Israel is gearing up to host the Miss Universe 2021 competition next week, with special events, galas, and tours of the country for the contestants.

One of the events leading up to the competition was a special fashion show put on by the contestants and Jerusalem’s Haboydem (The Attic) — a secondhand clothing store and women’s rehabilitation center.

For the event, held at Jerusalem’s First Station during Hanukkah, the Miss Universe contestants dressed in clothes from Haboydem, aiming to bring sustainable fashion, as well as mental health awareness, to the forefront.

Miss Turkey found this dress at Haboydem secondhand shop in Jerusalem. Photo by Mistamarindi

Haboydem provides employment training for people with disabilities, especially those recovering from issues relating to mental health. Each employee has a personalized rehabilitation plan, designed with the assistance of a staff occupational therapist or social worker, and works short shifts.

At the end of the process, employees receive support in seeking a job in the free market. This includes dealing with the pressures of the interview process, integrating into a new job, and maintaining steady employment.

“Haboydem is about giving a second chance [and the idea] that pre-loved clothes, just like our employees, can be given a second chance,” said Haboydem GM Eris Avihod.

Last-minute makeup for a Miss Universe contestant dressed in secondhand clothing from Haboydem. Photo by Mistamarindi

Among those taking part in the special event was Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, an avid supporter of Haboydem.

“I am thrilled that we are able to show the delegates from Miss Universe the very best of Jerusalem,” she said. “I consider Haboydem not only as one of the jewels in Jerusalem’s social-impact business scene but also a go-to place for beautiful clothes and am delighted that these worlds will come together in the fashion show,” she added.

Haboydem stylist Stephanie Strauch said many customers come for ideological reasons, “while others come to support and encourage our workers during their rehabilitation. Some are financially motivated and some just like the thrill of a ‘find.’”

The Miss Universe pageant will take place in Eilat on December 12 and will be broadcast live to over 600 million viewers in more than 170 countries.