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“Style, Naturally” by Summer Rayne Oakes

by , 08/20/09   filed under: Book Reviews

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If you’re already a seasoned eco-fashion connoisseur, I tip my organic wool hat to you, but how about all of those wannabe sustainable stylistas out there—can they get some help, too, please? If you’re in that latter category and looking for a comprehensive resource that lists useful eco-fashion tips, the best brands and designers, and how you can get started, I highly recommend eco-model and activist Summer Rayne Oakes’ new book, Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty. Style, Naturally is an easy-to-read green fashion directory packed with colorful pictures and info from Ms. Oakes herself. Read on to see what I liked best about the book.

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I read Style, Naturally from cover to cover the first night I fought the crowds at Oakes’ fabulous book launch party at the Stella McCartney store in NYC, and I’ve kept it close to my fingertips so that I can refer to it every time I think “What’s that company that makes those hot vegan leather bags again?”

I especially love the fact that Style, Naturally reads more like a magazine than a book, which, if you think about it, makes a lot of sense. I like to think I’m as much of a bibliophile as the next nerd, but when it comes to clothing and product design, who wants to skim through pages upon pages of text? Give me pics!

Oakes must have heard my prayers because she filled her eco-savvy tome with over 300 colorful pages of bags, shoes, blouses, pants, skirts, dresses, lotions, shampoos, and even unmentionables. Plus, if you’re like me and sometimes have trouble matching an item to the details on where you can find it, you won’t have that problem with Style, Naturally because there’s a handy color-coded bar underlining each photograph and a corresponding bar next to the product’s details and website.

summer rayne oakes, style naturally summer rayne oakes, sustainable style book, eco shopping guide book, eco fashion guide book, eco fashion book, eco fashionColor-coded shopping guide to bags (left) and green pages include information about textiles, governing councils, and retail stores (right)

At first glance, you might dismiss Style, Naturally as just a shopping guide. After all, that is, essentially, what it is. However, I think it’s important to point out that there is a lot more insight inside the pages of the book than you might think. Besides having been written in Oakes’ cheerful-but-matter-of-fact voice, there are many valuable designer spotlights throughout the book that offer would-be green designers and retailers advice on how to get started.

I also love that Oakes tapped the eco-style expertise of everyday fashionistas, including friend-of-Ecouterre Jill Danyelle! Last (literally) but not least in the book, you will find “green pages” full of websites, eco-friendly textiles and materials, governing fashion councils, and a list of green retail stores all around the country. If you’re interested in learning more about how to look good while doing good, I highly recommend you go out and pick up a copy of this green style bible—and if you need one more reason why, it’s printed with vegetable-based ink on recycled paper.

+ Style, Naturally $16.47 from Amazon.com

+ Summer Rayne Oakes

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