In a new interview with EcoStilleto.com, actress Julia Stiles opens up on her mock green fashion video, her love of the “human” side of environmentalism, and why she now regrets dissing her former vegan lifestyle. Check out a preview of the interview below!
That “Julia Stiles Styles” video is hilarious. Tell me how that came about.
We did “Oleanna” first in L.A. before we took it to New York and I met the guys who are in The Vacationeers; they were friends of friends. I thought their movie “The Scenesters” was really good and their videos for Google were really funny. We were hanging out one day, throwing around ideas and I just thought the idea of Julia Stiles Styles was great.
I didn’t mean to be disparaging of green fashion—also, we weren’t making fun of any celebs who promote that kind of thing. We were making fun of me. The idea that can create unwearable clothing. And of celebs who can be out of touch with how rich they are. So [in the video] the clothing is really expensive but it was inspired by homeless people.
Do you wear eco-friendly fashion?
There’s a raw food lunch spot here in New York called One Lucky Duck and I follow her blog a lot; she has links to other eco-clothing places. But I appreciate more the clothing lines that have equitable working standards for the people who make their clothing. I wish I could find more of them.
I really like the Edun label that Bono started. Other than that I feel kind of ignorant about the rest of it. I like the idea, I just don’t know how to find that many. I do have a few Edun t-shirts though.
What about eco-beauty?
I like all-natural products. Burt’s Bees is great, I like Dr. Bronner’s. Dermal-K is a company that’s all natural. All of the stuff that you can find a the health food store. No chemicals.
I’ve read about your work with Habitat for Humanity International and it seems that the concept of social responsibility is very important to you—more so than eco-consciousness. Is that true?
Obviously it’s important for consumers to be conscious about how we’re affecting the environment. But I think I’m more concerned with the human aspect of it. I would love to find a clothing line where the pieces are manufactured in a fair way. A label—like the fair trade certification label that you see on food—just so you know that the clothing isn’t made in a horrible sweatshop. Even American Apparel, they say everything is manufactured in L.A. but that doesn’t mean that the conditions under which they’re working are fair and friendly.
I feel like a hypocrite because my video is making fun of all this but it actually is important. Even Edun, which uses organic cotton as the main material in their clothing line, that’s important too because somebody that is growing that cotton has to inhale those chemicals.
How important do you think these kinds of actions are for you, personally?
I like that on your website there are simple tips of everyday things that you can do to be more conscious about now harming the environment. Obviously big changes need to happen but on an individual level it adds up. It’s not just one plastic water bottle you’re using. You have to multiply that by millions of people.
Are you still a vegan?
I’m not. I was for a couple of years and I ended up getting anemic. I regret going on a talk show and talking about it—I was young and impressionable and trying to be funny and I said something about how when I stopped it was great. But it wasn’t good, health wise, for me. I wasn’t doing it right, I think. I’ve incorporated the reason that I became a vegan in the first place into my diet now. I don’t eat meat that doesn’t come from a good source. I like to know what the animal was eating before I eat it.
For more of Julia’s exclusive interview with EcoStiletto, visit here.