Either/Or offers you Canadian, contemporary sustainable fashion under one virtual roof to help build a future in which fashion benefits people and planet.
Hi, I'm Malorie. It's very nice to virtually meet you. The video above was filmed almost a year ago now when I launched a crowdfunding campaign for the shop. It seems like ages ago now and I'm happy to be able to finally share this vision with you.
Thank you for taking the time to visit this shop and explore its pages. I've been scouring this site for months now, tweaking text here, editing an image there, trying my best to give you a simple, easy and genuine online shopping experience. I hope that my quest to offer you more sustainable ways to shop inspires you to look at fashion and the clothing you wear differently.
I started working on this shop more than a year ago with encouragement from my boyfriend. We live together in the suburbs of Ottawa, Ontario in a row house where I run the shop after hours when I'm not working full time as a communications professional. I wish I could say that we also have a dog, but I have to wait until the spring to make that dream a reality.
I've been writing about sustainable fashion for the past eight years on my blog EF Magazine. I started off just wanting to promote new designers. I'd write profile pieces on them and include some shots of their collections. I soon realized that if I wanted to properly promote sustainable fashion, I'd also have to promote sustainable consumption. This meant I couldn't use typical marketing lingo to promote products to my readers or focus my text on the very act of buying.
My posts turned into lifestyle guides with how-to's on decluttering, buying less and buying better. My interests and lifestyle choices started to align more with minimalism and finding joy in what I already had and doing my best to buy more responsibly. For me, this meant buying locally made goods as much as I could, and buying quality pieces.
About four-five years ago, I expanded my blogging into a freelance styling gig, which gave me a close look into the closets of Ottawa women. All of my clients had one thing in common: they wanted to buy less, have less but own better clothing. I developed a three-hour process during which time I'd help my clients whittle down their wardrobes to the bare essentials and write them a small shopping list of staples to help them round out their clothing options. I'd also give them a list of places to shop in town for ethically made, sustainable clothing. The online options, however, were less obvious.
Things were coming together in my mind. I wanted to focus my passion, my efforts on helping people find a balance between buying sustainable fashion and also buying less. I wanted to make it easier for people to find Canadian-designed and made fashion online. It seems like an odd space in which to live at first, but it's a work in progress.
Now, I'm building a slow online business and carrying some wonderful labels. I'm still working full time, and I plan to do so for at least three years. I hope that at that time I can sell enough to make a difference for the labels we carry and to support my lifestyle. I don't want to grow this shop into a mega site. I always want to have a handle on things, to keep my inventory small, to buy for quality and versatility (not trends) and to really get to know you, my client.
I can't sell sustainable fashion honestly if I'm focused on selling as fast as I can, buying more, selling more and promoting more mindless consumption. I want you to come to the site when you have a need for a timeless, versatile, quality made piece. I hope that you take your time, research your options and make an informed decision.
Does this seem counterintuitive to business? Of course, because it is, but I think people are ready for a change. People don't want to spend their hard-earned money on something that'll fall apart in six months and that was made through labour exploitation and environmental degradation. Either/Or is here to show you that you have options to help you dress thoughtfully and I hope you do.
Thanks again for your support,
What's with the eucalyptus?
In the early days of brand brainstorming with the agency I hired to design the shop's brand, I decided to have a floral mascot of sorts - an image that I'd subtly use throughout the shop's content. I chose to use the varieties of eucalyptus trees available to throughout the seasons.
The eucalyptus branches serve as a reminder of why I'm taking care to offer ethical and sustainable products - because I feel strongly in taking care of people and planet.