Miss Universe Thailand dons dress made of drink can tabs, pays tribute to garbage collector parents

She grew up in poverty in Bangkok.

Hannah Martens | January 15, 2023, 07:10 PM

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While Singapore's Miss Universe pulled up in a dress with 3D-printed Vanda Miss Joaquim flowers for the national costume, Miss Universe Thailand's evening gown uniquely celebrates her heritage.

Anna Sueangam-iam, 24, wore a stunning gown made entirely of recycled pull tabs from cans bedazzled with Swarovski crystals.

The dress was designed by the Thai fashion brand Manirat, and called the "Hidden Precious Diamond Dress".

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A post shared by Miss Universe Thailand (@missuniverse.in.th)

As Sueangam-iam explained in an Instagram post, her dress was inspired by the "familiar surroundings" of her childhood.

"Growing up with garbage collector parents, my life as a child was among piles of garbage and recyclables," she wrote.

According to Next Shark, Sueangam-iam was born into poverty in Bangkok. She played with toys her parents found in the trash, and other children bullied her, calling her "Miss Garbage".

"This unique gown was purposefully tailored-made with discarded and recycled materials," she wrote, adding that "what's considered worthless by many actually possesses its own value and beauty."

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A post shared by Anna Sueangam-iam (@annasnga_1o)

Sueangam-iam's goal is to become Thailand's third Miss Universe crown holder. The two women who previously won the title for Thailand were Portip Nakhirunkanok in 1988 and Apasra Hongsakula in 1965.

Top photos via Instagram and Canva