TOPEKA, Kan., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring wardrobes are beginning to blossom just in time for Earth Day and Payless ShoeSource is helping shoppers style green with affordable, eco-friendly accessory options courtesy of its Zoe & Zac spring collection – a line of affordable green shoes and handbags, with most items under $30 each, that stress "Fresh Green Fashion"™ and the season's most noteworthy trends.
Consumers want access to on-trend, green fashion at unbeatable prices and they have spoken loud and clear. Earlier this month the Zoe & Zac brand was awarded TheDailyGreen.com's 2011 Heart of Green People's Choice Award for Sustainable Fashion, with more than 20,000 readers casting votes. In selecting this year's Heart of Green Award winners, TheDailyGreen.com's editors asked consumers to consider the nominees' impact over the last year, as well as their success in reaching a mainstream audience with a green message.
The Zoe & Zac green brand is available in 1,000 Payless stores nationwide and Payless.com®. The brand was created and first launched in April 2009 by Payless with a sole mission to democratize green footwear and accessory products by making them affordable and accessible and to bring eco-consciousness to the mainstream.
"Zoe & Zac continues to evolve as an important green fashion brand season after season, offering the latest trends in eco-friendly options for all to enjoy," said LuAnn Via, CEO of Payless. "Our eco-consultant Summer Rayne Oakes is an invaluable partner for Zoe & Zac -- she helps us ensure that the products are as green as possible, but also contributes an excellent eye for style This season we are proud to see that Zoe & Zac's role in democratizing green fashion has been recognized by shoppers, who have responded enthusiastically by voting for the brand as a green fashion favorite."
The Zoe & Zac spring collection features six women's footwear styles and three handbags. The shoes encompass key style elements of the season including silhouettes like strappy heels, hemp wedge espadrilles, slouchy ankle boots, gladiator sandals and ballet flats. On-trend accents such as florets, bows, and knot detailing add whimsy to solid fabrics and keep the styles at the forefront of the season's trends. Three versatile tote options in a variety of floral and plaid prints add a fashionable contrast to the shoe silhouettes; all items draw from a spring color palette of earthy tan, sky blue, amethyst, and classic black and brown.
The Zoe & Zac products are green because they are made from eco-friendly components and materials such as organic cottons and linen, environmentally preferred faux leather, suede and patent, as well as natural hemp, recycled rubber outsoles, eco-friendly EVA cushioning, and water-based glues. The product packaging is eco-smart as well, utilizing 100 percent recycled shoe boxes and soy-based inks for the printing.
"Each season we set out to create a shoe line that is trend-worthy, wearable and practical for green fashion lovers and fashionistas alike, and I'm excited to see that consumers have responded so favorably to the finished product," said Summer Rayne Oakes, Payless' eco-consultant for the Zoe & Zac brand. "We identify the season's top trends and then add a fresh perspective to each collection by rendering the silhouettes, colors, and details in innovative eco-friendly materials and components to ensure the products are as green as possible. I am so proud to be affiliated with this brand and that our hard work is being recognized among consumers with the recent TheDailyGreen.com's People's Choice award."
In celebration of Earth Day today, Payless ShoeSource also announced today it again will support an important environmental cause by partnering with The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign to raise funds to rebuild Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Payless will contribute $1 – the cost to plant one tree – for every Payless exclusive reusable shopping bag sold through July. The reusable shopping bag is fully philanthropic, priced at $1.99, and available in more than 4,000 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico while supplies last. It features a grey/yellow leaf print and is made from a minimum of 50 percent recycled polyethalene (PET) – the primary material in plastic water and soda bottles.
About Payless & Collective Brands, Inc.
Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories for all to enjoy. Payless offers customers a range of well-recognized brands such as Dexter(R), Airwalk(R), Champion(R), Above the Rim(R) and Smart Fit(R), as well as designer labels by Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi. As of the end of 2010, the company operated nearly 4,500 stores throughout the Americas and an online store (www.Payless.com) and also has more than 60 franchised stores located in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk(R), Dexter(R), Champion(R), Zoe & Zac(TM), the first-ever affordable green footwear brand, and designer collections by fashion designers Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite(R), Keds(R), Sperry Top-Sider(R) Robeez(R), and Saucony(R), among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk(R), Above The Rim(R), Vision Street Wear(R), STRIKEFORCE(TM), Clinch Gear(TM), Sims(R), Lamar(R) and LTD(R), World Snowboarding Championships(TM) and Hind(R). Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.
About Summer Rayne Oakes
Summer Rayne Oakes is a model-activist and spokesperson, resident expert, and youngest board of advisors for Planet Green, Discovery Network's new eco-lifestyle channel. The Cornell University graduate and environmental scholar has received media accolades including from Vanity Fair naming her a Global Citizen, Outside naming her one of the Top Environmental Activists, Cosmopolitan naming her Fun, Fearless Female of 2007, and CNN's Nicole Lapin nominating her as a "Young Person Who Rocks." Through her work as a consultant Summer Rayne advises companies and organizations, and works on sustainable development and environmental programs in the U.S. and abroad. In February 2009, she released her first book, Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty published by Chronicle Books. Her most recent role as consultant is with Payless ShoeSource as Eco-Consultant for the company's Zoe & Zac green brand, where she helps the company find innovative ways to create "fresh green fashion."