstress a full 8 hours to make just one coat. True luxury slow fashion.

Shop the look

THE ARMY GREEN COAT

Classic winter coats 2020

Army green is a colour that’s good on just about any skin tone and can pair without just about anything. Last season the army green jacket was hugely popular in a shorter, utility version paired with blue jeans. This season we’re loving JMVB’s army coloured trench and mostly wearing it with an all-black look.

Shop the look

This is not a sponsored post.

(Related Post: 7 WAYS TO STYLE BLACK LEGGINGS )

7 WAYS TO STYLE BLACK LEGGINGS

  • Jill Moolenschot
  • Fashion
  • May 4, 2020
ways to style black leggings

Black leggings are probably the most versatile, comfy bottoms one can have in your wardrobe. Thanks to the need for social distancing and lockdowns, comfort dressing has become a priority in 2020. However, being comfortable doesn’t mean one has to sacrifice style. We share 7 ways to style black leggings like our JMVB high-waisted leggings from Monday through Sunday.

JMVB’s fabulous high-waisted leggings are our favourite everyday-wear casual black leggings. The high waist is super comfy and supports the tummy very nicely ;). They are made from a matte Bon-Bon fabric that can be a tad bit sheer which is why we prefer to style our leggings with longer layers that cover the butt. Here’s how we’re wearing them this winter.

Oh and by the way, all the items we’ve styled our black leggings with in this post, are currently available on Equilibrio.

NEUTRAL COAT + LONG KNIT + BROGUES

Ways to style black leggings

Layering your black leggings with beige and stone coloured neutrals achieves a super chic, polished look. While at home wear your leggings with a longer neutral knit and brogues. When you go out, throw on a statement neutral coat and accessorize with an on trend chunky necklace and cool printed clutch.

Shop the look

OVERSIZED SHIRT + STATEMENT NECKLACE + PRINT LOAFERS

ways to style black leggings

This is such a fabulously easy way to look très chic while wearing black leggings. Simply accessorize a quality oversized shirt with some cool printed flats and a statement necklace.

Shop the look

LIGHT TRENCH + CREW NECK KNIT + ANKLE BOOTS

ways to style black leggings

We love this grunge inspired look of Kourtney Kardashian. Inspired by her, we paired our black leggings with an all-black crew neck knit and ankle boots.

Shop the look

SWEATER DRESS + LOAFERS

ways to style black leggings

A sweater dress is another fabulously versatile and comfy style favourite that is great for layering with black leggings in winter. Pair yours with loafers or cool sneakers for a simple yet stylish look. Less is more.

Shop the look

ARMY TRENCH + TEE + SNEAKERS

ways to style black leggings

Another casual street style that we love for its cool comfort. Pair your black leggings with a khaki coloured trench coat, white tee and black sneakers. Do a half tuck as pictured for a trendy vibe.

Shop the look

OVERSIZED KNIT + WRAP + SNEAKERS

ways to style black leggings

Pair your black leggings with a cozy knit top for the perfect lounge-about-at-home outfit. Toss over a stylish wrap for additional warmth or if you have to step outside.

Shop the look

SIMPLE CARDI + TURTLE NECK OR TEE + LOAFERS OR SNEAKERS

A simple cardi is yet another easy way to style black leggings for smart stay-at-home-comfort. Layer over a fine knit turtle neck or tee.

Shop the look

THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST

(RELATED POST: VIRTUAL OUTFIT OF THE DAY – COMFY KIMONO )