Eco-Stiletto: Actress Whitney Port Has Designs on Fashion

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By Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

You may think Whitney Port came out of nowhere to become a pop culture juggernaut, but you’d be dead wrong. The girl works for it. And it’s not like this 25-year-old star of MTV’s The Hills, its spin-off, The City, and designer of the recently launched Whitney Eve fashion line lets fame get to her head, either, as I found out in this exclusive interview for EcoStiletto.

Whitney was on hand to style the hundreds of would-be fashionistas who flocked to The Grove in Los Angeles to discover that one (wo)man’s trash is another’s treasure—especially when it comes to accessorizing — as eBay Look Book brought their makeover road show to LA.

Whitney searches the eBay Look Book racks for the perfect accessory.

Poised in an eBay’ed Isabel Marant jacket and Pray for Mother Nature jeans, with her signature locks braided into a ballerina top knot, Whitney paused to pose for the paparazzi and graciously signed autographs — when she wasn’t searching the racks for the perfect accessory to complete someone else’s outfit.

Whitney styles a fan for her Look Book shoot.

As part of the eBay Fashion Team, Whitney obviously knows the value of recycled clothing and accessories. But I wondered if this indicated a commitment to sustainability or fashion. I sat down with Whitney — thankfully, because she’s about six inches taller than me in flats — to find out.

What I quickly realized is that Whitney’s a green girl from the get-go. Her eco-idol is Leonardo DiCaprio, because he “uses his fame for a good cause,” she said — ironically name-checking the celeb whom last year tabloids pegged her as dating. She’s not.

A native Los Angelean, she’s impatient with the red tape that’s slowed down the city’s developing subway system and confessed that her worst eco-sin is not carpooling and driving a gas-guzzling car, rather than a plug-in electric hybrid like a Fisker or Tesla.

When I asked if she considered herself an environmentalist, Whitney admitted that “It’s hard…because every action we do every day can be done in a better way.” Her politeness got in the way of her ethics, though, when she was handed a plastic water bottle in the 90-degree heat. “I don’t keep any plastic water bottles in my house,” she said. “I’ll recycle it, but it still shouldn’t even be bought.”

But when it comes to fashion, Whitney’s first choice is vintage, because of its originality. “I love vintage,” she said. “You know when you walk out the door that it’s not going to be seen on anybody else.” She’s also drawn to the cost-consciousness of recycled clothing: “You save money because you’re getting something that’s designer . . . that’s definitely more affordable than what you can get in the stores,” she said, citing her Isabel Marant find — a $1,000+ jacket that sold for less than $500 on eBay. But she wasn’t sure about the sustainability aspect: When I asked her what sustainable items were on her holiday wish list, she discounted a motorcycle jacket that she’d been eyeing online; when I reminded her of the sustainable aspect of eBay’s reused, vintage and up-cycled selections, she breathed a visible sigh of relief.

Sadly, although Whitney admitted to being inspired by eco-friendly vintage, loving green beauty products like Australia’s best-selling Corba line and obsessing on Alternative Apparel’s organic cotton basics, Whitney Eve doesn’t incorporate any new sustainable fabrics-yet. “I’m so new,” she said. “So right now I’m just trying to get the hang of the whole process. But eventually I really want to find out how that whole technique works.”

Luckily, she’s got plenty of time.

Photos Getty Images for eBay.

About Rachel Sarnoff

The blog is the brainchild of Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, a former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World who was editor of Children magazine—before she had three of her own. Rachel was featured in Los Angeles and Lucky magazines and has appeared on “Today,” “Access Hollywood” and “CNN Headline News,” among others. She is a writer, consultant and pre/postnatal yoga teacher, who also helps families with Healthy Home Assessments. Rachel can also be found on HuffPo Parents, at www.MommyGreenest.com, https://www.facebook.com/MommyGreenest on Facebook, at YouTube.com/RachelSarnoff and tweeting regularly as @RachelLSarnoff.

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    As part of the eBay Fashion Team, Whitney obviously knows the value of recycled clothing and accessories. But I wondered if this indicated a commitment to sustainability or fashion. I sat down with Whitney — thankfully, because she’s about six inches taller than me in flats — to find out.

    What I quickly realized is that Whitney’s a green girl from the get-go. Her eco-idol is Leonardo DiCaprio, because he “uses his fame for a good cause,” she said — ironically name-checking the celeb whom last year tabloids pegged her as dating. She’s not.

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