Miss Earth pageant pushes for sustainable fashion on Earth Day 2023

As Earth Day 2023 celebrations come to a close, the fashion industry is taking a closer look at how to make its practices more sustainable. The Miss Earth pageant, deeply vested in sustainability, is among those pushing for a more eco-friendly approach to fashion.

Former Miss Earth Kenya 2019, Suzy Kirui, has called for the use of beauty pageants as a platform to promote environmental awareness and action. Speaking to NTV’s Paul Odhiambo, Kirui, who is now a pageant coach, said that Miss Earth is an environmental pageant that seeks to promote environmental conservation globally.

“As a Miss Earth, we serve as brand ambassadors and eco-warriors in championing a pure environment,” she said. “Miss Earth is an environmental pageant and seeks for delegates from all around the world to champion environmental conservation.”

Suzy believes that the fashion industry can play a significant role in promoting sustainability. “Plastic pollution has always been a threat to society. We live in a consumption-based society, and plastic is the cheapest storage utility,” she said. “We need to keep pushing the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Climate change is real, and we have to make a change as early as now.”

The new franchise holder of Miss Earth Kenya, ProSABA Collective Ltd, shares Suzy’s passion for sustainable fashion. “As the new franchise holder, we intend to follow in the footsteps of all things that Miss Earth promotes: environmental awareness and sustainability,” said Country Director Beverly Jalango. “We plan to promote upcycling and recycling initiatives among creatives as a source of the material(s) for entrepreneurship.”

The pageant also plans to promote ecotourism as an incentive for environmental awareness and sustainability. “We believe that promoting sustainable tourism practices can help protect our environment while promoting economic growth and community development,” said Beverly.

With Earth Day being a significant day for environmentalists worldwide, Beverly had a message for Kenyans. “Rethink your lifestyles. This includes your purchasing choices, product impact on the environment from production, how it is used all the way to disposal, general human interaction with the environment, and to share/promote knowledge on sustainability,” she said.

While the Miss Earth pageant is deeply vested in sustainability and fashion, the organization also encourages its contestants to take action on environmental issues beyond the pageant. “Miss Earth Kenya will focus on crowning role models with the potential to carry the sustainability flag for the year of participation and beyond,” said Beverly. “We select candidates that are leaders or promising leaders in the sustainability space and provide opportunities that will enable them to internalize sustainability and expose them to avenues to advance within environmental conservation during the event.”

In addition to waste management, Miss Earth Kenya is also focusing on creating awareness and practice of environmental sustainability in non-elite schools and general public spaces. This is a crucial area of focus, as environmental sustainability should not be a privilege reserved for the wealthy. “We need to create a world that is sustainable for future generations,” said Suzy. “Through sustainable fashion and other environmental conservation efforts, we can achieve that goal.”

The fashion industry as a whole is taking steps towards a more sustainable future. More and more brands are incorporating eco-friendly materials into their designs and adopting circular business models. The fashion industry is also recognizing the importance of transparency and traceability, with consumers increasingly demanding to know the origin of the products they purchase.

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