Saturday, October 23, 2021

Why Miss Earth Australia 2021 advocates for sustainability in fashion

Miss Earth Australia 2021 Phoebe Soegiono.

For this year's Miss Earth pageant, the Land Down Under is represented by Phoebe Soegiono, a 23-year old customer consultant for a luxury brand in Sydney.

As she worked in fashion industry, it wasn’t until recently that she learned how much waste the industry discards. Thus, she advocates for sustainability in fashion and how we should make more informed decisions in reducing clothing waste.

Speaking to Entertainment News Portal through video chat, Phoebe talked about how she started this campaign.

Miss Earth Australis 2021 Phoebe Soegiono during the video chat with Entertainment News Portal.

"Years ago I wouldn't really think about where my clothing came from. Because I guess young people are always on a budget so I was always looking for, oh my gosh if its 2.50 Australian dollar let me just get it. It just all about staying with the trend and just buying something new for one event and then getting rid of it or buying new outfit for one photo and because you can't be seen in it again, you get rid of it," she said.

"So it wasn't until like a year ago which I realized like how much waste is being used. How can companies pretty much make 20 pieces of clothing every single week and for it to be re-occurring every single week. Where is the waste come from, like how did they make it, why it is so cheap? So I dug deeper and I realized that there is more to it. They're pretty much sell as much as they can without thinking about how it's going to affect the environment and not only the environment but people," she added.

With this campaign, Phoebe does not only think the welfare of the environment but also of the people behind it. She said, "if clothing is made overseas, are the people getting paid enough? Are they working in a good environment? Like how much did the waste go after being discarded? Did you just dumped it somewhere and pile? Did you burned it? What do you do with it? It made me realized to make better good choices and I have to realized that the things that I buy it's going to affect someone or the environment, negatively or positively. So I think we should have to make informed decision to where we buy our clothes and what we do with our clothes."

By taking small actions, we can reduce waste in fashion. She shared some tips like donating or selling used clothes.

"What we've done before, before the lockdown actually, my sister and I had suitcases of clothes and we actually showed it to the younger girls at church. They would come and they would be excited to pick up a few items, " she said.

"Before donating, we give it to our church first to see if the younger girls wanna buy it. Some of them have tags, it didn't fit me. I just hold onto them. Hopefully they can wear them, look good on them. That's what we do first. If we still have left overs, that's what we give it to others, like a thrift stores or donation bin."

Phoebe is a full-blooded Indonesian but born and raised in Sydney, Australia. She lived in Indonesia for a couple of years when she was young.

Miss Earth 2021 journey

Phoebe has been very busy preparing for the international virtual pageant. She is training under Queenssential, a pageant training camp founded in Sydney, Australia by siblings Gabe Perez and Glyssa Perez, Miss Philippines Tourism 2019.

In her introduction video, she shared how she is preparing for the pageant and her journey in Miss Earth Australia 2021.

"I am glad that I have mentors and an amazing team behind me. It wasn't nothing that I expected but it was an amazing experience and I do learn a lot from it. My journey in Miss Earth Australia crown wasn't easy but I'm glad I overcame it. Even things like exercising, I do weights at home to stay fit for the video. Walking almost every single day with my six-inch heels around the house. It was very loud," she said.

She was inspired to join Miss Earth Australia because she wanted to experience the pageant industry. She is pursuing modelling so she figured that Miss Earth Australia would be a great challenge for her. 

"This is the first beauty pageant that I have competed in, and I love what the organization stands for; they advocate for the greater good of our Mother Earth" she said.

The grand coronation of Miss Earth 2021 is set on November 21 and will take on a virtual format. With the continuous rise of Covid-19 new variant cases worldwide, Carousel thought it best to forego the live staging of the pageant for the second time. The safety of the delegates, the production staff, and the public is still paramount for the organization, and will not, in any way, put anyone involved with the event at risk.

For its 21st edition, Miss Earth takes on the theme “Colors of the Earth” to reflect the vast and unique biodiversity of the world. The theme also alludes to the brighter outlook on 2021 coming from a rather bleak 2020 due to the pandemic.

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