Irish students know how to make a (fashion) impression – in six seconds

April 28th, 2023 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Sacred Heart Secondary School’s Junk Kouture team provided a colourful display at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Clonakilty this year. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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The Junk Kouture finals will take place in Dublin on May 4th. Clonakilty student Laoise O’Keeffe, who has taken part in the sustainable fashion competition, says it’s inspiring.

JUNK Kouture is a competition where young people all across the globe compete to see if they can make the best dress out of recycled materials.

Students get to design, create and model their creations. The 2023 All Ireland Finals take place next month and many schools contribute to this competition here in West Cork, such as Sacred Heart Secondary School (SHSS) in Clonakilty, Coláiste na Toirbhirte in Bandon, Mount Saint Michael Secondary School in Rosscarbery and many more. 

Some of these schools have shown off their outfits in their town’s recent St Patrick’s Day parade. 

The competition was founded in 2010 by Troy Armour in Ireland. He says his goal is to bring creativity back to young people, to encourage people to be more sustainable and to challenge inspiring artists. Since then, it has expanded to other areas of the world, such as Europe, Asia, North and South America  and Australia.

The regional finals were a six-second appearance on TikTok per entrant with 80 teams performing – instead of in other years where there was a live event in a venue. 

Students come out of this competition feeling confident and prideful. SHSS students Sophie Kenny and Andrea Paleska agree with this opinion, this year they created ‘Masked’. 

When asked why their team did Junk Kouture, they said they decided to enter because it’s a fun way of expressing creativity, while reusing old materials and recycling ‘junk’. ‘It allows us to have complete creative control on what we want to make and the recycled materials we use. It also is a way to have a bit of fun with friends,’ said Sophie. 

Junk Kouture isn’t normal maths or Irish. However, you do learn a lot of valuable skills from it. ‘I learned that anything can become a beautiful creation no matter what it is or where it came from and that if you have a vision of something chances are you can make it happen.’ said Andrea. Upcoming fourth years should consider putting this subject on their timetables. ‘I would definitely recommend Junk Kouture,’ added Sophie. ‘It’s a break from normal school work and you get such great satisfaction from it. When you see all of your work coming together, being able to touch the final product and being able to bring a vision that you had to life, it’s an extremely rewarding feeling and great sense of joy.’ She also added some advice with things the team would do differently. 

‘To have the design finalised before starting to make the dress. We had no real plan at the beginning and it would have been less stressful if we knew where we were going with it!’

At Eurospar in Skibbereen with Junk Kouture models were Gordon Benn and Karen Shannon.


EUROSPAR Skibbereen is delighted to be supporting what is the world’s largest sustainable fashion competition for young people, Junk Kouture. 

The Junk Kouture Dublin City Final 2023, powered by RTÉ, returns to the bright lights of 3Arena, Dublin on May 4th, when 80 design teams from post-primary schools across Ireland will battle it out for one of 10 places up for grabs to represent Ireland at the next world final. 

Junk Kouture will engage deeper into communities across Ireland through Eurospar supermarkets’ nationwide footprint, helping to spread that all-important message of living sustainably, while also showcasing the educators, creators and ambassadors that are at the forefront of this pioneering cultural movement.

As part of the partnership, Eurospar will bring the magic of Junk Kouture to life in even more communities across Ireland through some very exciting initiatives.

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