Junk Kouture, a platform that showcases work from post-primary school students making creative designs using recycled materials, has secured $1 million (€840,000) in seed funding.
The funding round values Junk Kouture at $12 million.
The financing is to be used to accelerate the rollout of Junk Kouture’s platform in New York, London, Paris, Milan and Abu Dhabi. It also intends to launch in several new markets next year, namely Tokyo, Sydney, Cape Town, Mubai, Sao Paolo, Singapore and Los Angeles.
More than 15,000 designs have been created by programme participants to date, with over 1,000 schools in Ireland, Britain, the US, France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates actively engaged with the competition, which culminate in sell-out arena tours.
Junk Kouture has been involved in the youth entertainment business for a decade and has developed into the largest youth sustainability event in Ireland and Britain. Using only recycled materials to make wearable fashion, students embark on a nine-month programme with the ultimate aim of qualifying for a spot on the Junk Kouture stage at its annual showcase.
"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," said Junk Kouture founder and chief executive Troy Armour.
Among those to participate in the funding round is Justin Cullen, former chief digital officer of Core Media, who has become Junk Kouture's executive chairman.
“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,” he said.