Fair Fashion

The New Source4Style: THE Eco Fashion Designer's Key Resource

Summer Rayne Oakes works on Source4Style from her home office.

For years, designers with a conscience spent an inordinate amount of valuable time tracking down fabrics that had a smaller footprint, looking for materials that were made from organic and ethical sources and colored with less-polluting dyestuffs. The textiles were out there, but finding them was a job in and of itself, until Source4Style came along.

Source4Style can be searched by fabric type, color, material origin, and more, as well as by price.

The brainchild of activist, eco model and environmental consultant Summer Rayne Oakes and her business partner, Benita Singh, Source4Style launched about a year ago in Beta, featuring a number of fabrics from several different companies. In the year since, the site has grown to include more fabrics (the total is now in the hundreds) and will soon include zippers, buttons, lace and trim, all sourced from responsible manufacturers.

This organic merino wool is an example of one of the trends for 2012, Wanderlust.

“Our goal is to provide the most cutting-edge tools to facilitate commerce between two groups that are currently disconnected in the global market – the leading sustainable suppliers and the designers looking for them,” says Singh. “Suppliers all over the world – whether they be a cooperative of artisans or an emerging factory -can apply to showcase on Source4Style’s platform and be opened up to a rapidly-growing designer and apparel brand base.”

This handwoven Kente cloth is indicative of the Hipstamatic Prism trend.

Source4Style is not a middleman; the site functions purely as a connecting point between designer and fabric producer, offering swatches and great content about the sustainable fashion industry, as well as information about material types, the benefits of natural and eco friendly materials, and much more, in a well-organized, easy-to-navigate platform. Anyone can join – and browse and connect to suppliers for free, but Premium Level Members get a “..complimentary 25-page Trend Report highlighting the latest colors, textures, patterns and materials for the upcoming season,” as well as materials customization, unlimited sourcing and downloadable materials testing and certifications documentation.

The Zen Beginnings trend is exemplified by this pretty Cotten Khadi in Heather that’s woven in India.

Trends are an incredibly important part of designer’s planning process, and so the Source4Style trend reports are comprehensive looks at what is upcoming in the next year-plus. (Like the three fabrics here, which are representative parts of three macro-trends for A/W 2012/2013.)


Interested? The first ten Eco Chick readers who take advantage can get $100 off the annual Premium Level Membership, plus $20 in free swatches. Use the code CHICECO100 at checkout to take advantage of this deal.


Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.