R’Bonney Gabriel, the newly crowned Miss Universe, prioritizes the health of Planet Earth. Not only was she Miss Texas USA and Miss USA, but she also operates an eco-friendly clothing line, which she showcased at the Miss Universe pageant in New Orleans. During the swimsuit segment, she took to the stage wearing a vibrant orange swimsuit and a dramatic cape that she designed using sustainable methods. The cape was made from recycled plastic bottles and was a statement on the importance of making change now. The message on the cape read, “If Not Now, Then When?” Gabriel is the first Filipino American woman to serve as Miss USA.
R’Bonney Gabriel shared the creation process of her swimsuit cape, which was influenced by the phoenix rising from the ashes, on Instagram. In her post, she explained that the cape symbolizes her belief that challenges in life can be transformed into strength, intelligence, and power. Made from recycled plastic bottles and dyed using sustainable methods, the cape represents the idea that art can be created from perceived trash. The cape also bears her favorite message “If Not Now, Then When?” which encapsulates her philosophy of taking action in the present moment.
R’Bonney Gabriel documented her use of natural dyes and recycled plastic bottles to create the unique, fiery cape for the Miss Universe pageant. The 28-year-old ethical fashion advocate also displayed her commitment to sustainable fashion by upcycling a friend’s jacket and an old jumpsuit to create one of her rehearsal outfits for the competition. Gabriel emphasized the need for conscious consumption and the importance of cherishing what we already own, rather than continually purchasing new items. She encouraged others to adopt this mindset and become a “Force For Good.”
While competing in the Miss Universe pageant, R’Bonney Gabriel shared her dedication to using her fashion expertise for good causes. She has worked as a sewing instructor for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking and incorporates sustainable and recyclable materials in her clothing line. During the competition, she emphasized the significance of investing in others and using one’s unique talent to make a positive impact. Gabriel told the judges that everyone has something special to offer, and by sharing those gifts with others, we can drive change and empower those around us.