In what some might dismiss as a opportunistic play for the burgeoning market for green fashion, Payless Shoesource will be launching a line of green shoes, clocking in at an average of $30. But look a little deeper, and you’ll see that Summer Rayne Oakes, the iconic poster child of green fashion, whose good looks may distract you from the fact she’s deeply qualified to consult on both what’s most sustainable and at the same time fashionable, is on board here.
The commitment is not a fleeting one, as she is in a multi year contract with Payless, serving to ensure thoughtful choice of materials, while keeping up with current trends, a synergy sure to help this line make a deep impact.
This move is monumental for many reasons:
Green fashion, while worthy of many kudos for its innovation and use of less impactful fabrics, has typically meant a substantially higher price compared to the conventional option. While that may be seen as justified in the eyes of many, or simply a matter of scale as compared to the higher quantities of the typical fabric options, this breaks with that logic, providing both a sustainable option and a price that meets the expectations of the everyday consumer.
When this happens, those that would not have otherwise sought out green options when shopping may now see it as more accessible, possible, and have new eyes that will now more likely see other examples of where going green doesn’t have to mean spending more green.
The shoes will be out in 500-1000 of their stores by early next year, depending on the style.
Readers: What other examples have you seen of bridging the green divide out there?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.