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Payless finds a good model for sustainability

RT Analysis: Eco-friendly cause hottest apparel trend
Summer Rayne Oakes

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Earlier today, Retailing Today reported that several apparel and footwear industry heavyweights were teaming up to promote best practices in sustainability, and now Payless has announced that it will support eco-model and Payless brand partner Summer Rayne Oakes who will wear the same little black dress throughout the month of March.

According to Payless, Oakes is a well-known eco-model who serves as the consultant for the company's Zoe & Zac green shoe brand. To promote sustainability, Oakes will wear her own designed little black dress for the entire month of March and will style the dress with a variety of shoes and accessories from Payless, including the Zoe & Zac products she helps Payless create, as well as items from such designer labels as Isabel Toledo for Payless, Christian Siriano for Payless and Lela Rose for Payless, the company reported.

Oakes is participating in Uniform Project's 'Pilot Series' challenge, which features a new trendsetter each month who wears one "little black dress" all month in an effort to increase awareness for sustainable fashion and raise funds for important global causes. Uniform Project started in 2009 when U.P. Founder Sheena Mathieken pledged to wear one little black dress for 365 days as a creative exercise in sustainability and a fundraiser to support the Akanksha Foundation. 

During her participation in the Uniform Project, Oakes will raise funds for Charity Water, an organization dedicated to raising money to build wells for the billion people who do not have access to clean water and basic sanitation facilities around the gobe.

"We are thrilled to support Summer Rayne Oakes, our valued partner, as she embarks on The Uniform Project," said LuAnn Via, CEO of Payless ShoeSource. "Raising awareness for eco-friendly fashion is important and this initiative does so in a fun, fashionable and inspiring way.  We look forward to seeing the amazing 31 looks Summer will create this month by combining her little black dress with Payless and are very pleased to also support the important work of Charity: Water with matching funds."

Whether its joining a sustainability coalition or simply supporting the efforts of an environmental activist, apparel companies have found eco-friendly causes is trend they can get behind.

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