April 9, 2011 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
When Rhode Island School of Design apparel designer, Tessa Zeng, was challenged to create a garment with recycled materials other than fabric, she had an innovative idea that would leave no carbon footprint whatsoever after use.
Zeng approached Botanical Paperworks, makers of plantable seed paper, who ultimately sponsored her project. She created the garment out of their plantable seed paper which uses 100% post-consumer waste paper embedded with perennial wildflower seeds.
“We’re delving into recycle-able materials for an upcoming project,” Zeng explained to them. “Others are using waste products and “recycling” them back into clothing. I had rather a different idea–what if I could create an entire dress out of recycled seed paper? It could be planted after being worn and shown in various exhibitions, and would leave no carbon footprint whatsoever!”
Truly a marriage of sustainable materials and clever design, Zeng used the seed paper, ordinarily used for stationery and packaging, to develop the prototype for a wedding dress that would endure beyond its single day use.