There’ll be nothing rubbish about this year’s Junk Kouture designs

by Padraig Conlon

Renowned recycled fashion competition Junk Kouture has announced a brand-new partnership with global financial platform Revolut.

The new deal will see the fintech brand working with Ireland’s leading haute-couture design contest as it marks its tenth year.

Junk Kouture is a fashion competition using recycled materials, which challenges young people to design, create and model high-end couture from everyday junk.

It incorporates elements of fashion, design, engineering and environmental sustainability, in a creative contest unlike any other, and one that is open to all secondary school students across the island of Ireland.

The whole idea of Junk Kouture is to create striking works of recycled couture that wouldn’t look out of place on the world’s most famous runways or in some of the best Hollywood films.

Designs can be crafted in any style of wear, from modern to male, to high fashion or feminine, and many more, with the most important rule being that designs are made from 100% recycled materials.

Over the past decade, Junk Kouture has already captivated more than 40,000 students, 8,000 teachers and 100,000 audience members.

Troy Amour, chief executive of Junk Kouture, is really looking forward to what this year’s competition will reveal.

He said: “I am very proud to be involved in one of Ireland’s most prestigious post-primary competitions.

“Each year, more and more students are entering, which brings a new wave of creativity and fresh talent to Junk Kouture.

“I cannot wait to see what this year will bring – it’s looking like it will be our strongest and most competitive [contest] yet.”

Having launched in 2015, Revolut has grown a network of more than 10 million users, 500,000 of which are based in Ireland.

One feature of the Revolut app is that it allows users to enjoy a global lifestyle wherever they may be in the world with peer-to-peer payments, budgeting and analytics features, commission-free stock trading, cryptocurrency exchange, and other such fintech features.

With Junk Kouture planning to expand the competition to London, LA and Hong Kong soon, the partnership with Revolut is coming at just the right time.

Winners from the 2019 competition boast a fantastic travel CV, having attended the star-studded Cannes Film Festival and walked the red carpet in London at the Royal Film Premiere of the Oscar-nominated film, 1917.

Speaking on the new sponsorship announcement, Ryan Thorpe, senior marketing manager at Revolut, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Junk Kouture on this exciting new venture, which we believe will help further strengthen community and creative spirit amongst young people in Ireland.

“Our values closely align with those of Junk Kouture: inspiring young people to design, create, collaborate and challenge the status quo, while unleashing their creative brilliance.”

As applications have just closed for Junk Kouture this year, thousands of sustainability-driven teenage designers from the length and breadth of the country will be putting the final touches to their looks in the hopes of becoming the overall winner of the 2020 competition at the 3Arena on April 30.

Last year, everything from burnt pieces of toast to bike tyres were used by entrants, so anything goes when it comes to a Junk Kouture creation.

In attendance will be judges Michelle Visage, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Strictly Come Dancing and X-Factor judge Louis Walsh, lending their keen eye for star quality to fellow judges Dr Tracey Fahey from LIT, Jane Leavey of Griffith College, and former winner and LSAD graduate, Stephen McLaughlin.

The South-Eastern Regional final takes place in The Helix, DCU on Tuesday, March 3.

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