by Michael dEstries
Categories: Fashion
Tags: .

We just heard the news that friend and eco-fashionista Summer Rayne Oakes has secured a partnership with Payless shoes to develop a new line of affordable, sustainable footwear! The yet-to-be-named collection will be sold in 500 Payless locations starting in April 2009. Just in time for Earth Day!

Not only will the shoes use sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as organic cottons and linen, natural hemp and recycled outsoles — but they’ll also average under $30. That’s an incredible accomplishment for an industry where green can mean spending more at checkout.

“We are also trying to source more locally, because that decreases transportation,” said Oakes. “With the economy the way that it is now, many people think [green products] are that much more inaccessible, so this line is coming at the right time. Part of this is to inspire and lead by example. You have to set the bar higher in this day and age.”

Eventually, Payless hopes to expand the green brand to over 1,000 locations — as well as cross-over the sustainability initiatives into other brands. “We are examining everything that we do. It’s part of a holistic approach [to increase sustainability],” said CEO, Matt Rubel.

Hooray for Summer — and thank you to Payless for recognizing the need for affordable “green” footwear. We’re looking forward to April ’09! For more info, check out Summer’s official site here.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Stephanie Williams

    does anyone know if these are going to be made in china/sweatshop ect like other payless shoes?

    If not…that would rule. Payless is always been a haven for quick, cheap non leather shoes….but the whole made in china thing puts me off.

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  • http://www.groovyvegetarian.com Missy, The Groovy Vegetarian

    I also would like to know origin of these shoes, and/ or manufacturing location?

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  • VeggieTart

    Sounds great. Now if only they can get shoes that aren’t made in China, I would be ecstatic.

  • http://thecharlie.blogspot.com Charlie

    Yeah, I can’t find out their labor practices either! Somebody, anybody, we need answers.
    It’s not entirely kind to the earth, if humans are still harmed in the process.

  • Eliza

    yeah, how about those manufacturing practices? how could the folks making the shoes possibly be getting paid a living wage in happy, healthy working conditions while mass producing shoes made of expensive materials for under $30? lets be serious here.

    • Theresa

      Sweatshop conditions are one thing, but you might consider that most of the world lives on one dollar a day, so a wage you might not consider to be a living wage could be double what they could get anywhere else in their country.

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