“ecomodel” Summer Rayne Oakes strikes (another blow for ecofashion) again: with Payless ShoeSource

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 13, 2008
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Summer Rayne Oakes has done more than just about anyone…except for maybe Yvon Chouinard to promote ecofashion as a mainstream viable, stylish, affordable, fair-labor alternative to conventional, chemical-laden clothes—like what you’re wearing right now, most likely. Announced today, the 24-year-old stunner continues to demonstrates she’s as boardroom business savvy as she is good-to-look-at (you know, she used to make most of her living as a professional model). Here’s the Press Release:

Payless to Roll Out Sustainable Shoe Collection via MEGHAN CASS Oct. 13, 2008

NEW YORK — Payless ShoeSource will announce today it is adding a new line of eco-friendly footwear to its stable of brands.

To support the launch, the Topeka, Kan.-based chain, a division of Collective Brands Inc., has signed fashion model and eco-consultant Summer Rayne Oakes to help develop the yet-to-be-named line, which will be sold in about 500 Payless locations starting in April 2009.

Matt Rubel, president and CEO of Collective Brands, said that Payless could bring sustainable fashion to the masses by using its economies of scale to purchase certified-organic and recycled materials at an affordable price. “We have more than 4,500 stores — Payless is Main Street. What we do gets into neighborhoods and to people who might not normally have access to [sustainable fashion],” he said. 

The first collection of eight to 12 styles of women’s shoes and handbags will retail for about $30. Footwear for men and kids will follow, with distribution growing to 1,000 stores. “This is part of a larger company initiative on many levels, and this line is going to help teach us how to do it,” Rubel said. He expects methods and materials for the green line to cross over into Payless’ other brands as well. “We are examining everything that we do. It’s part of a holistic approach [to increase sustainability],” he said.

“We are also trying to source more locally, because that decreases transportation,” said Oakes, who is best known as the Discovery Network’s “Planet Green” fashion and beauty expert. She will be working on sourcing and supply chain issues, providing design direction and appearing in advertisements.

“With the economy the way that it is now, many people think [green products] are that much more inaccessible, so this line is coming at the right time,” said Oakes. And she hopes other large companies will take notice of Payless’ sustainable efforts. “Part for the rest, click here.


For our video interview with sweet Summer Rayne, click here. No, here. Or, here.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to ““ecomodel” Summer Rayne Oakes strikes (another blow for ecofashion) again: with Payless ShoeSource”

  1. […] of the moment, the below is an exceptionally intelligent, straight-to-point summation of where the green fashion movement is at. Excerpt: “Eco fashion” has definitely become the buzzword of the […]

  2. […] since I’d assured my longtime buddy Heather English (who I met years ago at Kyudo) that sweet Summer Rayne was the ultimate ‘eco product placement’ and advocate. Six months later, Heather […]

  3. […] We’ve reported on Summer Rayne Oakes‘ partnership with Payless on their eco, green Zoe & Zac line. Click here for video. I’m not sure what the Zac stands for, as there aren’t any mens shoes, but hey—this represents a seminal change in the green conversation—folks can no longer say, ah, love the Mother Earth thing, but that stuff is too expensive, it’s just for yuppies. This entire line is below $30. Must be made in China, or something similar, at prices like that? Well, I’ll give ‘em the benefit of doubt, until I know otherwise…Summer Rayne Oakes, the Famous Princess of Ecofashion, always does her best to make sure that social and fair-labor issues are part of the green conversation. […]