A Visit to Brooklyn, Meeting Mia, and ZWD

When I met fashion designer Daniel Silverstein in his Manhattan studio several years ago, I knew he was a visionary on to something special with his commitment to reducing the waste of fabric in the fashion industry. But I had no idea how his passion would evolve into a movement for change. Now located in Brooklyn, Daniel transformed his designs to zero-waste in 2016 with the creation of ZeroWasteDaniel – ZWD – and Daniel is bringing his mission and message not only to Brooklyn and local designers, but to everyone through his global website. Every scrap, every piece of material is used and re-used: “At Daniel’s studio, fabric waste is kept to zero. pattern making techniques, appliqués, tiled mosaics and embellishments absorb one hundred percent of the textile goods that are brought into the studio and ZWD takes factory scraps and turns them into new goods.

Abrina and I visited the studio in Brooklyn and met Daniel’s teammate, Mia Lopes, lead textile artist for ZWD. Mia spoke about the mission of zero waste production and how she has come full circle working with Daniel, whom Mia met when they were both students at FIT. Zero Waste is about creating inclusion; every design is unisex and meant to be worn comfortably by both sexes. Zero Waste is about educating consumers of the responsibility we all have to protect our environment and creating a sustainable future. Zero Waste is about partnering with local artisans – to tackle the wasteful fashion industry in larger, growing numbers. And Zero Waste is about producing everything entirely locally, in New York City, and bringing jobs home. Meeting Mia, I see that Zero Waste, at its core, is also about creativity and expression, because without inspired alternatives to conventional fashion, no one would join in this exciting commitment to change and do what is right for our world. And the future for Daniel? As far as I can see, there is no limit to his vision – in fact, Mia said that they are considering Zero Waste furniture design!

Photos: Abrina Hyatt Continue reading

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The Hero Behind Zero Waste

Daniel Silverstein

Daniel Silverstein in his own zero waste design

It’s been three years since I first met New York fashion designer Daniel Silverstein and that is hard to believe. In that time, I have seen a young designer grow in leaps and bounds in his creation of beautiful designs with a mindful and ethical purpose: zero waste. Now located in Brooklyn and affiliated with Manufacture NY, his journey is reaching new depths and creating a vehicle for change in the fashion world. I applaud Daniel for his energy, positivity, integrity, and for his commitment. We talked about what is on Daniel’s mind now and for the future …

MKG: Why did you move your design studio from Manhattan to Brooklyn and what has the move meant to you and to your brand?

Daniel: I moved from Manhattan six months ago because I felt stuck.  But at the time, I didn’t realize the significance of moving my business to Brooklyn and Manufacture NY – now of course it makes perfect sense. What prompted the change was the fact that I wasn’t having a large enough impact on zero waste designs. I was too focused on succeeding in the industry as it is. I have always worked behind closed doors, developing my designs and techniques in a private, almost secret space with a small team. But moving to a community space (without any walls) has given me a new approach, with the benefits of support and access to equipment. The people with whom I work are excited about my zero waste design efforts and are helping me build and facilitate my message. It is a huge blessing for me and a really exciting time. I had an incredible professor at FIT who told me that there are 2 kinds of designers: good designers and great designers. The good designers get work, and great designers change the way people dress. I always knew that I wanted to be one of the great designers making a positive impact. Continue reading

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Daniel Silverstein Creates ‘The Piece Project’

Daniel Silverstein launches 'The Piece Project' on October 1st

Daniel Silverstein launches ‘The Piece Project’ on October 1st

On the heels of the People’s Climate March in New York, independent and globally-conscious fashion designer and my friend, Daniel Silverstein, is about to launch his new collection, ‘The Piece Project.’ What does this mean and what should we, as consumers, know about Daniel and his mission? You will be touched …

MKG: Daniel, you have always been an innovator when it comes to fashion design. Walk me through your thought-process in creating ‘The Piece Project.’

DS: The ‘Piece Project’ was born out of the idea to take zero waste to the next level. I wanted to challenge myself to create beautiful, wearable, meaningful designs out of pieces of fabric from my studio that, typically, a manufacturer would consider not large enough with which to do anything. Continue reading

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