Sustainable fashion event in partnership with Griffith College

Griffith College hosted a sustainable fashion event in partnership with national recycled fashion competition, Junk Kouture.

Junk Kouture, now celebrating its tenth anniversary, is a national competition open to second-level schools across the country. The contest asks students to design and create an outfit made entirely out of re-used and up-cycled materials.

Last year’s entries included an aptly named outfit called ‘I’d like to make Toast’ made entirely from slices of toast burnt to varying degrees to create a contrasting colour scheme, a gown made entirely of tampons named ‘Lunar Lady’ and a design called ‘All Scrubbed Up’ created using surgical cleaning brushes.

The event, hosted at Griffith College’s South Circular Road campus, involved a day of workshops focused on educating students about sustainable fashion, as well as giving them ideas for their own competition entries. About 100 students from schools across the country took part in a workshop facilitated by the Rediscovery Centre where they learned about circular fashion and got the chance to make bags, jewellery and more out of reused materials. In a session with Griffith’s award-winning photography department, students learned to photograph their creations more effectively, and they also had the opportunity to pick the brains of some former Junk Kouture finalists.

Jane Leavey, Head of Fashion Design at Griffith College, sits on the competition’s judging panel alongside Tracy Fahey of the Department of Head of Fine Art at LSAD and fashion designer (and past Junk Kouture entrant) Stephen McLaughlin. This year, the judging panel is joined by celebrity judges Louis Walsh and Michelle Visage (RuPaul’s Drag Race). Jane’s role involves judging the five regional shows across Ireland and whittling the entries down to about 80 schools which are invited to perform at the Grand Final in the 3Arena. Every year, Griffith College also awards one grand finalist a scholarship their esteemed BA (Hons) in Fashion Design programme.

Of the event, Jane said, “Environmental issues and sustainability are such important factors for the future of fashion design. It was great to see so many students and their teachers attend today’s event! I hope the students have discovered new skills, and that they will create truly exciting innovative designs to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Junk Kouture.”

Megan Kelly, Operations Manager at Junk Kouture who was also in attendance, said, “Junk Kouture was delighted to partner with Griffith College for this event, and I’m thrilled that some of our former JK designers were invited to participate. Their designs really showcased what can be done with recycled materials through inspiration and creativity. Now more than ever, making environmentally conscious fashion choices is important. Giving students the opportunity to talk with JK designers, teachers of former winners like Ms. Oonagh Kelly from Our Lady’s Bower in Athlone and to gain insight into the life of a fashion design student at Griffith will hopefully inspire our future designers.”

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