Red Root Dress

Zena Holloway

Zena Holloway grows sustainable fashion and sculpture from grass root, and takes an intuitive leap into the future to imagine a material world that is grown, not made.

Zena Holloway’s career as an underwater photographer made her acutely aware of the true depth of the plastic crisis in our oceans and rivers. The camera exposes pollution so visible, so devastating and so guilt-inducing that it led her to search for solutions in material science and biodesign.

She grew mycelium in her basement for a year before encountering the tangled root system of a willow tree in her local river: What if we could grow our clothes from seed?

The idea took root and grew. In 2023 she founded Rootfull® – a material innovation company, developing a new generation of root textile solutions for the circular economy.

The innovation pioneers a new technique of growing wheatgrass into templates carved from beeswax. Over 12 days the shoots grow to 20cm while the root binds below to form a naturally woven structure. With sustainability at the heart of the process, the ingredients are organic and locally sourced. Water is reused from runoff and any leftover shoot or seed is eaten as animal fodder.

The pieces show that the power of plants is infinitely renewable and nature’s amazing capabilities are simply waiting for us to tap into.