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Finding Her Muse: How a University of Cambridge Short Course Helped This Model Become a Steward of Eco-Friendly Fashion

Written by Molly Forman on Mar 23, 2021

Related content: Short Courses, Outcomes

Courtesy of SKIIM Paris
Image Courtesy of SKIIM Paris

Early in her modeling career, Arizona Muse was named the “new face of American fashion” by Vogue. Today, she’s also one of the faces behind SKIIM Paris: a consciously sourced leather and suede brand that launched its latest collection last week.

Not only is Arizona modeling for SKIIM Paris—but she’s also serving as the brand’s newly appointed sustainability consultant. And according to an interview published in Forbes last week, Arizona’s enrollment in a University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) short course on Business Sustainability Management was what helped prepare her for the shift from fashion model to fashion activist.

Read on to learn how Arizona made the switch to sustainability consulting with the help of the 2U-powered CISL Business Sustainability Management short course.

“I Had No Idea How Clothes Were Made”

Arizona’s sustainability journey started with a single thought.

“About six years ago, I had the uncomfortable realization that although I was at the core of the fashion industry, I had no idea how clothes were made,” she told Forbes.

Eager to change that, Arizona started researching the ins and outs of fashion—reading books, watching documentaries, and regularly falling down Google rabbit holes. After gaining a baseline understanding of supply chains, fashion pollution, and economic theories, she enrolled in the Business Sustainability Management short course from CISL to further her knowledge.

Geared towards working professionals who seek to drive social, economic, and environmental sustainability within their organization, this eight-week online program was the perfect opportunity for Arizona to advance her education without putting her career on pause.

“I started modeling as a teenager so I didn't go to university, and taking this course from Cambridge—which is undeniably rigorous—was an amazing validation for me on my own learning journey, that I was going in the right direction,” Arizona told Forbes.

Taking this course from Cambridge—which is undeniably rigorous—was an amazing validation for me on my own learning journey, that I was going in the right direction.
— Arizona Muse, Model, Activist, and SKIIM Paris Sustainability Consultant

“The Most Meaningful Endeavor I’ve Ever Embarked On”

Today, Arizona is using lessons learned in the classroom to help SKIMM Paris fulfill its mission of producing what she calls “refined clothing with conscience.” Of everything she has accomplished to date, Arizona told Forbes that this sustainability consulting work is “the most meaningful endeavor I’ve ever embarked on.”

In her free time, Arizona also uses her social media platforms to make an impact—passionately educating her more than 284K Instagram followers about the world of sustainable fashion.

As she shared in one recent Instagram post, “Imagine walking into a shop and knowing that whatever you needed to buy had a positive impact on the Earth. How good would that feel? Sustainability should not be an add-on, but a given every time. There should always be transparency about where each garment was made and the people who made it. This way brands would no longer have to hide the embarrassingly cruel lifecycle of their garments. We could remove the ‘sustainable’ and just call it ‘fashion.’”

With activists like Arizona leading the charge, this future feels not only achievable—but inevitable.

Looking to drive sustainability within your own organization? Learn more about CISL’s Business Sustainability Management short course and SDA Bocconi School of Management’s Sustainable Fashion short course launching later this year.

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