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China’s Sprouting Headwear Trend is a Goofy-Fun Way to Raise Environmental Awareness

The newest craze to take China by storm has a distinctly natural feel.

Image via Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Just as the western world prepares for the great withering of fall, in China a new nature-inspired trend has quite literally popped up. As the Times reports, a fairly new practice of inserting sprouts, vegetables, fruits, flowers, and all kinds of organic (and non-organic) ephemera has become all the rage—and is designed to make people’s heads look like vegetable gardens. “It’s fun, but I guess it’s also about protecting the environment, to show that you care about nature,” says street vendor Mao Wenli, 50, who the Times caught up with in downtown Beijing.

Courtesy of He Lili/Imagechina

It seems that most of the wearers are in their teens and 20s, a prime demographic for wacky trends. As NY Magazine interjects, “The fad began with people clipping plastic beanstalks resembling the seedling emoji into their hair. But the look is intensifying, and China's trendsetters are now landscaping their locks with plastic fruits and vegetables.”

If you’re curious how average Chinese citizens are adopting this look, NYMag spent yesterday scanning Instagram for their favorites:

Photo: Liu Xianglong/Sipa Asia

Photo: Liu Xianglong/Sipa Asia

We can wag our fingers at China’s seemingly blind trend-following, but isn’t America’s Coachella-approve love of the ubiquitous flower crown and wreathe just as random— and maybe even more cloying? Who are we to say what kind of fun, fancy vegetation someone should put in their hair? And maybe, just maybe, what the world needs right now is a little sprout o’ love.

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