DUBAI: Lebanese-Australian model and humanitarian Jessica Kahawaty is set to ring in the new year Down Under and took to Instagram this week to share an important message about the environment in one of her last posts of the year.
The influencer took to the social media platform with a photo of herself in a multi-colored, tie-dye shirt — a fashion trend she predicted would make a comeback in 2019 — and captioned it with a note on the state of coral reef ecosystems.
“I love that @pantone announced ‘Living Coral’ as 2019 color of the year,” she said, referring to the Pantone Color Institute’s yearly pick of an annual favorite color. “It’s also an important environmental message calling for attention (to) the state of coral reef ecosystems,” she added.
It is a message that is particularly important in Australia, where the coral along large swathes of the 2,300-kilometer Great Barrier Reef has been killed by rising sea temperatures linked to climate change, leaving behind skeletal remains in a process known as coral bleaching.
The northern reaches of the reef suffered an unprecedented two successive years of severe bleaching in 2016 and 2017, raising fears it may have suffered irreparable damage, AFP reported in November.
And that is why Kahawaty is so pleased that the much-reported-on color of the year is “Living Coral.”
Laurie Pressman, Pantone Color Institute’s vice president, told the Associated Press in December that she considers this saturated orange base with a golden undertone not only warm and welcoming but versatile and life-affirming. It energizes with a softer edge than, say, its pastel and neon color cousins.
“With everything that’s going on today, we’re looking for those humanizing qualities because we’re seeing online life dehumanizing a lot of things,” Pressman said. “We’re looking toward those colors that bring nourishment and the comfort and familiarity that make us feel good. It’s not too heavy. We want to play. We want to be uplifted.”
Kahawaty is a keen supporter of a number of humanitarian and environmental causes, including UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR)
Last year, fashion house Louis Vuitton selected Kahawaty to work with UNICEF at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan to help children affected by the Syrian crisis, which has seen millions of people (including more than two million children) displaced.
Kahawaty also urged fans to donate a minute of their salaries to end child violence as part of the UNICEF Australia initiative, “A Minute of Your Time.”