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Alicia Silverstone X The Good Festival
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Alicia Silverstone X The Good Festival 

Alicia Silverstone at the Westfield Topanga Mall’s The Good Festival event, discussing sustainable lifestyles. Photo by Elizabeth Guldimann

Actress, activist and entrepreneur Alicia Silverstone had a life-changing moment at the age of 21, after seeing a documentary about animals. As she stroked the legs of her rescue dog, she realized how much they felt like the legs of a chicken, and how unthinkable it would be for anyone to eat anything like her beloved pet. As a result, Silverstone became vegan, and dedicated herself to change.

Silverstone recently spoke on sustainability at the Westfield Topanga mall’s The Good Festival event, moderated by Westfield United States Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Robyn Cottelli. 

Silverstone is best known for her role as Cher Horowitz in Clueless (1995), but she has also built a name for herself as an advocate for healthy and compassionate living. She shared that she has loved animals since childhood, and would sporadically go plant-based from the ages of 8-21,  Silverstone noted that veganism not only helps animals and the planet, but it has helped her as well. She stated that a vegan diet helped clear up her acne, reduced her allergies, boosted her fatigued energy levels, and even helped her maintain a healthy weight. She says she has also found that she has had less need for modern pharmaceuticals, proudly proclaiming, “my food is my medication.” 

Silverstone maintains that the most important step people can take towards a more sustainable lifestyle is making a mindset change and intentionally, “just [aiming] in that direction.” Other tips she offers include changing diet to include more greens and whole grains, replacing animal protein with beans, replacing paper products with more sustainable alternatives, such as reusable paper towels, handkerchiefs instead of tissues, and using Plant Paper toilet paper.

She also advocates for avoiding buying new items when possible, suggesting to search for  replacements on sites such as Ebay or Craigslist. 

Some of Silverstone’s favorite clean beauty brands include Saie and Ilia, though she says, “the biggest beauty secret on the planet is a plant-based diet.” Clothing-wise, Silverstone raves about reused clothing sources such as The Real Real, Ebay, and Crossroads. 

Pact organic cotton undergarments, Another Tomorrow suits, Mate the Label t-shirts and Dôen clothing make her list of top clothing brand picks. She recommends avoiding fast fashion and doing further research into companies to ensure that they are maintaining sustainable and ethical business practices. She also tries to avoid buying any new items that are polyester or conventionally grown cotton, and instead searches for clothing containing fibers like organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo. 

Prioritizing buying second-hand items over new ones, Silverstone does provide the caveat that she, understandably, always prefers to buy undergarments new through Pact, but proudly declares that outside of Pact items, she has only ever purchased two new articles of clothing for her son, Bear, in his life. She recommends searching for children’s clothes on resale sites such as Ebay, and asking friends and family for the hand-me-down clothing of their children. 

Silverstone also dished on her favorite vegan eats throughout Los Angeles. She recommends asking for the “Bear” sandwich, named for her son, at dairy-free (lactose intolerance sufferers rejoice!) cheese specialty shop Vromage. She mentioned Maury’s Bagels in Silverlake, which, while not a specifically vegan restaurant, offers an “I’m Vegan” bagel sandwich: “Vegan spread, dill cucumber, tomato, pickled red onion, served open face.” Silverstone also mentions Shojin sushi in Culver City and Sugar Taco in West Hollywood as some of her vegan favorites. 

Silverstone reminds us of the importance of leading by example, noting that it’s okay to make mistakes while aiming in the right direction, and that “we’re not perfect, I mess up sometimes too.” She goes on to say “we have come so far and every one of us has that power to lead by example.” 

In addition to expanded lists of clothing, makeup, and food favorites, Alicia Silverstone offers tips and tricks for sustainability on her website, TheKindLife.com.

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