Latest Laois News: Young Laois designer’s creation centrepiece of Belfast Global Summit

Latest Laois News: Young Laois designer’s creation centrepiece of Belfast Global Summit

Vicarstown designer’s art folders help to inspire peace

Sarah Tuohy’s creation ‘Peace Unfolds’ on display at Global Summit held in Belfast 

A Gen-Z designer from Laois’ inspired work featured prominently in the opening ceremony of the world’s largest gathering of future leaders that took place in Belfast this week.

The One Young World Summit, which runs from 2-5 October will bring together delegates from over 190 countries and more than 250 organisations to confront the biggest challenges facing humanity and accelerate social impact.

At the opening ceremony which is set to be livestreamed to a truly global audience, Vicarstown designer Sarah Tuohy’s creation ‘Peace Unfolds’ – themed around one of the plenary challenges to be discussed at the summit ‘peace and reconciliation’ — was on display as part of an empowering short film produced by sustainable fashion house Junk Kouture and made possible by Deloitte.

This short film is a plea from Gen Z to the generations that came before, to hear their voices in the concern over Climate Change, all while resonating with the five plenary challenges for the 2023 One Young World Summit.

From the wild rugged coastlines to buzzing city landscapes, this short film showcases Northern Ireland and the giant beauty and history of its surroundings. The film connects points of interest in Co Derry, Co Antrim, and Co Down with the One Young World Plenary Challenges and innovative Junk Kouture designs.

Viewers with be left with a feeling of awe thanks to stunning cinematography that allows everyone to embrace Downhill Beach, the Peace Bridge, Belfast and the Silent Valley in all their glory.  

Sarah’s statement piece is made from a combination of hard and soft materials and represents a generation striving toward a more peaceful tomorrow.

Sarah says: “The colour white is used to symbolise peace.

The hard and soft materials used reflect the differences in our societies and how they can complement each other once used correctly.

This is something which is difficult to achieve and can easily ‘unfold’ in the same way that peace can crumble.

This white dress is a symbol of the need for peace and harmony in today’s world.”

The piece, which was constructed with the help of Sarah’s teammates Grainne McCaul and Elise Finn, is made from recycled material that was sourced ethically and developed naturally over time to become what it is today.

We realised that art folders being used in schools across Ireland were made up of an entirely non-recyclable plastic material,” says Sarah.

We sourced hundreds of art folders which had been discarded in school storage, cleaned them and got to work.

We were inspired by several stunning wedding gowns and a variety of striking Met Gala looks that have graced the carpet over the years.

Sarah’s work will be displayed in front of over 2,000 delegates and a star-studded line up of One Young World counsellors including Oscar winner James Martin, Rugby World Cup winning captain Francois Pienaar and British-Iranian journalist and author Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

This year’s One Young World Summit has been recognised by both the City of Belfast and the UK Government as being part of the official functions to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

Joining the extensive list of counsellors will be a number of local political figures with extensive experience of peace building including Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Bertie Ahern, former Irish Taoiseach and an architect of the Good Friday Agreement.

When Sarah first heard her work would feature at the summit she admits to being “shocked, thrilled and honoured” and said she used the four days to gain valuable insight from the counsellors.

“It was an exhilarating opportunity to share our work with such a diverse and engaged audience. Hopefully we have inspired these individuals through our creation,” says Sarah.

“To be a part of this event was truly fantastic and it was genuinely fascinating to hear the valuable insights that some of the remarkable speakers imparted upon us.” 

Founded in Ireland and now in six countries, Junk Kouture aims to empower its community all over the world through a creative platform.

It’s vision is to help enrich and empower the lives of young people through creativity and sustainability. It challenges young people to design and create show stopping fashion from materials usually regarded as waste.

To find out more about this year’s One Young World Summit visit or to find out more about Junk Kouture visit