A Ms Australia World Universal 2020 national finalist, Ms Pan Sandar Myint and ethical fashion designer, Gina Berjeel have joined forces in an Australian-first. A collaboration to advocate for equal human rights within the fashion industry.
“This will be the first time ever in the Australian beauty pageant industry for a Ms Australia World Universal national finalist and an ethical fashion designer to make an ethical fashion statement in support of equal human rights of Rohingya, Syrian, Iraqi and Afghanistan refugees,” said Ms Berjeel.
Ms Myint views the pageant in a very different way to her fellow contestants, utilising her participation in the pageant as a way to publicise the unethical practices within the fashion industry and highlight the issues within the Rohingya community. Originating from the “Rohingya” from Myanmar, one of the most persecuted ethnicities in the world Ms Myint will use her voice to raise awareness of the humanitarian exploitation that still exists on a global scale.
Beauty, to Ms Myint means ‘a caring heart that supports and empowers another female to build a better strong ethical society together. I don’t feel beautiful by wearing expensive stylish fast fashion that is manufactured by adopting child labour, unfair extremely low wage rate & degrading environment’
Ms Myint has chosen to collaborate on her pageant outfits with Gina Berjeel, an Australian ethical fashion designer employing female refugees from Iraqi, Syrian and Afghanistan backgrounds. This collaboration sets a precedent for the future of pageantry and it was incredibly important for Ms Myint to find a designer and stylist that aligned with her beliefs.
‘I came across Gina Barjeel’s brand through her partnership with Miss Sahara. This caught my attention and I looked up for her contact details. Then, I called her up and explained her about my advocacy of equal human rights for Rohingya community. She was so excited & keen to collaborate with me’
Ms Myint stands against Fast Fashion, cheaply and rapidly produced clothing for the Western market.
“Fast fashion has a significant impact on human societies around the world because the global fashion industry is worth three trillion dollars, accounting for 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product. To generate high profits, most fashion firms operate their factories in Asian countries for cheap labour. USA, Europe, Australia, UK and Japan import most garments from China and Bangladesh. This generates vulnerable human rights issues including under-aged child labour, unfair labour wage and environmental degradation.”
Conscious consumption is a social movement where by consumers are encouraged to think about their purchases and the affect that their consumption may have on the planet and the population. ABC’s War On Waste reported nearly 6000KG of clothing waste is disposed every ten minutes in Australia. Conscious consumption means moving away from fast fashion and looking towards more sustainable and ethical products, through seeking out information about where and how the clothing is made.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught me that humanitarian efforts are of utmost importance. This is the perfect time for us all to change our actions to moral and ethical ones to save our beautiful world.” says Ms Myint.
With the Ms Australia World Universal crowning event postponed until March 2021, Ms Myint has been productive by launching her own female empowerment web series. We to can do our part by researching where we are purchasing our clothing from – ‘The Truth Behind the Label – BWA Fashion Report’
Hannah Croly is a fashion-loving, champagne drinking, style writer who loves nothing more than a Saturday afternoon on James st enjoying cocktails and some light retail therapy. You can follow her on Instagram here @fashuunista.