When it comes to fashion, the words “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” used to have people envisioning a sea of hemp sacks and Crocs. Luckily, this isn’t the case anymore. With many people taking the environment into consideration the growth within the sustainable fashion industry is making responsible duds chicer than ever. Some designers are pushing the boundaries reusing different kinds of materials in their designs, inspiring designers of the future to follow. They say one mans trash is another’s treasure, well this is the latter, this is Junk Kouture.


So what is Junk Kouture you ask? Looking for the next innovative fashion designers, JK is a national contest which encourages young designers to create a look from everyday objects you may find in the wheely bin. By opening up our eyes to what we waste, it is looking for people who can see the potential beauty in everything to create wearable works of art. Celebrating the three R’s of eco-friendliness – reduce, reuse and recycle, Junk Kouture and looking for the ordinary to be made into the extraordinary.

Junk Kouture Past Creations: Black Beauty
Junk Kouture Past Creations: Black Beauty

You may have heard about the competition which launched in May with information packs being sent to all secondary schools across the country. Students are challenged to create a wearable Junk Kouture design and post the finished outfit online by midnight on January 20th, 2016. With the Fashion Industry being the second largest pulluter in the world, it’s time to look at what we have and how we can make it better. Feel like it’s too much to take on yourself? Don’t worry, each design can have up to a team of three working BTS. The only real rule is that the look needs to be made from recycled rubbish. Cool right?

Past Creations: Circus Chic
Junk Kouture Past Creations: Circus Chic
Junk Kouture past creations: Paper Werk
Junk Kouture past creations: Paper Werk

Once all the designs have been uploaded onto the Junk Kouture website, the next step is whittling them down to a shortlist. The successful designs will be through to the finals where I, along with other judges Louis Walsh (I know, right?!) and head of Textiles of Glasgow School of Art Jimmy Stephen Cran will be there to check out all the incredible creations! Now, as always with every design there must be a show. Each finalist must take part in a live catwalk final in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, where they will have 90 seconds to impress us judges. Whether you show off your wares in a dance or a strut we will all then decide and reveal the Junk Kouture champ of Scotland.

Louis Walsh pictured with students  (Left to right)Sarah Cox, Aideen Rafferty  ,Rebecca Breslin and  Siobhan Buggy when they annouced details  of the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture Competition ’. The students showcased their fabulous junk outfits giving future entrants a taster of what can be achieved and is expected! The fashion competition, now in its sixth year, is open to all secondary school students in both the Republic and Northern Ireland. The challenge includes creating a couture outfit of any shape and size made by the least couture of materials – junk! The students must get their hands on industrial, commercial and domestic waste products and transform them into fashion masterpieces! With some great prizes on offer, the clock is now ticking for students and teachers a like to get creative. Online application will open January 11th and close at midnight January 29th 2016. Picture Brian McEvoy No repro fee for one use

Junk Kouture Scotland Judges 2015
Junk Kouture Scotland Judges 2015

As always with every great competition comes a great prize. The winner will not only recieve the elusive Junk Kouture Trophy, the winning team will also get £500 cash, iPad minis for them and their teacher as well as £1,000 for their school. But, that’s not all! One lucky model and their outfit will sashay down a Royal Film Premiere in London! Talk about A list couture!

Past Creations: The Nespresso Dress, that fishtail belongs on my body, now.
Past Creations: The Nespresso Dress, that fishtail belongs on my body, now.

If you would like to enter, THERE IS STILL TIME! First off, check the information pack to see if you are eligible for entry, then let the bin raiding begin! Just make sure you upload your entry on the Junk Kouture website before the 20th of January. The event itself will be on the 4th of February, so if you would like to catch this unmissable show Scotland’s finest young designers, stay tuned for the ticket details. From old cereal boxes to shuttlecocks, there has been some incredible fashion created using what we would normally find in the bin. I for one love seeing the beauty in everything, so be sure to think outside the brown cardboard box and create something you would love to see strutting down a red carpet. I really can’t wait to see what random junk will be used this year, after all, I am not exactly shy when it comes to my outfit choices!


At the end of the day, sustainable clothing is about minimising the negative impact of the production process of the fashion industry. From focusing on renewable fiber, material source, factory quality, workers’ rights, manufacturing waste, and carbon footprint we can make our wardrobes a happier and healthier place to be. So what do you think, can you create some wearable Junk Kouture?

forever yours betty

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About Betty

I'm Betty, a tangerine haired, glasses wearing Scottish Fashion and Lifestyle blogger with a nose for a good sandwich and an eye for style. One half of vlogging duo Colour Pop Girls and Freelance Events & PR consultant based in Glasgow.


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