A moment of eco-wakening ensured a double win on the eve of 14th January 2023 when Anna Sueangam-iam was crowned the Miss Universe Thailand 2022. As a frontrunner for the title, her upcycled gown, made using pull tabs of the drink cans, called the shots and led her to a thumping victory in the final rounds of the competition.
“You must not get stuck with murky surroundings you were born into, but do believe you have the power to change your own life for the better,” Anna, Miss Universe Thailand 2022, said
As beautiful as the gown, the motivation and material behind it gave it the cutting edge. The message that came, wrapped with it for sure, moved the millions as they began talking about it. Overnight Miss Anna became an inspiration and an idol for many who count themselves among the impoverished.
“Even in things we see as worthless or useless. As long as we find the good, find its value, accept it, and use this as a power for ourselves,” says Manirat, Anna’s Designer
Brought up by parents who worked as garbage collectors, Anna found her confidence in the trash. She viewed garbage as a heap of opportunities where not many are looking. When the world just began picking up the pace on recycling, Anna took the progress a level up. Being vocal about a cause and taking action are two different things. And by donning the “Can Tab” gown, Anna reflected the efforts of an individual who has the power to bring a change if he wills.
An entire community of eco-warriors has come into action to reverse the damage. The first step is raising awareness about the climate crisis and, rightly so, a thought-provoking artwork by a Spain artist Luzinterruptus, “The Plastic We Live With,” encouraged people to think about the massive amount of plastic we are consuming every day without even giving a thought to decomposing or recycling them. The collection is displayed in the Evelyn House, Mumbai.
With the help of innovation and technology, harmful waste materials are re-purposed to create something beautiful, functional, and valuable. The good news is that sustainable businesses get empowered with climate-positive events. Both the government and corporates are taking initiatives to undo the damage.
But the biggest share of appreciation goes to the young generations who are active stakeholders in driving the change. Many startups are focusing on bringing state-of-the-art technologies, and solutions to the deterring problem.
Anna’s thought in using the can tabs resonates with her upbringing, and not to forget the Swarovski diamonds used in the Gown, highlighting the shining future she has paved for herself. She would be among those trendsetters and change-bearers. We truly admired her Gown, and the “Garbage Queen” has won our hearts, indeed!!