Introducing the Junk Kouture ‘50 Thrifty Headpiece Design Competition’: The life-changing youth sustainability fashion event is inviting students to showcase their creative skills in honour of the 50th UAE National Day


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Junk Kouture, the world’s largest sustainable youth fashion programme, has launched a special competition in honour of the 50th UAE National Day. All UAE-based students aged 8 to 18, regardless of whether or not their school has enrolled in Junk Kouture for 2021/22, are invited to enter and show off their creative skills by crafting show-stopping headdresses out of only recycled materials. 

The ‘50 Thrifty Headpiece Design Competition’ challenges students to display how the UAE has progressed and developed through the past 50 years, and what they envision the UAE to achieve in the upcoming 50. Entrants are asked to think outside the box and come up with striking and imaginative headpieces that tells a story of the UAE and demonstrates how waste or ‘junk’ materials can be recycled to create something beautiful. Split into junior (aged 8 to 13) and senior (aged 13 to 18) categories, the project offers a host of incredible prizes. Not only will the winners be rewarded with two tickets to attend the first ever UAE final of Junk Kouture in June 2022, but they will also be provided with two AED 400 vouchers to spend at the cutting-edge sustainable street and activewear brand, The Giving Movement. Submissions must be in by Monday 29th November 2021. 

To enter, students are asked to submit their designs via the Junk Kouture Instagram handle. They are asked to include a photo of their headpiece design, plus their name, age and school, and finally a short video clip of themselves in which they explain what changes they hope the UAE will make in the next 50 years to positively impact the planet.  

The winners will be announced on National Day on Thursday, December 2, and each entry will be showcased and tagged on the Junk Kouture’s social media channels.

Bringing a unique concept unlike anything the region has ever seen before, the Junk Kouture programme is providing vital education about climate change and sustainability. Through challenging students to make fashion out of recyclable materials and items that are often labelled as ‘junk’ and tapping into the rich cultural heritage of the UAE, the programme promotes creative expression amongst young people, whilst also generating lasting positive change to help tackle environmental issues.

The creative journey sees students design, create and model wearable couture, and compete to secure a place in the Junk Kouture UAE City Final in June 2022 and furthermore the World Final in September 2022.  Despite only just arriving in the UAE, a number of schools, including GEMS First Point, SAFA Community School and GEMS Wellington Academy in Dubai, plus Aspen Heights British School, Al Bateen Academy, BSAK and the American Community School of Abu Dhabi have already signed up to take part. In total, it is anticipated that over 100 schools across the UAE will join this competition cycle. 

Junk Kouture is a creative youth challenge that promotes the importance of sustainability and educates about the issues surrounding climate change. Highlighting the fact that what we view as ‘junk’ can be recycled in useful and impactful ways, it challenges young people to create beautiful and interesting fashion outfits out of materials that are normally thrown away.  

Founded in Ireland in 2010 by tech entrepreneur, and CEO of Junk Kouture, Troy Armour, the competition has recruited 100,000 participants to date. Now, in 2021, Junk Kouture is expanding and going global with a 10-year ambition to enrich the lives of a billion young people through creativity and sustainability. The Junk Kouture World Tour will take in 6 major cities, including Abu Dhabi, New York City, London, Paris, Milan and Dublin and will be overseen by a panel of celebrity judges taking place in September 2022. 

The progressive competition is free to enter and open to all students between the ages of 13 and 18. Participants may join as individuals or in groups of up to three. Designed to create an inclusive community, educate people about the importance of protecting our planet and promote creativity and self-expression, students of all backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome to join.