BIO-DESIGN: Wearables Grown From Root.

23. March 2022 | Material | via


Zena Holloway is a British photographer Bio-Designer, Artist and Conservationist. Zena grew mushrooms in her basement for a while before a chance encounter with willow root in the River Dour piqued her interest in the binding property of root. Since 2018 Zena has pioneered a method of cultivating grass roots to grow in moulds carved from beeswax. The process channels roots into patterns that become biodegradable, carbon negative sculptures and wearables. “Imagine 3D printing with nature… the root acts as a binding agent, clinging to itself and surrounding materials.” Zena explains on her website. It takes about 12 days for the grass shoots to grow to 20cm while the roots intertwine below into moulds carved from beeswax. They bind together to form a naturally woven structure that, once dry, becomes a lightweight, botanical skeleton capable of supporting its own weight. There are no pollutants created during the process and the ingredients are 100% natural and compostable. Trapping carbon in its skeleton, the root also becomes a tiny part of the solution to the complex problem of climate change.


Underwater grown wearables by Zena Holloway. (Credit:

“Corals provide an ecosystem that support a quarter of all marine life. By embracing biomimicry to grow roots into patterns and textures resembling coral, the sculptures are both reality and metaphor. They aim to raise awareness of bleaching events that are predicted to kill 90% of coral over the next 30 years if we do nothing.”