Friday, July 22, 2011

Ottawa Style: Ef Magazine

Ef Magazine is Ottawa's official style guide to sustainable fashion. They takes readers behind the scene and introduces them to a world of community leaders and fashion fanatics who are working hard to provide beautiful clothing that is made fairly, with as little impact on the environment as possible. Here Ef Magazine Editor-in-Chief Malorie Bertrand tells us all about the magazine, Ottawa Style and being eco chic.

Name: Malorie Bertrand
Age: 25
Occupation: Editor-in-Chief, Ef Magazine

When and why did you first start Ef Magazine?

Ef first went online back in 2008 thanks to help from a web design friend in London, Ontario (where I went to university). After graduation, I moved to Ottawa and my partners to all four corners of the globe, so the site fell behind a bit. This past January I bought a new computer with a simple website program and decided to update the site, throw a launch party and see what happens.

My partners and I first printed 50 hard copies of Ef on campus for an alternative media project. We wanted to combine our environmentalism with our love of fashion and provide consumers (such as ourselves) with information about eco-fashion – what it was, where to get it and how to wear it. We didn’t want to spend all of our time looking for advertisers to support our printing costs so we went online. Not only does this give us an international reach, but it’s cost effective and environmentally friendly.

How would you describe Ef?
Ef is a repository of designer profiles, fashion photo shoots, street style shots, product tips and shopping guides to equip consumers with the knowledge and inspiration they need to try their hand at sustainable consumption. Rather than be quite fact-heavy, we’ve opted to present lots of videos and images to cater to young people such as myself who enjoy reading magazines because of the style shots. 

Where do you get your inspiration?

I’m inspired to share information because I’m a communicator by nature. Fashion is my form of expression and to me, a fascinating way for people to communicate their identity to the outside world. My passion for environmental issues pushes me to continue to share information regarding the ever-growing sustainable fashion industry via designer video interviews, styling contests, boutique profiles and event info. I’ve always loved fashion magazines. The magazine rack has a magnetic pull for me and I always end up ditching my grocery shopping partner for a quick browse through Vogue or Real Simple. I’m inspired by my love of magazines and providing readers with an engaging online experience. Ef is definitely still a work in progress but we’re working towards empowering readers to become online contributors. We invite our readers to send us their style shots, write ups on their favourite second-hand/consignment shops and to highlight upcoming designers they love.

Who are your style icons?
I recently cut my hair short so I turn to Audrey Hepburn for tips on how to compliment short hair with classic style. I’m never disappointed by Olivia Palermo’s street shots and although I’d like to see Jennifer Aniston mix her style up a bit more, I think of her when I want to look casual yet put together. She has a way of adding the right gold accessories to dress up jeans and a t-shirt.

Describe your personal style.
I really do dress by my mood so I can’t be relied upon to always look tip-top (as much as I’d like to). I am quietly adventurous and like to add an unexpected twist to an otherwise common outfit. I’m average height with a bit of a Britney Spears build so I try to stick to clothes that accentuate my assets rather than drown in fabric. I like mixing neutrals with colours that pop and thrift pieces with modern ones.

Where are your favourite places to shop?
Thrift, consignment, garage sales – love, love, love. I rarely buy new unless it’s shoes (because I have yet to find a sustainable brand of high heeled shoes in Ottawa that are work/club appropriate), or a sustainable line of clothes from Victoire Boutique or Flock. For consignment, I love AMH Style (formerly Hush) and Rikochet Resale. Young Jane’s is a really fun place to get vintage pieces.

What are your favourite trends this season?
Spring/Summer 2011 brought a lot of colour blocking with tropical/neon tints, the simplicity of the 60’s and beautiful maxi skirts in elegant floral patterns.

Style/Beauty Pet Peeves?
I want people to learn how to dress in clothes that accentuate their assets. Fitted clothes with colours that suit your skin tone and shapes that compliment your body make everyone look fabulous.

Where do you see yourself and your site in five years?
I want to see Ef as a robust, visible and well-known online resource for sustainable style. Ef will be sponsoring events, updating its content on a daily basis, being invited to talk sustainable fashion on TV, radio, blogs, etc. and write guest columns. It will be known for helping to grow the sustainable fashion industry in Canada and abroad by educating the public on their consumer choices and inspiring with style tips and beautiful photo shoots.

From the sounds of it, Ef is more than on their way! For more Ef Magazine or to learn more about sustainable fashion visit and join the sustainable conversation on Twitter @efmgzn.   

All images courtesy of Ef Magazine.


  1. Ef Magazine is such a fresh and inspirational magazine, much needed in Ottawa (albeit I'm a little biased since I'm a contributor!) Malorie is so informed about sustainable living and really brings energy into the fashion industry- great interview!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, definitely will check it out! It's always great to shed some light on new emerging talent, so kudos to you for doing this! Also, Ottawa's where I was technically born (though I was raised in Quebec), so I would love to look into some homegrown talent! Hope you had an amazing weekend love :)

    Alexandra xo



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