SUMMER RAYNE OAKES
Oakes, 22, has a knack for leveraging her natural assets into environmental activism. The savvy Cornell grad wears several hatssustainability consultant, sewage-sludge researcher, editor, lecturer, TV hostbut her biggest impact has been as a fashion model for sustainable textiles, using her good looks to get people thinking about the eco-implications of their daily decisions: "I try to make sure the substance of what I'm saying isn't too far behind the image," she says.
Timberland President and CEO
Timberland, a $1.6 billion Fortune 1000 company, wasn't in need of a makeover, but 47-year-old Jeff Swartz, whose father started the brand in 1973, thought otherwise. Last year, as part of his plan to make the entire company carbon neutral, he installed one of the world's largest solar panels at its California distribution center. Then he introduced "nutrition labels" on shoeboxes, detailing where and how the footwear was manufactured and how much energy was used in the process. Within the next few years, Swartz also aims to eliminate the harmful chemical polyvinyl chloride from all products that can be made with available alternatives. Though all this is great for the company's image, Swartz's motivation lies elsewhere: the future. "Timberland needs to find a way to exist in a sustainable fashionnot by going carbon neutral via offsets purchased externally but by reimagining every aspect of our business process," he says. "If we don't do it right here and now, our children will be confronted with irreversible damage."
Founder of Patagonia
As TOM BROKAW says of longtime friend Chouinard, 68: "Yvon is the personification of the Buddhist belief that we should all live lightly on the land. For him, it's a way of life, as I have come to know firsthand in our travels to the Russian Far East, the Trans-Tibetan Plateau, and Patagonia. He is at once my muse and a pain in the assfor his aversion to comfort and his embrace of the wildest possible elements."