Junk Kouture final to be screened and streamed for second year

Students' sustainable designs using recycled materials

The platform for youth expression, creativity and sustainability, Junk Kouture, is joining forces with RTÉ for a second year in a row.

Last year, the collaboration brought the design contest to the small screen for the first ever televised Junk Kouture Grand Final on RTÉ2 and streamed on RTÉ Player, when the live final was rescheduled and redesigned because of Covid-19. The 2021 Grand Final will once again be televised on RTÉ.

RTÉ and Junk Kouture say that teaming up for a second time enables both parties to keep the importance of using creativity to promote sustainability and climate consciousness front-of-mind with younger audiences.

"This partnership offers an opportunity to showcase the talent of creatives aged 13 – 18 from across the island of Ireland to a wider audience, as they create designs made entirely out of recycled and discarded materials, enabling them to express themselves while embracing sustainable habits and becoming the changemakers of our world," says RTÉ Group Head of Children's and Young People's Programming, Suzanne Kelly.

In true Junk Kouture style, the 2021 finalists will have to impress a star-studded panel of judges who know a little bit about standing out from crowd and thinking outside the box when it comes to creativity, design and performance. New judge, best-selling cookbook author, entrepreneur and fashion-upcycling enthusiast Roz Purcell, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race Michelle Visage, TV personality and music manager Louis Walsh and former winner and fashion designer Stephen McLaughlin will all lend their expertise in the search for the next winner of Junk Kouture.

Keeping the show on the road will be RTÉ 2FM hosts Laura Fox and Emma Power, back for another year of presenting duties, while all the behind-the-scenes action will be brought to viewers by new presenting team, RTÉ Kids presenter Orla Morris Toolen and young Irish film maker Sean Treacy.

CEO of Junk Kouture Troy Armour said: “The RTÉ broadcast opens the world of Junk Kouture to new viewers, beaming the creative talents and innovation of Ireland’s young people into the sitting rooms of Ireland - and around the globe to our new territories with the RTÉ Player - so it is with great anticipation and excitement that the team plan for all that is to come with RTÉ back on board for another year. This builds on our commitment to young creatives and teachers to carry out a grand final despite the absence of live events this year and affords them the opportunity to continue the annual celebration of young Irish creative talent and sustainable innovation. We are also delighted to welcome back Louis, Michelle and Stephen and are looking forward to seeing what new judge Roz brings to the table as they crown the 11th annual winner of Junk Kouture.”

Junk Kouture judges, former winner and fashion designer Stephen McLaughlin, cookbook author, entrepreneur and fashion-upcycling enthusiast Roz Purcell, TV personality and music manager Louis Walsh, and star of RuPaul's Drag Race Michelle Visage.Photo: Brian McEvoy

Meanwhile, Creative Ireland continues to support Junk Kouture across several areas developing its online education resources to ensure that students and educators alike can avail of educational material around Junk Kouture’s three areas of focus – creativity, sustainability and entrepreneurship. Programmes driven by the support of Creative Ireland will help educators encourage young people to become micro-influencers for change through creativity and circularity.

Meanwhile, teachers of young creatives aged between 13 – 18 in Ireland can now register their school for the 2022 competition which will culminate in the first ever World Final. As always, the golden rule is the creation must be made from 100 per cent recycled materials. See the Junk Kouture website https://junkkouture.com/sign-up-page/, follow Junk Kouture’s social channels @junkkouture or check YouTube for daily updates.

Live regional finals in venues across Ireland are scheduled to return in March 2022 and successful entrants will then battle it out at the national final in Dublin as well as for 10 coveted spots to compete at the Junk Kouture World Final later next year. If schools think they have what it takes to reign supreme on the global stage, students can enter as an individual or as a team with a maximum of three members.