The newly crowned Miss Universe winner, R’Bonney Gabriel, has made a significant impact on the fashion industry with her eco-friendly and sustainable efforts. Her dedication to sustainability is evident in all aspects of her life, from how she designs and creates her own clothing to the message she promotes on her social media. Gabriel is the founder and designer of her own eco-friendly fashion label, where she focuses on upcycling pieces and recycling different clothing to be more sustainable in her industry. Her brand is not only about making a fashion statement but also about making a difference in the world and promoting sustainable living.
Gabriel's efforts to be sustainable were highlighted in the swimsuit section of the competition in which she designed a unique and bold orange one-piece swimsuit attached to a cape that read “If Not Now, Then When”, to raise awareness of the urgent need for change. This outfit was not only a statement but also demonstrated how sustainable fashion can be fashionable and beautiful. Gabriel posted a video of the process of making the dress, which showed the creativity and hard work that went into creating it. Her goal was to showcase that art can be made from what we perceive as trash, and she achieved this by upcycling plastic bottles to create part of her cape and using sustainable dyes on the fabric.
In addition to designing and creating her own outfit, Gabriel also upcycled an already-owned jumpsuit, which she wore during the competition. In her Instagram post, she wrote that she believes people can make a conscious effort to avoid fast fashion since most fabric ends up in the trash dumps and there is much-unlocked potential in upcycling. Gabriel's message is that by using sustainable fashion, we can conserve resources, reduce pollution and create more beautiful and unique clothing.
Gabriel's sustainable efforts and message resonated with many, and she became a role model for many who want to make a change. She said, “I think that's something we can all look for in our certain industries and in our homes — to be more sustainable.” With her newly acquired platform, Gabriel plans to continue to spread awareness about the importance of sustainability and encourage others to take action.