Esponnette’s website says she sprouted the seeds into the vest’s fabric after cutting the pattern pieces. When the chia plants were established, she then sewed the pieces into a garment. She says the vest represents a “symbiotic relationship” between it and the wearer: “The user needing oxygen in exchange for carbon dioxide for respiration and the chia needing carbon dioxide in exchange for oxygen for photosynthesis.”
Chia Pets were an American craze of the 1980s and 1990s. The pets were terracotta figurines which housed chia seeds. When sprouted, the seeds grew rapidly to create green “fur” on the figurine.