Living Coat Made of Chia Sprouts
Rethinking the status of clothing in people's life - is the main idea of a Ukrainian eco-startup by Dasha Tsapenko. She made a coat from live chia sprouts. According to her, this project is aimed at fighting mindless consumption. Learn more in the final report in our series about Ukrainian environmental initiatives
It only takes ten days for chia seeds to sprout. Most people add them to their meals for an extra boost of nutrition. Dasha Tsapenko did the same until she got an idea. Dasha decided to take the chia seeds and turn them into a coat.
“Somehow I asked myself the questions whether or not it was possible to make a living material out of chia. I began to experiment and began to grow various kinds of seeds and fabrics, and natural things that would help the roots grow faster,” creator of the chia coat Dasha Trapenko said.
The technology behind the living fur is as follows: The chia seeds are planted and spread on a special gauze based fabric and begin to grow. On one side, the roots, after spreading out, create a layer. On the other side, the plants sprout and create a layer of living green fabric. Making this living fabric took Dasha three months. For now, she wears her coat on the streets of the Netherlands.
“People usually smile and, actually, no one has come up to me and asked why I’m wearing it, or what it is and how. They just smile, look glad, and keep on walking,” Tsapenko said.
In 2020, the world’s cultural capital will become Ireland’s Galway. There, visitors will be able to try on the living coat for themselves. This city was chosen for the test drive for a very specific reason. It rains often there, which is good for a raincoat that needs to be watered five times a day.
“In fact, this is the aspect I like. The coat is like a pet, and it’s cool that you’re basically growing your own clothes. And when you look after it, just like a pet, you begin to relate to your clothes a bit differently,” she said.
In order to make the fabric more long-lasting, Dasha continues to experiment. She isn’t planning to sell the coats, because the project is, for now, a work of art. A manifesto on the coexistence of people and clothing.