MODEL WITH A CAUSE
Summer Rayne Oakes isn’t your average professional clotheshorse. The brainy beaut, best-known for her “eco-modeling” work for socially responsible brands, is a modern-day renaissance woman. After graduating from Cornell University with degrees in environmental science and entomology (that’s the study of bugs), Oakes took it upon herself to champion cause-related modeling. In the process, she became one of the more visible faces of Environmentalism 2.0—not the disparaging hemp-clad hippie stereotype of yore but a hip, new-media-savvy steward of the planet with a handle on the triple bottom line.
Even if you don’t take into account her 5’10 stature, Oakes is pretty hard to miss these days. Besides TV-hosting duties on Discovery’s Planet Green network, she also the author of Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty. In April 2009, Oakes launched a line of eco-friendly shoes and accessories with Payless ShoeSource and by year’s end she was tapped for the position of editor-at-large at Above—all at the ripe old age of 25.