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Pupils show artistic flair in Junk Kouture competition

Junk Kouture is a competition to design an outfit using recycled materials and there have been some fabulous entries from our pupils this year.

Below are the descriptions and photographs of the imaginative pieces – very well done to all who invested so much time, talent and tenacious skill in these creative designs.

Livi and Clementine

The children of Wadhurst Primary School were asked to write their Christmas wishes back in December. Each child wrote their wish on a piece of ribbon, which was then tied onto the huge village Christmas tree, there were 283 wishes in total. The ribbon wishes were going into landfill, so we rescued them. Maybe that way, they will come true. Our theme is the precious nature of a child’s dream.

Some examples of ribbon wishes were:

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My Junk Kouture dress was inspired by Greek mythology, specifically Amphitrite the Goddess of the sea, who is also known as The Siren of Sunset Reef. Amphitrite lived a long, depressive, and vengeful life as her husband Poseidon cheated on her with many nymphs, even though she was known as one of the most beautiful goddesses! I was inspired by the ocean and the fish that live there to make a fish inspired cloak, from other dresses that have been cut up into scale shapes, to give off a shiny, and shimmery, fish tale effect! My theme is to overcome people in your life who are controlling and to be better than them and to be the best version of yourself. I really do look up to her and I think most of us would aspire to be like her; that’s why my dress is called The Vengeful Goddess!

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India, Anna & Ellie

Our Junk Kouture dress for 2023 is called Plight of the Pangolin.

Our whole design is based around the pangolin. A pangolin is an extremely endangered animal. They are poached and killed for their meat and their scales are used for Chinese medicine and fashion accessories. Pangolins are solitary animals and referred to as scaly anteaters, when they are threatened they roll into a ball, like an armadillo.

We came up with the idea of basing our dress around this unusual creature when we were watching a documentary on the horrors of endangered animals and what happened to them. We chose the pangolin as its almost at the very top of the endangered list and not many people have heard of this beautiful creature so we thought that this would be a great opportunity to shine a light on its plight. A set of pangolins scales can fetch vast quantities of money. They are poached in vast quantities; tens of thousands every year. The skinning and hunting of pangolins is  illegal but sadly it is still very much happening today! Pangolins are native to Asia, China and the Philippines. There are a couple of different biomes where you can find pangolins but the main ones are woodland biomes and savannahs. Pangolins are a brown, tanned colour which is why we felt using cardboard was a good match of material to use, without having to use any dyes or paints.

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For my Junk Kouture dress, “Steampunk Innovator” this year I had decided to focus on the theme of steampunk which inspired me to make it about androgynous fashion and that clothes have no gender. The materials used were mostly shopping bags, old buttons, bubble wrap and ring pulls.

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This year I decided to submit my dress “falling leaves”. I decided to base my design and theme on helping save the trees and help save the planet because if so many trees keep being chopped down, we won’t have a stable oxygen supply. This will decrease and the carbon dioxide will increase dramatically. This won’t just affect us humans but the wildlife and nature. I showcased my design as the leaves go through their process in the autumn and winter. I’m trying to make people who cut down trees and not plants more aware of what they’re doing to our environment and us humans. If this continues, then it is most likely that there will be no more trees to give out oxygen and take in carbon dioxide which is why we need to do our part to help save the trees. As long as we are planting more trees not just chopping them down, this will lead to a better future where the planet and the atmosphere will be balanced and us humans we have the oxygen we need to survive. 

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Inspired by Iris van Harpen, I wanted to create a design that had flow & movement as well as a clear narrative. “We mustn’t become robots with voices on mute, we must stand up, stand out and carry it on our shoulders if we are going to stop waste damaging the environment”. I focused on waste from 3 industries; fast fashion, electronics and 24/7delivery services as they create millions of tonnes in waste each year. Packaging was turned into feathers; electronics were used for framework and messaging and the clothes were repurposed – such as the shirt, which was turned back to front and sewn into the metal frame, this was the biggest challenge. 

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