Going green is a good p.r. move for most celebrities, sure. But there are many who are genuinely passionate using their platforms to improve environmental awareness. Here, a look at those leading the charge in Hollywood.
Watson has had sustainability in mind when it comes to her sartorial choices as early as 2011, when she launched the eco-concious collection Pure Threads with Alberta Ferretti. But the sustainable fashion push didn’t end with organic cotton. The actress committed to an environmentally ethical wardrobe for her “Beauty and the Beast” press tour, with an Instagram account (@the_press_tour) created to document the whole journey. Looks which made the cut include a Rosie Assoulin dress made in New York, a Ronald van der Kemp gown created from discarded fabric, a vintage YSL suit, and custom (and thus locally made) creations from Dior, Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, and Miu Miu. Slow fashion has never sounded more appealing.
The Global Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme has used her worldwide recognition to make a difference back in her native Brazil. She and her father founded the Projeto Água Limpa initiative, which implements sustainable agricultural practices; she also created the cartoon “Gisele and the Green Team” in 2010, to inspire young girls to care about the environment.
A vocal environmental activist, Ruffalo has notably spoken and acted out about water quality issues, including hydro-fracking in New York States; he founded a nonprofit, Water Defense, dedicated to advocating for clean water. “Acting has sort of become my day job now; It’s what I do to support all this other stuff,” Ruffalo told WWD in 2016. More recently, the “Avengers” actor presented Maria Cornejo with the 2018 Sustainability Award during FGI’s Night of Stars in October.
The longtime vegan doubled down on her stance, launching her own ethical clothing and accessories brand Hiraeth this summer at Barneys New York. All of the items are produced in Los Angeles. “I wanted to make things that were vegan and ‘cruelty-free’ for animals and I didn’t want to then bring about cruelty to any other person,” Mara said this summer. “Would it be much cheaper then for us to make our clothes farther away? Yes, but this provided us a chance to be more hands-on and to know the people who are making our clothes and know that there is integrity, and that people were making living wages off of it.”
It’s no secret that Shailene “I believe in trees” Woodley is a committed environmental activist — she’s even been arrested for her efforts. The actress headed to North Dakota in 2016 to support Standing Rock’s protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, where (like many other demonstrators on site) she was arrested for criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot. The actress has continued to be vocal in her efforts, most recently supporting an online town hall titled “Solving Our Climate Crisis.”
Through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the actor supports projects protecting wildlife and fragile ecosystems, and has taken on climate change not only through monetary support but also using film. DiCaprio produced and stars in the National Geographic documentary “Before the Flood,” which aims to inspire viewers to take action to counter climate change. (The documentary opted for a voluntary carbon tax, to offset carbon omissions from production of the film.)
Dawson and Abrima Erwiah founded sustainable fashion brand Studio 189 with intentions of creating a farm-to-consumer line that fosters capacity building and supports local economies in Africa. The pair received a strong nod from the fashion industry this summer, winning the annual $80,000 award from the CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative 2.0.
The model is embracing sustainable fashion in a different way: she’s proudly, and publicly, rewearing clothes. “I have clothes from five, 10 years ago. I keep wearing them because they are great cuts, and if you buy something which has quality and timeless cuts, you can wear forever, and that’s being sustainable. Or you can go to your friend’s closet and borrow dresses, and that’s sustainability, too,” said the model during a NYFW party in September. “It’s very important that we start changing the supply chain and taking care of people and the planet in the process…we have the power to make this change by making conscious decisions every single day.”
Redford, a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, has channeled his decades of activism toward environmental causes including launching The Redford Center, which works to use film and media to inspire action on the environment.
The Grammy nominee has been teasing her upcoming sustainable line, Ctrl Fishing Co., since she posted a photo of herself wearing a crewneck sweatshirt embroidered with “Sustainability Gang.” (Another item she’s shown off on Instagram is a colorful windbreaker bearing the phrase “Puck Flastic.”) While details on the launch are minimal, her comment on one promotional photo, “Who tryn save da ocean,” implies a probable water-related mission.
Alba launched The Honest Company in 2011 to offer clean household products to consumers, inspired by her experience struggling to find such items after the birth of her daughter.
The former “007” actor is on a mission to save the planet — from the perils of environmental destruction. Brosnan infamously boycotted the U.K. premiere of “GoldenEye” in 1995 to protest the French nuclear testing program, and he has continued to advocate for green causes with his wife Keely Shaye Smith. The couple were inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame on 2008; they recently produced the 2016 documentary “Poisoning Paradise,” which Smith directed, taking a stand against biotech testing in Hawaii.
Barrymore entered the cruelty-free beauty realm with Flower, which offers eco beauty at affordable prices.
Wilde, inspired by the idea of paying more attention to the products she consumes, cofounded e-tailer Conscious Commerce in 2013 to leverage online shopping for philanthropic profit. She got a larger platform for her initiative as the face of a campaign for H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection in 2015, also teaming with the brand for a campaign encouraging young people to recycle their unwanted wares.
More From the Eye: