Vibrant voice

Hailed as one of the most vibrant voices in today’s sustainability movement by The Learning Channel and sought after for her upbeat, engaging and genuine style, Summer Rayne Oakes has masterfully inspired the hearts and minds of her audience.

From corporate annual meetings (e.g., Tommy Hilfiger, Sam’s Club) to business events (e.g., GreenBiz, LOHAS), tech venues (e.g., Mashable, SXSW) to trade shows (e.g., Intertek), universities (e.g., Yale, Cornell) to world conferences (e.g., WTO, Rio+20), Summer Rayne has spoken at hundreds of venues throughout the world on environment, sustainable fashion and beauty, and social entrepreneurship.

The New York Times highlights her as an accessible speaker on the environment and Eileen O’Neill of Discovery Networks describes her as “packing a killer combination of passion, humor and an unrelenting commitment to environmental stewardship.”

“She has a powerful platform,” says a Payless representative. “She delivers a wake-up call to us all regarding the troubles ahead and how quickly they will affect our lives. At the same time, she brings hope and inspiration that we can rally around. She is incredibly authentic, and she’s passionate about doing what’s right by partnering with us to create meaningful change.”


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Brian P. Sheehan, Sustainability Manager, Sam’s Club
Summer Rayne has given an outstanding presentation at the Sam’s Club Holiday Meeting. We received tremendous positive feedback from those in attendance as well as those listening online. Her message captured not only everyone’s attention but their hearts and minds as well. It was a great pleasure working with her and we would welcome another opportunity to do so again in the future.

Michael Travis, Merchandise Manager of Women’s Casuals, Payless ShoeSource
Summer has a powerful platform. She delivers a wake-up call to US ALL regarding the troubles ahead and how quickly they will affect our lives. At the same time, she brings hope and inspiration that we can rally around. She is incredibly authentic, and she’s passionate about doing what’s right by partnering with us to create meaningful change.

Jeni Sweatt, Records Management Coordinator, Collective Brands
Summer Rayne Oakes is extremely articulate and energetic. She delivered just the right mix of humor and information. I found her presentation emotionally moving. It enlightened me and made me want to go out and make an even greater difference for myself and for the world.

Greg Myer, Product Procurement Specialist, Payless ShoeSource
It’s amazing how she took her interest in science and her natural ability and found a way to reach so many people with this important message. She told her story naturally and with passion. She made me feel like I actually am making a difference with the little things I’m doing to help the environment.

Aaron Fischer, Senior Financial Analyst, Collective Brands
She did a thorough job of helping us understand the benefits of sustainability – even the financial advantages. Anyone who hears her speak will be inspired to contribute more to the sustainability effort than they did before. I went to her presentation thinking I would do some work while listening. But she was so engaging that I didn’t touch my work!

Kristin Spurgin, Financial Analyst, Collective Brands
She has such a passion for this topic and truly understands how it relates to business issues. I have been supporting sustainability because I know it’s the right thing to do. After hearing Summer Rayne Oakes speak, I’m more convinced than ever about the impact of our efforts and how critical they are to OUR future and the future of the planet. With her knowledge and enthusiasm, she can inspire people to go out and make a difference.

Charlotte Tritch, Retail Marketing Manager, Zoe & Zac Retail Brand Manager, Payless ShoeSource
I am continually impressed by Summer and her enthusiasm, expertise and influence across the globe. Payless and the Zoe & Zac brand, as well as Collective Brands as a whole, are so lucky to have her as a partner. She pushes us every day to drive innovation in the green-ness of our Zoe & Zac products, and that cascades into other areas of our business and our product set. I am truly proud of the work we are accomplishing together and the positive impact it’s having already on consumers by giving them access to green footwear, as well as in our company overall.

Randall Cook, Director of the Vancouver EPIC Event
Huge “Thanks” to Summer Rayne for coming to EPIC. She’s so dynamic and amazing – the crowd really got into the speech and she was rocking the book signing for hours afterwards!

John C. Bersia, Special Assistant to the President for Global Perspectives, University of Central Florida
Summer Rayne Oakes’ presentations are much more than informative; they are electric, passionate and insightful. Each one is fresh, different and tangible. She has a talent for reaching audiences of all ages, but she unmistakably inspires young people the most. We have already received numerous requests for her to return.

Patricia Jurewicz, Coordinator for the Hong Kong Fair Trade Fair I Former Senior Associate for Trade and Global Governance for IATP
…It’s a breath of fresh air to work with someone who is so versatile, has convictions and really understands the advantages of fair trade.

Ron Gonen, CEO RecycleBank
RecycleBank is proud to partner with Summer Rayne. She and her company possess a tremendous ability to help people make a connection between the fashion they wear and the environment they live in.

Page Neal, Jewelry Designer & Coordinator for Project Emerge at FIT
When Summer Rayne lectured to my group of emerging fashion designers about why it matters to be concerned with where your materials come from and their environmental and social impacts, it was amazing to see and feel the energy shift in the classroom. The group of students walked into the lecture quite indifferent, but towards the end of the presentation they began connecting themselves to larger global issues. I would highly recommend Summer Rayne to any classroom or group who is seeking to expand the minds and talents of their design students.

Museums: Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (NY), Aldrich Museum (CT), Corcoran Gallery of Art (DC), Natural History Museum (NY)

Corporate Headquarters: Collective Brands, Payless ShoeSource, Tommy Hilfiger, Sam’s Club

Design Conferences: R.I.T.E. Conference (UK), World Trade Organization Fair Trade Expo (Hong Kong), United Nations Council of Trade & Development Biodiversity Conference (Geneva),  Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum (NY), Natural Product Seal Conference (NY), Seattle Green Fashion Week, Ethical Fashion Show (Paris), Teens Turning Green (SF), Made-By (Amsterdam), TexWorld (NY), Afingo Design Conference (NY), TexWorld (NY), UN Summit on Sustainable Development Rio +20 Fashion Event (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Environmental/Social Entrepreneur/Business/Tech Conferences: LOHAS, Sustainable Brands Conference, Mashable Summer of Social Good Conference, The Feast Social Innovation Conference, Green Apple Festival, Green Festival, National PowerShift, PA PowerShift, Race Against Global Warming, Project Greenhouse, NET Impact, Cornell Entrepreneur Network, Vancouver EPIC Event, COP15, Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Sustainable Operations Summit (NY), GreenBiz (NY & SF), Ladies Who Launch (NY), SXSW Eco (Austin), New York Social Media Week, ABC Continuity Forum (Miami, FL), SXSW Eco (Austin, TX)

Colleges/Universities: Yale University, Cornell University, Columbia University, Penn State University,  Northeastern University, Hofstra University, PACE, Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, University of Central Florida, Washington State University, Northern Virginia Community College, Gettysburg College, Binghamton University, Tacoma Community College, Pierpont Community & Technical College, Niagara County Community College, Fairmont State College, Weber State University, Kansas State University, Presidio School of Management, University of South Carolina, Pratt Institute, New York University, VCU Doha

Other: Ojai Resort & Spa, Lakeland High School, Springside Elementary, Udall Environmental Scholar Event, Independent Spirit Awards (Santa Monica)

SXSW Eco – The Future of Fashion – October 8, 2013 – Austin, TX 10:45AM-11:45AM

The future of retail is e-commerce and the future of fashion is sustainability. It’s time that we join the future. This panel will discuss how sustainability in fashion is defined, what the latest advances and newest materials in the sustainable fashion movement are and where the movement is headed. The panel will look at existing leading sustainable brands that have successfully entered into and succeed in the space as well as explore the sourcing, producing, cost structure and marketing challenges and opportunities that brands face in converting to eco-friendly materials and committing to ethically sourced labor. Website.



Parsons The New School – The Business of Sustainable Fashion – October 14, 2013 – New York, NY

Though sometimes slighted for it’s frivolous and fickle nature, the textiles and clothing industry is undeniably one of the most important trades today. Serving as a linchpin for national economic development, cultural identity and consumer engagement, the fashion industry has been and will continue to be an integral player on the world stage. Model, sustainable design activist, and co-founder of Source4Style, Summer Rayne Oakes presents a provocative and engaging keynote that revisits the genesis of some of the practices (e.g. multi-season presentations, manufacturing) that we have come to take for granted and critically challenges the audience to re-imagine what a new world of fashion may look like. Speech touches upon Oakes’ multifarious decade-long journey in sustainable design, a brief history of key developments within fashion over the past four centuries, a snapshot of sustainability advancements over the past three decades, and an evaluative inspection into the future of sustainable design.


Johnson County Community College – Sustainability in the 21st Century – October 30, 2013 – Overland Park, Kansas

A fresh approach to 21st Century Sustainability. Keynote Presentation.


Fashion Institute of Technology – Careers with a Conscience – November 5, 2013 6:30-8:30PM

Industry experts in corporate sociation responsibility (CSR) will discuss the best ways to prepare, search, and interview for jobs and internships in CSR.  Panelists will explore the range of available options, including corporate position, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international volunteering, and social entrepreneurship. Website.