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Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs addressed Sustainable Fashion at EarthX kick-off event

On April 20, the Honorable Prime Minister of St. Maarten, Ms. Silveria E. Jacobs had the distinct pleasure of addressing the audience at the Women leadership in the sustainable fashion movement kick-off event at EarthX 2022. This is one of the events that Prime Minister Jacobs was scheduled to speak at during her working visit to the EarthX Forum in Dallas, Texas from April 20th until April 23rd. During the event, Prime Minister Jacobs wearing a print scarf and holding a clutch, both locally made by original St. Maarten designer Jolie Duzon, used the international platform to touch on the ways the world can prepare for a more sustainable future.

Prime Minister Jacobs addressed the audience expressing, “Our incessant need to keep up with every fashion trend; along with the undisputable negative effects of climate change and increasing environmental pollution has created the need for humanity to start thinking more along the lines of social responsibility and ecological consideration. Our love for fashion should not unequivocally mean that we should sacrifice our love and appreciation of our environment and the very air that we breathe. “Fast fashion” has corrupted the world of fashion and in so doing adversely affected our environment; but we can change this.”

By changing how we approach two key components of sustainable fashion; creation and consumption, we can change the impact on our environment, Prime Minister Jacobs indicated. Sustainable fashion is making waves in Latin America and the Caribbean. This can be seen particularly in communities where access to materials and large-scale manufacturing may not be as prominent as in more developed nations.

Prime Minister Jacobs highlighted the growing trend in St. Maarten and the rest of the Caribbean for upcycling used clothing, by altering, repairing, and even sewing original designs utilizing used garments. Historical examples of such upcycled garments culturally recognized throughout St. Martin (entire island), were referenced, such as the “Yaya and Tittah frock”. As we work to achieve sustainable goals, whilst embracing our culture and showcasing our local talent, we encourage our artists to utilize all forms of environmentally friendly avenues to express their artistry.

“I encourage you to choose eco-friendly fashion and ethical consumerism which is considerate to humanity and our environment that is vastly becoming unsustainable seeing that the fashion industry accounts for about 10% of damage to our environment. As such, I commend the many designers, creators, artists and entrepreneurs who have made the transition to sustainable and ethical fashion. I applaud you. It shows that clothing can be made morally, with natural materials, creating less water and air pollution, saving the environment and still be trendy,” Prime Minister Jacobs said as she addressed the audience in closing.
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