Origins used the lure of “Gossip Girl” actress Kelly Rutherford to draw attention to the kickoff of its Return to Origins program April 2.

This story first appeared in the April 13, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Kelly Rutherford, Origins general manager Jane Lauder and Allure editor Linda Wells hosted the recycling cosmetics packaging event, held on the GM Plaza in front of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. offices (Origins’ parent).

“This whole effort was inspired by an editor’s letter Linda wrote about cosmetics packaging ending up in landfills,” Lauder told the crowd of about 100. As a result, all Origins counters — including those in department stores — are now accepting empty cosmetics packaging, regardless of brand, for recycling, she added.

“Being from California [the actress was raised in Newport Beach] I’ve recycled for years — and Jane and Linda inspired me with this program,” said Rutherford, who is due to have a daughter in the first week of June. And the “Gossip Girl” star practices what she preaches: her son Hermès sleeps on an eco-mattress, her new daughter’s crib was made using non-VOC paint, all of her cleaning products are biodegradable and she drives a Prius.

“My son isn’t running around solely in organic clothing and neither am I, but I try to do what I can — and that’s what’s so great about the Return to Origins program,” she said. “Everyone can get involved quite easily.”

What’s next on Rutherford’s recycling agenda? “I’d love to see a program started for recycling toys — that’s something else that clogs landfills,” she said. “I give many to Baby Buggy [the charity founded by Jessica Seinfeld], which is a great organization — but I’d love to see a widespread program, too.”

The one thing Rutherford refused to gossip about? The season finale of her popular show. “We’ve just finished filming — and that’s all I can say,” she said with a smile.

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