VENICE BEACH, Calif. — Eco chic may be taking over Tinseltown, but “Bones” star Emily Deschanel, 30, has been living an earth- and animal-friendly lifestyle since she was a teenager.
“I’ve always been concerned about that, growing up in Los Angeles,” she says. “I went to a high school that makes you aware of a lot of issues. We had to watch this video on the meat and dairy industry, and after that I stopped eating animal products.”
Around the same time, Deschanel started recycling and also wearing animal-cruelty-free makeup and vegan clothing. And now that she has pull on the “Bones” set — she just wrapped the hit TV show’s second season — Deschanel is encouraging the costume department to dress her in vegan clothes. “They are slowly coming around,” she says, admitting that sometimes the job requires her to wear leather and wool, but she tries to make sure it’s used, not new.
In real life, Deschanel tries to wear just cotton and hemp, which could pose a problem to most fashion lovers. “When you have so many limitations, it’s hard to find things,” she admits. “Thank God for Stella McCartney. I also like Anna Cohen, Ciel and Noir. The stuff does not look like your mom’s organic clothes.”
Apparel notwithstanding, Deschanel is now in the midst of an even bigger eco task. She and her younger sister, Zooey, also an actress, recently bought a Twenties Spanish/Victorian-style house in Los Angeles, and they’re striving to renovate it in an eco-friendly manner. “I’m doing tons of research on products and materials to be used in a way to keep with the style, but it means a lot more work,” says Deschanel. “We are [using] double-pane windows and cellulose insulation that I found in a green guide to Los Angeles called ‘Greenopia.’ We’re also trying to use reclaimed wood.”
While the actress practices a green lifestyle, she doesn’t preach it, but she does realize that being in the public eye can be an effective way to get a message across. “I wish people would listen to scientists when they talk about global warming, or people working with endangered animals, but being an actor, I have an opportunity,” she says, adding that her TV character, the tough forensic scientist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan, has become a role model for some viewers. “It makes me so happy when I talk to teenage girls who want to be scientists because of watching the show,” she says. “I didn’t become an actor to empower people, but I think it’s a great thing if you can entertain them while giving an example of a strong, smart woman.”
This story first appeared in the April 10, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.