Savannah Bethea Miss South Carolina United States - 2023

Miss South Carolina United States - 2023

Savannah Bethea

I have created an environmental project called "Jeans For Teens" that collects denim in any condition - new, used, ruined, or even scraps. The collected denim is either reused or recycled to give it a new life. The majority of the denim I collect is repurposed by a company that creates sustainable insulation from denim. This insulation can be recycled multiple times to create a positive cycle of use, with the goal of keeping denim out of landfills.

My belief is that helping people and the planet should be a shared goal. Therefore, any denim that is collected in like-new condition is donated to local foster programs and homeless shelters to help local teens in need. Providing stylish and trendy jeans to kids in need not only clothes them, but also gives them confidence.

My aim for Jeans for Teens is to directly help people in my community and the planet as a whole. I chose this concept after learning that textile waste is one of the fastest-growing categories of landfill waste, and cotton denim is one of the easiest materials to repurpose and recycle. Everyone has at least one pair of jeans in their closet that they can't wear. With Jeans For Teens, collected denim has a second life of sustainable use --- instead of being dumped in a landfill, where it can take more than 200 years to decompose.

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