Whanganui High School student Emma Ogilwy has taken a pile of discarded denim and unwanted straps from Chromebook laptop bags and turned them into an award-winning fashion design.
Emma is the 2021 winner of the school recycled section of the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards.
"I bought old jeans from op shops and asked friends to donate their unwanted denim garments," Emma said.
"I used a lot of duct tape to hold the pieces together and taped it to myself to see how it would work as a garment before I started sewing."
High school's head of fashion design Kirsty Fecteau said Emma showed great ingenuity in planning and constructing the dress.
"She spread it out on the table and worked out the placement of the pieces to the best effect," Fecteau said.
"She put a lot of time into it and using the Chromebook straps just added a great finish to the construction."
Fecteau said students worked on their designs last year and were disappointed that the Hokonui awards were postponed so it was great to celebrate their success this year.
Emma was one of four Whanganui High School students to have their work selected as finalists in the awards.
Fellow year 12 student Hayley Bardell was also a finalist along with year 13 student Stephanie Waghorn and year 11 student Riley Heka.
Fecteau said students are encouraged to see fashion design as a career option with a wide range of opportunities and the competition is a great way to boost confidence for young designers.
Emma said she was surprised by her win and will put her $500 prize towards saving for tertiary studies.
"I would like to study veterinary science although fashion design is something I might consider," she said.
Principal Martin McAllen said Emma's success was great for the school.
"She's an excellent student - always does well academically and she's also a brilliant volleyball player," he said.
"We're very proud of her and the other students who made the finals."
Around 125 students from Year 9 to Year 13 study fashion design at the school.
The Hokonui Fashion Design Awards, held in Gore in July each year celebrated 32 years of awards in 2021.
There are four categories in the school section and students from the Whanganui region cleaned up in the recycled category with Tanika Whale of Nga Tawa Diocesan School in Marton placing second, and fellow Nga Tawa student Brooke Wilson was highly commended.