Eco-model and activist Summer Rayne Oakes. Photo by Johnathan Dennis

Summer, on Spring: Interview and Eco Fashion Forecast
Organic Spa Magazine STYLE
by Zoe Helene

Eco-model and activist Summer Rayne Oakes sees bold expression and simple classics living in harmony this season.

At 9 p.m., following an all-day photo shoot, eco-model and activist Summer Rayne Oakes found time to talk to OSM style correspondent Zoe Helene about Source4Style, her matchmaking site for sustainable textiles, and her new film eXtinction, playing at festivals nationwide.

What drove your decision to produce and star in eXtinction?

I am a realistic optimist. I acknowledge the fact that we are going to lose a lot of things in our lives. That is now inevitable. eXtinction talks about some of the most pressing issues, things that are happening now—not thousands of years from now, but within our lifetimes. There are so many ways we can create a better life, but we can’t be too airy-fairy about it. Clayton Haskell, the director, captures this brilliantly in the movie.

What’s the bottom line?

It’s not preventable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. At the end of the day, trying to help is more meaningful.

Tell us about Source4Style.

The timing was right. I approached my partner, fair trade ecopreneur Benita Singh, to start a marketplace that directly connects designers with artisan suppliers. Most designers don’t know how to (or don’t have time to) access the supply world, and most suppliers lack the resources or know-how to reach designers. With Source4Style, we’re connecting earth-conscious designers and artisan sources all over the world. Everything is carefully selected from 23 countries (we’re growing fast!). All of our suppliers fulfill at least one of five sustainability criteria.

What inspires you?

I try to make fashion relevant to people who might not otherwise find it of interest. Meeting the challenges helps me grow as a human being, and that alone gets me up in the morning. I like to challenge my thought systems.


Spring Forecast

Summer Rayne Oakes says new sustainable dyeing techniques are bringing fresh, bright color to the runways this spring.

One Shoulder Dress by Afia 1. “I’m seeing a lot of carry-over from the season before, so a lot of artisan fabrics and color. African textiles, batiks, items with indigenous flare, and by ‘indigenous’ I mean culturally relevant. That’s continuing.” - Summer Rayne Oakes

One Shoulder Dress by Afia in #1 Stunna in authentic Ghanaian cotton wax from Akosombo Textile Limited

Organic Cotton Box Top in Dark Oatmeal and Organic Linen Drawstring Pant from Eileen Fisher “Then there’s this other side that’s very clean and idealist. Not bohemian, necessarily, but classic, simple, clean.” - Summer Rayne Oakes
Costello Tagliapietra Dress “Innovation in textile printing processes like digital printing and air dyeing (a new way to dye and print fabric without using water) enables new expression.” - Summer Rayne Oakes

Accessories in Bloom

Doloris Petunia Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friendship Cuff, $500 Los Angeles-based designer Courtney Price designed this custom-fitted cuff from fine vintage and Swarovski crystals following her motto: one-of-a-kind is the new black.

ICU Eyeware Citron Stained Bamboo Temple Reader, $62.95 These stylish “readers” are made from reclaimed plastic, recycled metal and sustainable bamboo.
Sohandloom Depot Orange Cocktail Clutch, $115 Sheila Odessey weaves natural cotton yarn and recycled pop-culture plastic bags into artful clutches. This orange is big on runways this season.

Artisan Impact 14K Rose Gold Ring With Green Lemon Quartz, $866 This stunning rose gold ring, featuring inlaid green lemon quartz, is handmade by Oded & Ilan.
January 2012