For Summer Dean,
slow fashion + sustainability is a lifestyle.
She embraces eco-conscious practices like secondhand shopping, composting and offsetting her traveling emissions—and she’s here to show you this sustainability-driven lifestyle is even more chic.
VA: Hi there! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
SD: My name is Summer Dean (@climatediva) and I’m a slow fashion creator and climate advocate based in Los Angeles. I get the most inspiration from mother earth, music, and traveling the world. I have four sisters and a little dog named Dot. I like to spend my free time in nature, vintage sourcing, traveling, learning new languages, and taking film photos. I received my degree in environmental studies, and my background is in climate science and renewable energy. I’ve also been a part-time model since I was in high school, which is how I got into fashion at a young age. My goal as a slow fashion creator is to show that sustainable fashion can be just as stylish as fast fashion, and to bring as many people as possible into the sustainability movement.
Summer wears the Yara Wrap One Piece in White EcoRib
VA: How do you weave sustainability into your personal life?
SD: Besides being an online advocate and educator, I try to make my personal life as sustainable as possible, but I’ll admit I’m not perfect. I don’t buy fast fashion, and about 90% of my closet is secondhand. I try to buy a lot of regenerative-farmed foods to support healthy soils, and I compost my food scraps. In general, I try to support local businesses and sustainable businesses, because that’s the kind of world I want to build.
As I said before I love traveling, and both of my parents worked for the airlines growing up, so it’s something I’ve done a lot. Unfortunately, there’s not a perfectly sustainable way to travel to other countries, but when I do, I offset my carbon emissions. When I’m in other countries, I try to be respectful of the place I’m in and support local businesses. I always take public transport, and try to support the local sustainable economy as much as possible!
"In general, I try to support local + sustainable businesses, because that’s the kind of world I want to build."
VA: What are some of your favorite sustainable swaps to make at home?
SD: I use refillable home products for pretty much everything to cut down on waste. I have refillable hand and dish soaps from Blueland, and use all natural scrubbers and sponges that I can compost once I’m done with them. I’ve also been loving trying out more sustainable beauty products - a favorite recently has been Caliray Beauty!
VA: Favorite Vitamin A piece?
SD: I love the moss bralette top and bottom. For me, simplicity is everything when it comes to swim. I like to feel secure because I actually like to swim and move my body when I’m outside, and this set not only holds everything in but is so sleek and chic. I wore the top to a music festival recently and I’ll be bringing it everywhere with me this summer.
VA: Favorite way to connect with nature?
SD: Going on walks and hikes–there are so many beautiful hikes in Southern California. My favorite is the hot springs hike in Montecito!
VA: What is inspiring you currently? What are you looking forward to this year?
SD: Honestly the spring blooms have been inspiring me a lot - this past winter felt so long and dark and seeing the bright super blooms pop up all over SoCal makes me so happy and inspired. This year I’m excited to continue growing my vintage shop, do some traveling for work, and spend some quality time with my loved ones.
VA: Someone you admire:
SD: Dr. Sylvia Earle is one of my biggest inspirations - she has spent most of her life being a fierce advocate for our oceans and started her career at a time when women were not really welcome in the scientific field. She has opened so many doors for women in science and she is a hero of mine.