14 Henrietta Street | Award-winning Dublin Museum ShopBook Now
Shop Book Now

Junk Kouture Henrietta Street


Published 21 February 2024

Junk Kouture is an education fashion project which has been running in Ireland for over 20 years. In 2022 the project went international, with 6 major cities around the world participating, including Dublin, London, Paris, Milan, New York and Abu Dhabi.

The aim of this project is to encourage sustainability and innovation in the world of fashion design. Fast fashion can be one of the worst offenders in terms of waste and environmental damage. To offset this, Junk Kouture invites students, from all over the island of Ireland, aged 12-19, to create a head to toe outfit made entirely from recycled materials.

Henrietta Street School is a small, community-based school in Dublin’s inner city. This is their first year entering the Junk Kouture competition. One group of three students, Gavin, Millie and Shannon, participated in the program. The group took inspiration from the history and architecture of Henrietta Street, in creating their entry “From Rags to Riches”. They used a variety of materials, including broken metal lampshades, damaged Christmas decorations, an old lace tablecloth, fabric offcuts from a local dressmaker and wallpaper sample booklets. All of these items would have ended up in a landfill had they not been used in this Junk Kouture outfit.

The design is also multi-functional as the dress train can be used as a cape.The group made many rosettes and flowers from discarded materials to decorate the cape. These were inspired by the hard working flower sellers who hailed from Henrietta Street and would have frequented Smithfield Market. The whole creation is a reflection of Henrietta Street’s rich and varied past.

“From Rags to Riches” by Henrietta Street School is among over 1200 entries into the national Junk Kouture competition. 160 regional finalists from around the country will be chosen in mid February, to participate in a live show in The Helix in March. We wish them every success!