Ireland-based Junk Kouture secures €848K to expand its youth sustainability fashion event to 13 cities

Junk Kouture, the integrated media and entertainment company combining fashion with sustainability, today announces around €848K ($1 million) in seed funding to accelerate the international roll-out of Junk Kouture into five new markets: New York, London, Paris, Milan & Abu Dhabi.

Junk Kouture has developed into one of the largest youth sustainability events in the UK and Ireland. Using only recycled materials, students embark on a nine-month programme of ideation, innovation, and creation, with the grand hope of qualifying for a spot on the Junk Kouture stage. The Grand Final at the end of each season has seen sell-out crowds attend what can only be described as “A Night at the Opera” for the 21st Century. The stories, inspirations and creativity of our youth are woven together in a tapestry of music, drama, energy and emotion as they battle it out for the title of Junk Kouture’s Designer of the year.

With 15,000 Kouture designs created, 10 tours across the UK and Ireland completed, selling out 60 arena shows, Junk Kouture has been consistently evolving and has developed into a thriving platform for young people to express themselves and find like-minded people. The Junk Kouture team has grown from 5 to 25 in 2021 alone.

Resources are being deployed in each of these new markets and the onboarding of schools has begun to launch the Junk Kouture programme for the academic year in September 2021, with the final shows to take place summer of the following year.

In 2022, Junk Kouture will launch in a further seven new markets, Tokyo, Sydney, Cape Town, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Los Angeles, building a global tour of thirteen markets across six continents feeding into a world final in 2023. This world final promises to be the Eurovision for fashion, a night celebrating the culture and creativity of the world’s youth, all through sustainability.

Speaking on the announcement, Troy Armour, CEO and founder of Junk Kouture said, “No one ever changed the world by being the same as anyone else. Our platform is empowering the next generation of creators and change-makers through creativity and fashion. The pandemic has given Junk Kouture 18 months to reflect on our ambition to scale across the world, reimagine our event digitally, and afforded us an easier route to market, in that everyone, including schools, became more receptive to digital meetings. Before long we were hosting webinars for schools in the US and Europe without needing to travel to these markets.  We have built an incredible team to help us achieve our ambitious roadmap and this seed funding will be used to accelerate the grassroots outreach in the first 5 cities.”

The seed funding values Junk Kouture at around €10.1 million. The funding included participation from an assortment of influential executives who support Junk Kouture’s vision to enrich and empower the lives of young people, across the world, through creativity and sustainability.

This includes Justin Cullen former Chief Digital Officer of Core who joins Junk Kouture as Executive Chairman, who commented: “Our world is changing, and now more than ever. How we work, how we move about, how we consume and, most importantly, how we listen and learn. Junk Kouture channels the energies and creativity of Gen Z like no other platform in the market – teaching them to express themselves for good and providing them with an outlet for expression and influence on the world in a unique and highly progressive way.”

“The Junk Kouture platform is positioned as a modern and sustainability-focused media and entertainment business to engage audiences, to create impact, and influence the community with a positive and lasting legacy. Overall, the way to view Junk Kouture is a platform that will influence and empower the next generation to reach their potential whilst creating meaningful change towards a more sustainable community for all of us in the future.”

Junk Kouture is principally engaged in the production and distribution of unique and creative content through various channels, including national and digital television networks, content rights agreements, filmed entertainment, live events, and the sale of consumer products featuring the Junk Kouture brand. The business model crosses Formula E’s world tour, with the high octane events of UFC, while delivering a creative community focused on delivering 12 of the UN’s sustainability goals.

Junk Kouture’s primary engagement and distribution model utilises secondary school networks as a way of introduction to, and engagement with, the Junk Kouture programme. Teachers in the creative subjects endorse Junk Kouture as ‘a sport for creatives’ for the experiential learning opportunity it provides young creatives.

Over 1,000 schools in the UK, Ireland, USA, France, Italy and the UAE are already actively engaged with Junk Kouture with more joining the programme every week.