A 17-year-old fashion student has transformed ordinary plastic bags into a unique white gown fit for the runway.

Havilah Koledoye spent eight weeks and used more than 300 New World plastic bags to make the sustainable ball gown, which has been entered in the recycled category at next month's New Zealand Fashion Week.

The Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design student has been dreaming up dresses from a young age, when she began making miniature frocks for her dolls and sketching designs.

As well as studying fashion at Whitecliffe, Havilah is part of a young designer programme at YMCA, called Walk the Line.


She said everyone in the programme had to enter a different Fashion Week category, so she chose recycling.

"I wanted to do something that no one else was going to do," Havilah said.

She has more than two years' experience designing gowns using fabrics, but she's not a complete novice when it comes to using plastic bags instead.

For last year's Fashion Week, Havilah entered a much shorter version of the dress, made with just over 100 plastic bags.

Since then Havilah has worked her magic and turned the dress into an impressive ball gown, ready to be worn on the runway by her friend, who she said "should be a model".

"I've been trying to figure out how many plastic bags I've used in this dress and I stopped counting after 300 plastic bags."

Havilah's gown will grace the runway at Auckland's Viaduct Events Centre on the second day of Fashion Week, which runs from August 26 to 28.