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Dress made from contact lens materials in national fashion final

TY student, designer and model Gala Simic Kokot modelling a dress made entirely from waste materials sourced in Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland which is through to the grand finale of Bank of Ireland’s Junk Kouture national fashion competition.

A dress made from contact lens manufacturing waste materials sourced in Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland and designed by three talented Coláiste Nano Nagle transition year students has made it through to the finals of the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture national art and fashion design competition which will be held in Dublin on April 19th.

The Limerick students, Gala Simic Kokot, Gemma Kiely and Leah Cusack, aged between 14 and 16, manipulated the waste materials which included rolls of contact lens waste foil and Styrofoam tubing to create a bespoke dress and headpiece made entirely from recycled waste material.

Coláiste Nano Nagle, a school on Sexton Street, is the only Limerick city school chosen out of 1,560 designs submitted from around the country and is one of 80 schools through to the final.

Art teacher Sarah Nestor, who oversaw the project, said it is wonderful to get to this stage in the competition. “Since September 2017, the girls have put so much work into this project from the initial concept design stages to sourcing the right materials from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland. They used the circular Styrofoam tubing to create a ruffle effect for the skirt part of the dress and the contact lens packaging foil to bring the whole look to life. As an inner city school, it is a fantastic achievement for the girls to reach the national finals and we are so proud of them.”

In a tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan, Gala Simic Kokot will model the dress on the catwalk in the 3Arena accompanied by The Cranberrries’ song Dreams.

Emma Moore of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Ireland, said; “We are delighted to support the students at Coláiste Nano Nagle by helping them in their creative endeavours. It is wonderful to be part of a competition that educates and encourages awareness of the importance of waste and recycling. We would encourage the public to get behind these young designers by voting for them and we wish them the very best of luck in the final on April 19th.”

Public voting for the grand final takes place between April 2nd and 6th. To cast your vote for the Limerick designers, follow @junkkouture on Instagram, or log on to for more details. Prizes up for grabs include a cash prize of €2,500, iPads, a trip to the Cannes Film Festival, and LSAD and Griffith College scholarships.

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