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.
ZOE HELENE, an award-winning designer and sustainability pro-activist, is developing Cosmic Sister, a collective venue for kindred-spirit women. cosmicsister.com