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Penny Dowling

Penny Dowling owner of ethical womenswear indie Equa in Islington, north London.

Brands include Beyond Skin, Eden, People Tree, Stewart Brown.

How is trade at the moment?

Business is really starting to pick up now. It’s still been a little slow but sales have definitely improved compared with this time last year.

Which brands are selling best at the moment?

Kuyichi has been doing well this season, particularly its denim collection. Annie Greenabelle has also proved popular. It has affordable prices without compromising on quality, which is what our customers want.

Have you bought into any new brands for spring 10?

We’re bringing in Jackpot next season. It’s a Danish brand that uses organic cotton and has programmes in place to support its overseas suppliers, so it really fits with the other brands at Equa.

What challenges does the ethical fashion sector face?

It’s been challenging in our sector during the recession, but it’s been tough for everyone. We are definitely seeing fewer of the younger shoppers coming thorough our doors. I think they’ve cut back on their spending more than older women.

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