Compostable Couture: Garments And Accessories Made With Living Plants, Flowers, and Seeds

August 5, 2018 by

Photo:Paolo Crocenzi


Gardening and fashion have been linked for ages. Throughout history people have sown the seeds of plants to fabricate textiles for clothing.

Photo via Wedding Chicks.

Confederate soldiers were called “butternuts” because the color of their gray coats was derived from a natural pigment made from butternuts (Juglans cinerea)—or white walnuts—the nuts from a tree native to the eastern United States and Canada.

Project Runway’s “Flower Power” Challenge.

Models strut down couture runways draped in the latest fashions spun from cotton, flax, jute, hemp, modal, bamboo, piña (pineapple), ramie and even stinging nettle fibers.

Compostable Couture
Artists of all genres, including fashion designers, often find inspiration from culinary, interior design, and even gardening trends.

Some creative and environmentally conscious designers make provocative botanical fashion statements with clothing constructed of live ornamental plants, flowers, and even edible fruits and vegetables.

French photographer Julie Lavie’s Pantoufle de Vert (French for green slipper.) Photo via the artist.

Yeonju Sung’s eggplant dress. Photo via the artist.

In her Wearable Foods series, Korean designer Yoenju Sung blends what she refers to as “triggers of our fundamental senses”– the desire to wear clothes and the desire to eat.

By creating fashion from fresh foods that will not last, Sung’s work, like that of many artists, references the ephemeral nature of life.

Gao Yuanyuan’s lettuce leaves gown and chili peppers necklace. Photo via the artist.

After Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan became a vegetarian, she “felt so much lighter” that she was inspired to publicize her new eating habits by dressing in a gown made of lettuce leaves accessorized with a necklace of chili peppers.

Culinary Couture
Just as some fashionistas gather inspiration from the garden and kitchen, some chefs find theirs in fashion.

Helge Kirchberger’s photo of Top Chef Roland Trettl’s design for the Fashion Food exhibition. 

“Top Chef” Roland Trettl and experimental photographer Helge Kirchberger once collaborated for the Fashion Food exhibition at Berlin’s Museum for Communication, displaying portraits of models in clothing made entirely of vegetables and herbs.

Japanese artist, Takaya, fashions vegetables and fruits to edible headgear. Photo via the artist.

To build his delicious headpieces from fresh ingredients like raw vegetables and fruits, former chef, Japanese artist Takaya, developed a hairdressing process called Hanayuishi, which loosely translates to something like “tying together people and flower.”

While essentially follies, these cultivated collections look good enough to eat and some fit their models like a garden glove.


This post was sponsored by Digit Apparel, makers of Dig It® Handwear and Dig It High 5 gloves, specially crafted for a woman’s hand and designed to blend fashion and function. Gloves have patented pillow-top protection in each fingertip and non-slip silicone dots to ensure a strong grip, offering optimal protection for nails, comfort and dexterity.


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