See The Newest Fashion Trend – Clothing Made Of Plants

Fashion designer Zena Holloway has designed clothes made from plant roots.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

British photographer Zena Holloway has always been fascinated by nature. She specialized in creating experimental underwater images that render our complex and subconscious relationship with oceans, lakes, and waterways tangible. Her work also allowed her to gain first-hand experience with the impact of global warming and pollution on the environment. So when she came across the tangled roots of a willow tree in a river a few years ago, a fashionable idea took hold. What if she could turn plants into clothes?

Now, at the 2022 London Design Festival, Holloway’s idea was prominently displayed. Her intricately sculpted couture, made from plant roots, look like delicate lace clothes. “After a couple of weeks of growth, I had a wet, heavy root mat,” Holloway explained via Positive News. “And as it dried, the roots melded together and became really strong. I kept looking at it and thinking how much it looked like bleached coral.”

As a result, these plant clothes have a distinctly high-fashion, futuristic feel that would have blended perfectly alongside Bella Hadid’s innovative spray-on dress from Paris Fashion Week. Holloway also configures grassroots into desired shapes using molds she carves from beeswax. It takes the shoots approximately 12 days to grow to 8 inches tall, CNET reports. While the roots form a naturally woven structure with a beautiful natural hue, they can be dyed for textile sculptures.

As such, her designs highlight the devastation of coral reef bleaching caused by global warming. “It’s building with something new and completely organic,” the plant clothes designer says. “And I thought that, if I could make it wearable, it all comes back to us and what we’re doing to the planet.” Although Holloway’s root-grown textiles represent the height of sustainable, compostable fashion, for now, they are still concept pieces.

But Holloway believes its potential is limited only by imagination. “I don’t think it’s impossible that in the future people could be growing these things,” she says of the plant clothes. “Who’s to say that you couldn’t coat them with some sort of resin or shellac to make them stronger?” She also suggests that over time they could also be crafted into hats, corsets, or even furniture. “I’m just playing with one tiny seed. It’s one tiny exploration into the opportunities that might exist,” she continued via Positive News.

Due to her environmentally friendly designs, Holloway has become part of the biodesign movement that explores the intersection of fashion and nature to create new biologically inspired goods. Her plant clothes strive to embody the dream of organic design, increase awareness of materials, and inspire a more thoughtfully crafted, sustainable world. So it’s not surprising that Holloway’s Rootfull initiative’s water runoffs get reused and animals get to enjoy the leftover, locally sourced grass shoots.

Alongside Holloway’s plant clothes, several international designers at the London Design Festival’s Material Matters fair showcased environmentally friendly creations. This included a furniture collection made from recycled newspaper pulp, lamps made from sewn orange peel, and sandals made from plant-based matter like agricultural waste.