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Suzy Amis Cameron: EcoFashion and MUSE School CA
Written by Oceana Sawyer - Saturday, 14 March 2015



EFW recently caught up with Suzy Amis Cameron in the afterglow of her Red Carpet Green Dress success at the Academy Awards this year with celebrity ambassadors, Gina Rodriguez and Jake McDorman. This eco-warrior is about so much more than pretty gowns. Not only is she out to increase the number of ecofriendly garments we put on our bodies everyday; she has also co-founded a revolutionary new school that is child-centered.

Founded in 2006 by Suzy and her sister, Rebecca Amis, MUSE School CA’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to live consciously with themselves, one another, and the planet. As one of the greenest campuses in the United States, MUSE supports spontaneous learning at every turn of its 22-acre space, enticing children to explore, create, discover and reflect.

EFW:  What is the origin of the idea to have the Red Carpet Green Dress campaign be a fundraiser for the Muse Schools?


Suzy Amis Cameron:  RCGD was created initially as a fundraiser for MUSE School. As we ventured into the world of sustainable fashion 6 years ago...not a lot of people were talking about it and the more we learned the more we realized it was a much bigger issue. It is not just about a pretty dress on the red carpet but the fact that we wear clothes every single day from the day we are born until the day we die.  RCGD has become a much bigger mission of creating awareness around the devastation that fashion wreaks on our environment and our bodies.
EFW:  How do you hope to influence consumers and/or the fashion industry with the RCGD campaign?


SAC:  I would like for household name designers to start looking at and realizing that there are different and better practices in creating fashion than the status quo, which is devastating to the health of our bodies and our planet. Vivienne Westwood is certainly way out front in creating more sustainable clothes...we LOVE her!

 Also, as a side note: We are also looking at the possibilities of creating our own line of RCGD apparel that we can wear everyday!



EFW:  How did the collaboration with Reformation come about?


SAC:  We had been talking about collaborating with a brand as a way of creating a tangible way of pushing the message of conscious fashion forward and Reformation seemed like the perfect fit.  My campaign director, Samata Pattinson, approached them and after an initial meeting back in the Fall, we decided to move forward!

EFW:  What aspect of the collaboration are you enjoying the most?


SAC:  I loved being able to brainstorm with the team around the most sustainable options that we could create. It is always so great to be able to collaborate with like-minded people. Yael and The Reformation team really walk their talk! They are young and hip and care not only about fashion, but the facility where they work is a clean green producing machine complete with renewable energy, grey water, a garden in the back...and I did not see one plastic bottle while I was there. They served us filtered water in mason jars.

EFW:  Besides fundraising for MUSE, what are your other goals for the Reformation collaboration?


SAC:  It takes RCGD a step further into showing people how to purchase clothes that are more sustainable and that can be worn in many different ways over and over for years to come. Fashion is usually a seasonal thing and the dresses that we created are simple, elegant and can be worn glammed up or worn during the day with boots and a sweater during summer, winter, fall, or spring...versatility is the name of the game. I still have pieces that I purchased while living in Paris at age 17 that I still wear and plan to wear when I am 90! 



EFW:  Aside from co-founding Muse School CA, in what other ways are you active with the school?


SAC:  There are two very exciting missions that MUSE is working on at the moment:  

1) We are going to be 100% plant-based in the fall. Meaning that all snacks and lunches will be Whole Food Plant-Based options with zero animal sources foods. This is very timely as the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is recommending plant-based foods not only for health of human beings but also health for the planet. 
From the "Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” — "The major findings regarding sustainable diets were that a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet. This pattern of eating can be achieved through a variety of dietary patterns, including the Healthy U.S.-style Pattern, the Healthy Mediterranean-style Pattern, and the Healthy Vegetarian Pattern. All of these dietary patterns are aligned with lower environmental impacts and provide options that can be adopted by the U.S. population. Current evidence shows that the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use, compared to the above dietary patterns. This is because the current U.S. population intake of animal-based foods is higher and plant-based foods are lower, than proposed in these three dietary patterns. Of note is that no food groups need to be eliminated completely to improve sustainability outcomes over the current status.”


And 2) We are getting closer and closer to opening more MUSE schools around the world!  It is an exciting time!




EFW:  What brands figure prominently in your daily wardrobe?


SAC:  I have some of Jeff Garner’s clothes from his line Prophetik and, of course, Reformation. It is still not easy to find truly sustainable pieces. I am not a big shopper but when I do find something that I like I want to make sure that it is of high quality and can be worn over and over for decades...not just once or for the season.

Suzy Amis Cameron is an educational and environmental advocate whose passion to "inspire and prepare young people to live consciously with themselves, one another and the planet" led her to found MUSE School CA with her sister, Rebecca Amis, in 2006.

MUSE is a non-profit, educational organization in Malibu Canyon, California, that is dedicated to empowering children to realize their full potential through academic excellence, personal responsibility, compassionate relations, global consciousness and environmental awareness. Global MUSE is a network of sister schools that are modeled after the same principles and provide children on every continent with access to education.

In 2009, Suzy founded Red Carpet Green Dress, an internationally recognized design competition that combines the worlds of fashion and sustainability by challenging designers from around the world to create a gown made entirely of sustainable materials with the winning design worn on the red carpet at the Academy Awards by a surprise Hollywood actress. The competition raises funds for scholarships to MUSE School CA and Global MUSE.

Suzy resides in Malibu, California, with her husband, James Cameron, and their five children.


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