Cameron Russell

Model, Organizer, and Writer

Cameron Russell is a model, organizer, and writer who has spent the last sixteen years working as a model for clients like Prada, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Vogue, and Elle. She gave one of the top ten most popular TED talks of all time, with over 32 million views and counting, called "Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model." In 2012 she graduated with honors from Columbia University with a degree in economics and political science and wrote a thesis about grassroots cultural workers and political power. After graduating, she organized a collective of artist activists based in Brooklyn. In 2016, she cofounded the Model Mafia, a growing network of hundreds of fashion models committed to building a more equitable, just, and sustainable industry and world. She's currently finishing work on a book about fashion, intuition, and power. 

Fair Trade USA: How has the portrayal of women in fashion changed in your time as a model?


"Women make up 80 percent of the fashion industry, and although we are rarely in charge, we do the bulk of the labor and we also are the bulk of the consumers. And so, in this moment of great upheaval, anyone who is trying to make the world more just and sustainable, if I can arrive, I can be of use, then I think it's my job to say yes."


Shop Fair Trade Certified factory-made apparel.

Today, approximately 80 percent of garment workers are women, yet women are notoriously underrepresented in the garment industry. The inner workings of garment factories are rife with gender discrimination, exploitation, harassment, and unsafe working conditions. While the workers inside those factories make our clothes, they are too often stripped of their own dignity, safety, and rights.

Buying fair trade is a way to demand better for the people behind our clothes. It’s more important than ever that we know who’s behind our clothes and how our spending habits are affecting them, so that no one has to suffer as a result of how our garments are made, sourced, and purchased. Fair Trade USA® certifies factories across the globe for more than 45 brands to support the lives, dignity, and empowerment of garment workers, helping women advance in garment supply chains and making ethically-produced clothing accessible to the mainstream.