Runway-Worthy Sustainable Garden Attire

April 9, 2011 by

Photo: Jess X Chen, Model: Connie Leung

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.

Close-up of the wildflower-embedded seed paper use to crate the wedding dress prototype.

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.




  1. Annie Haven/Authentic Haven Brand said:

    What a Bloomingly brilliant idea. I’d say that’s a wedding dress fit for a garden wedding for sure…Just think of the blooms it would bring the following years…

    — April 9, 2011 @ 10:33

  2. victoria lyon said:

    Can you imagine looking out your bedroom window on a blooming garden grown from your wedding dress? What a lovely, romantic idea.And, even if the marriage ends up going bad, at least a beautiful garden was left in its wake!

    — April 10, 2011 @ 23:04

  3. Cara said:

    what a wonderful idea and so VERY Project Runway! Love challenges like these that help the environment 😛

    Speaking of which… have you heard about Yes to Carrots Seed Fund? Stumbled across it while I was at Whole Foods and thought of you! I guess they teamed up and they’re giving away grants to help schools build gardens! Love it!

    — April 11, 2011 @ 01:09

  4. Robin Plaskoff Horton said:

    Thanks Cara! Yes, I know about Yes to Carrots, have blogged and Tweeted about them. They have some great programs too.

    — April 11, 2011 @ 12:32

  5. How to Grow a Book Into a Tree Pingback said:

    […] paper comes from, and what we can all do to reduce the negative environmental impact of paper […]

    — July 7, 2015 @ 14:48

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