Summer Rayne Oakes Makes #4 in SSF's Best Dressed List


This April, the Sustainable Style Foundation announced their Best Dressed Environmental List. Summer Rayne made #5 in 2007 and inched her way to #4 this year. ** Thanks to Robin for putting together a nice collage of images of Summer Rayne's looks this past Earth Week*** Here's the rest of them below.

April 13th, 2008 - Seattle Green Festival main stage
ph: Chip Py. Dress by Beau Soleil.

April 19th, 2008 - Emcee at SF Green Apple Festival
Dress by Manish Arora

April 21st, 2008 - Attending the LOHAS/BBMG Event at ABC
Dress by Manish Arora

April 22nd, 2008 - LOHAS Press Luncheon/Ben Jelen Concert/Ingeo Earth Month
Havana pant and shirt by Anna Cohen; dress by Doie Designs

April 23rd, 2008 - The Discovery Upfronts
Summer Rayne Oakes with Annabelle Gerwich at the Discovery Upfronts. Summer Rayne wears a re-created vintage bustier dress by Deborah Lindquist.

April 24th, 2008 - Project Earth Day Ecofashion Show
Summer Rayne Oakes, Sass Brown, and Jill Fehrenbacher - judges at Project Earth Day student fashion show. Summer Rayne wears a Beau Soleil dress; iwood eco glasses; and hand made necklace with found stones by Kirsten Muenster ph:

April 25th, 2008 - Green Tie Gala
Dress by Enamore

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How Do You Like Them [Green] Apples?


Emceeing Green Apple SF in my psychedelic Manish Arora dress
Radio Active and I. Ph: Diana Kurnit
Tommy on the drums. Ph: Diana Kurnit
Catching up. Ph: Diana Kurnit
"So I saw this porcupine on the street..."
In awe with Wavy Gravy. Ph: Diana Kurnit
Crowd went on for miles...
and miles...
Pumping up the crowd

Written for

“Go easy on me,” Tommy Lee said in a whisper. “You know I’m a green virgin.”

“Sorry Tommy,” I said with a smile. “I like to go deep.”

Earth Day celebration in San Francisco is probably the perfect place to give Tommy Lee and Ludacris the Green 101. The artists, (both who are participants in Planet Green’s Battleground Earth), paid a visit to the Bay Area during the Green Apple Festival. They may have well been on another planet though, because you know how freaky cool San Francisco can get around Earth Day .

SF Green Apple was just one of eight festivals happening around the United States. The entire eight city event boasts the largest Earth Day gatherings, drawing crowds of 500,000 plus not to mention all the viewers who tuned into the Myspace/iclips network streaming podcasts on Earth Day. (Don’t worry: For those of you who missed it, iclips will be archiving in on their website soon enough). The events happen rain or shine. Just ask the good-spirited crowd in Washington, D.C. who got pummeled with rain and windstorms. Tens of thousands of umbrellas raised their heads to hear music from Warren Haynes, Umphrey’s McGee, and a host of other musicians. Ed Norton, Chevy Chase, Denis Hayes (Organizer of First Earth Day), and Thomas Friedman (sans the pie-in-his-face) all got to the stage to rally the crowd.

On the opposite coast, I was preparing to emcee with my beatboxing boy, Radio Active, whose voice shares an uncanny resemblance to Tone Loc. Radio said he’s participated in all three of the SF Green Apple Festivals, which draws a crowd of about 25,000 each year.

Brett Dennen opened it up with some great tunes. Mickey Hart was joined later by Tommy and a host of other musicians. Ahhh the harmony! My good friend Randy Hayes, founder and President of Rainforest Action Network, rallied the crowd. We both joshed with Bill McKibben backstage, giving him a hard time for the number of trees that were sacrificed for his long ass, (but well-deserved) bio; he got out there and rocked out the 350 Campaign. The dapper Mark Leno, CA State Assemblyman, renewable energy champion, presented SF with a rallying cry for clean energy. He’s also running for State Senate and I love the fact that he has an Earth in the “O” of his name. Go ahead check it out on his website.

I looked out at the sea of people. There wasn’t a patch of grass that I could see. A group of guys were laying on a sectional near the front of the stage. Guys and girls had their shirts off, dancing in the cool morning sun. Hippies and former hippies-turned-business-tech-financial gurus threw their hands up to the light breeze. A cloudy haze filled the air, only this wasn’t from the seasonal fog that sits its thick gray tushy over the Golden Gate State. Viva Woodstock. Enough said.

I wore a psychedelic silk dress hand-constructed by Indian designer Manish Arora. “Whoa man, I can see myself in your dress,” a dead head fan (or was it a dread head?) said eyeing my mirrored corset. “Thank you for bringing back the spirit of Woodstock.”

“My pleasure,” I said shaking his hand as I walked past two women dressed as a bumble bee and butterfly and a man in carrot costume. The three of them flitted around, pollinating a woman on stilts dressed as a flower.
Wavy Gravy, the infamous Peace & Love Clown and a flavor of Ben & Jerry ice cream, waddled past Tommy and me with his salmon and platypus. Dude, I’m totally convinced that you haven't lived until you pet Wavy's platypus and kissed Jane Goodall's toy monkey, Mr. H.

“What a spirited crowd.” I thought to myself. “I love this movement.”

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Green Jobs Rocks My [Green] World


We're on it. Ibrahim and I. Organic cotton "Clean Up or Die" tee by Katharine Hamnett!
Michael - I lost your contact!!! Get in touch with me!
Welcome to the Gun Show!
Vincent, you're the man!
My good friend Billy Parish, founder of Energy Action
Recording the music
Vincent (left) was the shit. He and I kept it real at the dinner. Richard Halpin (right) runs out in Texas.
Van signs his early-release book for me.
Ibrahim (Saudi Arabia) & Ibrahim (New York)
Father of environmental justice, Robert Bullard speaks at Dream Reborn. Some other notables are Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mom, who spoke of black entrepreneurship; Majora Carter of the Sustainable South Bronx, Van Jones of the Ella Baker Center; Bracken Hendricks of the Apollo Alliance, and a host of others. They were all invigorating speakers.
A group of Dream Reborners gather for a photo opp.
We even took the trombone player to the streets
We created such a commotion in the streets, silhouettes stared from the hotel windows. We brought the jam band outside and hundreds of us piled together for a big hug-out.

Thank you Energy Action and Green for All for reinvigorating my faith in a REAL, pulsing environmental movement. All others pale in comparison. Dream Reborn kicked off in Memphis, Tennessee (April 4-6, 2008) in commemoration of the civil rights movement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This was no replay of 1968. This was a rallying movement and training program to address global climate change, equity, and racially-just green jobs. 1,200 people, principally young citizens, came together to jumpstart the National Green Jobs campaign that is underfoot. Might as well tell you that it's happening, so you're not too surprised when it comes to a city or town near you! You'll see me posting more about this as the year forges on, as it's rapidly becoming one of my core personal projects. I haven't been this invigorated since 2000 when I started on my sustainable fashion stuff! Thanks to all my friends in the movement, look forward to rocking it out with you.

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Flock This Way



Did you check out the Flock Eco Browser? It's totally cool. It streams all the important green content, news, and opinions from over 30 different hand-picked sources, including this blog. How about them [green] apples? But you'll also get great news from,,,, and, for example.

You can also view all the flickr photos and log onto your social networking sites at the same time, which is pretty cool. It's a great way to stream all of your content on the same page. Check it out here.

Might I add too that Flock is donating 10% of all search proceeds from the 'Eco-Edition' browser to environmental organizations of the searcher's choice. Pretty sweet!

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I love the Germans or perhaps it's the other way around. No matter- there's just all love up in this house. And the Germans are just so on top of all things going on. The Frankfurter gave me some props in a recent issue and ran this beautiful photo that Anouk and I did at my place before she left New York. I'm wearing a Katharine Hamnett shirt and John Patrick Organic jacket. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Josh from Relix Magazine, one of the organizers of the event

My son, Dr. Hayes, Founder of the Rainforest Action Network

Had a blast emceeing with my beatboxing boy, Radio Active, at the San Francisco Green Apple Festival. The Green Apple Festivals are the largest Earth Day celebrations in the U.S. and were a hit in 8 cities this year. Myspace, in collaboration with iclips network and the Earth Day Network, are streaming the music from the event. Check it out here. Hung a bit with Tommy Lee and his troupe, giving him the Green 101 and even stopping to play football with a man dressed as a carrot stick, and two women dressed as a bumble bee and butterfly. Also got to pet Wavy Gravy's platypus. Dude, you haven't lived until you pet Wavy's platypus and kissed Jane Goodall's toy monkey.

Only in San Francisco...

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Pump the Drums and Bass: Green Apple Festival San Francisco


Hey dread heads, dead heads, and everyone who loves great music. I'll be emceeing the Green Apple Festival out in my favorite city, San Francisco with Radio Active. Good balance between speakers and great music -- Mickey Hart's Mass Drums, Yonder Mountain String Band, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Brett Dennen.

Green Apple Festivals are America's largest Earth Day Celebration -- in 8 cities this year.

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Yeah, the new cover of TIME Magazine looks nothing like the Campus Climate Challenge's logo.

Not only that, but have you seen lately? -- yes, that is Bono's organization fighting poverty. They are hard-pressed to start a better grassroots movement (since that top-down shit doesn't work all that well sometimes). They literally copy and pasted the source code from the Campus Climate Challenge's website and stole the "U" from MTV U (Richard Graves and I had to laugh over this over a few French Fries). Go ahead, have a look-see. It's uncanny! Really, we're all flattered. We just wanted to say, we're watching. And yes, we know we're doing a fabulous job organizing and communicating....but there is much to be done and much on the plate. So stay tuned!

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I got back from my talk at the Green Festival in Seattle a few days ago. What a crowd! Thank you Seattle for showing your support. And thank you to all the familiar (and new) faces in the audience. We had a pretty packed house...and for my first main stage was a GREAT turn-out!

The topic was "Green Gone Wild" - how to keep the movement real and grounded [Seattle-style]. So we honed in on our inner power to GET what we want people to do...Call it...inspiration...had a great time: cracked a few jokes...cut out half of my talk because I was getting short on time and went right for the jugular: Citizenship, Power Shift, Racially-just Green Jobs, AND Direct Action!

Washington Staters: Here me out. Governor Gregoire has just passed a historic bill. The first of it's kind to tackle both CLIMATE CHANGE & GREEN JOBS! At the closing of my speech I presented a "Thank You" and "We'll be supporting you" letter. The letter is Green For All-, Cascade Climate Network-, Climate Solutions-, Apollo Alliance-approved. (Groups that have been doing a great job pushing for this legislation, by the way!) I had 300 letters and I got 300 back! I should have had triple that though, because that is how many of you turned out. So for those that want to see the letter and get involved in your community, use this as a template or Climate Solutions has an e-mail version right here.

Governor Chris Gregoire
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Dear Governor Gregoire,

As a constituent of Washington and staunch supporter of clean energy solutions and racially-just green collar, I am writing to thank you for supporting the Washington State Climate Action and Green Jobs Bill.

This historic piece of legislation will not only help build a sustainable economy for the state of Washington, but will also serve as a model for the rest of the country. I have full faith that when the time comes to fund the green jobs training program, you will provide your support. As you already know, enacting the bill will be fundamental to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty and fight ever-rising green house gas emissions.





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It was Pete's brilliant idea not to create an all-out green show, but build green features into MTV's most popular show, The Real World. As part of MTV's Break the Addiction campaign, Think MTV partnered with Bunim-Murray Productions to help put together an eco-friendly house for the 20th season of Real World. In addition to the green house, Bunim Murray did many things to "green" their production of the show, and the roommates were given tips on how they could improve their lives and reduce their impact on the planet during the season.

You can join and tell them what you think. And want that dress? I'm wearing a silk/organic cotton dress by Bahar Shahpar, a necklace by Be Carbon Neutral, and a bag by Voltaic Systems. View all four videos here:

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Bring Your Rowdy On! Seattle-Style <3


I know I said I was speaking on the 12th of April, but I lied to you. It's April 13th folks. Main Stage. 1 PM. At the Washington Convention Center. Seattle Green Festival. "Green Gone Wild - Seattle-Style."

I swung by today and the place is gorgeous. What a great set-up they have! Mayor Greg Nickels, who has been very vocal on climate change, will be doing the opener for the Green Festival. He's also proposed a disposable bag (both paper + plastic) tax, which hopefully will get passed.

Seattle is buzzing this week. I know his Holiness, the Dalai Lama is in town too, so there is plenty to do and see this week.

If you want to have some fun and get some knowledge, drop by my talk. Bring your banners and bring your rowdy on, because I'm not about to give a canned talk.

For Green Gone Wild, I'll cover issues ranging from sustainable fashion, environmental activism, sustainability consulting + media, racially-just green jobs, direct action, and always...a little bit of humor. And oh yea, some free stuff too. Keep it fun for everyone.

See you there!

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Irish Times Highlights Our TOMS Shoes Trip


photos: Esther Havens

While some of us struggle to manage our shoe collections, many children have no footwear at all. A young American entrepreneur hopes to rectify the situation, writes DEIRDRE MCQUILLAN

WAY UP in the mountains of northern KwaZulu-Natal, about a seven-hour drive from Durban, hundreds of children are waiting eagerly in their classrooms for a delivery of new shoes. Many students trek daily to Juba's school in their bare feet through dense forestry and across rivers - when it rains, conditions become even more arduous. It is not unusual in these remote rural places for them to face a walk of nearly two hours to and from school each day.

Today, however, three vanloads of Americans are coming to distribute 50,000 free canvas shoes called TOMS in all colours and sizes that are already cult items sported by a more privileged elite living in very different circumstances on the west coast of the US.

The story of TOMS began when Blake Mycoskie, a 30-year-old Texan and former philosophy student living in Los Angeles, went to Argentina for three weeks in January 2006 to learn how to play polo and discovered the alpargata, an inexpensive traditional rope-soled espadrille worn by the gauchos. Mycoskie, the son of an orthopaedic surgeon and a best-selling cookery writer, was also struck by the barefooted children living in poverty in the area, often scrabbling around rubbish dumps, their feet cut and bruised.

An entrepreneur who had masterminded a number of successful ventures, he got the idea of upgrading the alpargata for the US market and for every pair sold would donate another to a child without footwear on a one-for-one basis. So, with his polo teacher, Alejo Nitti, as partner, he set up TOMS, derived from "Shoes for Tomorrow", enlisting the help of a factory in Buenos Aires. The hip new alpargata, which costs $4 to make and sells in the US for $38, came with improvements such as a hard-wearing rubber sole, leather insole and zany, colourful canvas uppers. The initial run, an investment of $2,000, was 250 pairs, which Mycoskie brought back in duffel bags to sell in LA.

A year later, TOMS has become an astonishing success story with some 10,000 pairs sold in the space of eight months through its website,, and in shops such as American Rag, a famous fashion store in LA, and trendy Scoop in New York's meatpacking district. Celebrity endorsement from the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Keira Knightley and Cameron Diaz fanned the flames and the shoes won a Smithsonian design award last October. The lightning speed of the idea and enthusiasm for the product and its cause has taken all those involved by surprise, not least the company's founders, who were initially overwhelmed with orders following widespread publicity for their story.

In keeping with the pledge to give one away for every one sold, Mycoskie and a T-shirted, gum-chewing team of family and friends flew to Argentina last October to distribute 10,000 pairs from a double-decker bus. What that meant was going into the northern Argentine jungle and fitting each pair on every child, working tirelessly until no bare feet were left. For all concerned, it was an extraordinary and, at times, very emotional experience.

Now the focus has turned to South Africa, where in tandem with Food4Africa, an NGO feeding 16,000 malnourished children a day in the Eastern Cape, the TOMS shoe bandwagon rolls into action. They arrive armed with a consignment of 50,000 pairs of shoes from Argentina and face a back-breaking schedule of visiting at least four schools a day in widely scattered, disadvantaged areas. The groundwork was prepared and schools selected by three hard-working members of Food4Africa.

The group of 25 workers are mostly Americans and volunteers from the company and interested friends of TOMS. The team includes Mycoskie, his mother Pam, father Mike and brother Taylor, alongside Alejo Nitti, a distributor from Korea, and assorted Californians, cameramen and photographers. A key player in organising the event was Candice Wolfswinkel from Phoenix, Arizona, who has extensive experience in managing charitable foundations. Boxes and boxes of shoes, from tiny TOMS in red and white stripes to colourful tartans and corduroys, are loaded into vans.

The drill is to arrive at a school, set up in one of the classrooms, line up the children, then fit the shoes on their little feet. The delighted, if often bemused, smiles on their faces is reward enough, though there are occasional disappointments when the right size isn't available, pacified by promises to send on replacements. The sheer entertainment provided by the madcap Californians who came with skateboards and played football with the kids outweighs everything else.

"They'll talk about this for weeks afterwards," says Mr Myeni, the principal of Jubas school, after hundreds of children had received their shoes, sweets and colourful elastic bands handed out by Pam Mycoskie. "They have enjoyed this so much. It's been more than just shoes. By playing, running and laughing with them, your coming has been a blessing," he said.

The area around Juba is spectacularly beautiful, with lush green hills and panoramic views, but the reality on the ground paints a grimmer picture. In a country with some 2.2 million children orphaned under the age of 17 and 65 per cent living at home with teenage heads of households, so-called child parent families, this district is one of the most economically deprived in all of South Africa. There is 80 to 90 per cent unemployment and the generation of parents from 20-49 has been all but wiped out by HIV/Aids. Many of the children so eagerly trying on their new shoes had come to school on empty stomachs.

Sisizakele Special School for children with disabilities was set up five years ago, the first and the only one of its kind in a population of 108,000, and some of the problems are only too evident. Run by a dedicated principal, Lorato Jood, three teachers and voluntary house mothers, it caters for 40 children, most of whom have congenital disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Aperts syndrome and autism. There are more than 1,000 children needing special care, but there is only one therapist in the area. Sisizakele can only cope with 40 children.

Many of the children, ranging in age from two to 16, were in wheelchairs or leg irons. One little boy could only walk struggling on his knees. But they sat and sang, and those that could danced a traditional stamping Zulu dance. Their housemothers sing May You Stay Forever Young for the guests. In return, much to the amazement of the gathered throng, two of the Californians lunge into an impromptu Zulu dance that puts smiles on the faces of even the most severely disabled kids.

FOR THESE YOUNG US philanthropists, the experience validates a collective belief that there are new ways of doing business to which consumers will respond. Many refer to Invisible Children, a documentary about child soldiers in Uganda made by three film school graduates from Los Angeles that had an enormous effect in the US of raising awareness of the issues and prompted the setting up a charity called Invisible Children.

"Youth in the US are organising in a major way like never before using new media for discussions," says Mike Hammer, who runs TOMS intern programme in Los Angeles. "People are finding creative ways to raise awareness of issues. We should do all that we can to use our privileged position to make the life of those struggling in the world better - that is the whole idea of TOMS."

Such lofty ideals, also echoed by other TOMS crusaders, are all very well - the venture sometimes raises more questions than it answers. According to Summer Rayne Oakes, the eco-model who is also part of the group, "fashion can raise awareness. A simple shoe has an amazing story behind it and students can be transported to an entirely different world and learn about different cultures and developing countries. That is what was interesting for me; TOMS is an inanimate object that kids get." A qualified scientist, Oakes is to present a series on sustainability for the Discovery channel this year and has spoken on the issue at the WTO.

On the five-hour road journey back to Durban, Candice Wolfswinkel argues that "consumers have so much power. The millennium generation are much more conscious consumers and this company is one of the few making a product that makes a difference. TOMS is just a beginning, but there is so much potential. People don't need TOMS, leather shoes can be better, but it is the principle behind it that's important. It is showing business owners that they can make a small change in the world if they are willing to give up some of their profits."

TOMS shoes are on sale in Brown Thomas for about EUR 40

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