Growable Gown: a gown that grows with you

Erin Smith

A wedding dress is a perfect example of a non-sustainable, one-time use object. My thesis is a dress that will completely biodegrade after use, supporting new life in my garden instead of hanging in my closet for 50 years.


The average cost of a wedding dress in the US is $1200 and contains nearly 8 yards of material. In addition to being cost and energy intensive, these dresses demonstrate the issues that surround so many objects that out live their intended use. This project explores using bacteria, fungi, and other biodegradable resources as building materials to create garments that are both beautiful and ecologically responsible. For my own wedding, I wanted to make decisions that I will continue to be proud of instead of having my decisions be dictated by tradition. I hope that this project will inspire others to grow their own sustainable custom gowns.