Carndonagh’s ‘Synergy’ helps announce continuation of Junk Kouture and RTE partnership

Junk Kouture 2020 winners Brónach Harkin, Robyn O’Donnell and Orlaith Doherty from Carndonagh Community School were on hand to announce that the Junk Kouture and RTÉ partnership will continue for 2021

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:22 pm
Pictured are last year's overall winning design Synergy, modelled by Bronach Harkin, and designed by Robyn O Donnell and Orlaith Doherty (also pictured), from Carndonagh Community School, Donegal.

Pic: Brian McEvoy
Pictured are last year's overall winning design Synergy, modelled by Bronach Harkin, and designed by Robyn O Donnell and Orlaith Doherty (also pictured), from Carndonagh Community School, Donegal. Pic: Brian McEvoy

The Grand Final 2021 will be aired on RTÉ and RTÉ Player later this year.

Brónach, Robyn and Orlaith won Junk Kouture 2020 with their design Synergy, which was made of sea glass, plastic milk cartons and recycled glass such as bottles and jam jars. They featured on the first ever TV broadcast of a Junk Kouture final as the 2020 Grand Final was rescheduled and redesigned because of Covid-19.

RTE and Junk Kouture 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.

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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, who hails from Inishowen, 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!”

Group Head of Children’s and Young People’s Programming, RTÉ Suzanne Kelly said: “It is wonderful to see RTÉ’s partnership with Junk Kouture go from strength to strength as we work together to enable students all over the country to embrace the principle of sustainable living and unleash their inner creative genius to produce incredible fashion designs. By giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse into all the hard work and creativity that goes into delivering the extravaganza that is the Grand Final, RTÉ is bringing a new dimension to Junk Kouture and keeping the issues of sustainability and climate consciousness front-of-mind with younger audiences. We’re looking forward to it.”

Junk Kouture judge Roz Purcell said: “It’s so exciting to be a part of Junk Kouture and knowing that the final will air on RTÉ is the icing on the cake. I’ve already had a taster of the talent involved in Junk Kouture helping Louis, Michelle and Stephen to choose the five Wildcard designs earlier this year, so I am really looking forward to putting my judging hat on and checking out all the brilliant designs created by the 2021 finalists. As a huge fan of Junk Kouture, I know that the final on RTÉ is not to be missed by everyone at home. It will be jampacked with creativity, sustainability, big performances, and a little bit of glamour! Bring it on!”

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.

And don’t forget! While we wait patiently for the 2021 Grand Final, 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 your creation must be made from 100% recycled materials. Head to the Junk Kouture website for more info, follow Junk Kouture’s social channels @junkkouture and check YouTube for daily updates and inspiration!

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 ten 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.