Measuring Fashion's Environmental Footprint with Summer Rayne Oakes (Video)

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Sourcing sustainable textiles at Source4Style. Photo: Source4Style

As I wrote earlier this month, sourcing textiles can be difficult for fashion and interior designers--and sustainable textiles, even more so. This week in New York City, Source4Style co-founders Summer Rayne Oakes and Benita Singh hosted the inaugural Source4Style Atelier--a series of educational workshops--providing insider knowledge in the sustainable design industry. TreeHugger was there--at SURevolution, a showroom for luxury artisan crafts, to be exact--to find out how to measure the environmental footprint of a product.

In the presentation, followed by a Q&A;, Source4Style co-founders Summer Rayne Oakes and Benita Singh explained how to utilize the Outdoor Industry Association's (OIA) Eco Index, which provides companies--throughout the supply chain--with a way to benchmark and measure the environmental footprint of their products. The platform is user-friendly and since much of the information required to complete the Eco Index is not readily available, it encourages discussion between designers and suppliers. Through environmental indicators and a comparative scoring system, that considers both qualitative and quantitative attributes, brands are shown exactly where and how a consumer product and/or a product life cycle can be improved.

Source4Style took the Eco Index's environmental indicators into consideration when choosing which textiles to include in the marketplace, but they also dug a little deeper; Summer Raynes Oakes, Source4Style co-founder, explains, below.

Video: Emma Grady / YouTube

When asked, Summer Rayne Oakes could not reveal the names of larger brands using the Source4Style marketplace; she did reveal that many will utilize the Source4Style Atelier--educational workshops, like the one I attended this week and that current registrants--there's over 700 of them--include Tesco, Monsoon, Ralph Lauren, Helmut Lang, and Barneys New York Private Label. Keep tuned for more Source4Style news, in the next 3-5 months--when sourcing season hits--they will reveal some of the larger brands they are helping source sustainable textiles.

Haven't browsed the marketplace? Get a feel for the sustainable textiles at Source4Style and tell us what you think in the comment section, below.

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