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 Goes Bridal

2015-08-14+23.18.42-22015-08-15+23.01.45DSC_0057Fashion designer Daniel Silverstein (featured several times on TFIO) continues to grow and inspire! To bring you up to date on Daniel: he is now designing for love, launching his first bridal collection available exclusively at Schone Bride, Brooklyn, New York. Says Daniel: “My collection is best suited for modern love and the real couples of today and tomorrow. Classically romantic in feel, but pushing the fashion envelope, many of my pieces are gender fluid. I want all brides and grooms to have a chance to find something unique, ceremonial, ethical and special to wear as they share their vows and commit their lives and love their partners. This approach drives me forward in my design.”

In late May, Daniel moved his design studio from the garment district in midtown Manhattan to Manufacture New York in Brooklyn, where, says Daniel, “together we are navigating the vision for a new kind of fashion industry where anything is possible and zero goes to waste.” Daniel’s commitment to zero waste is what sets him apart as a fashion designer. None of his textile byproducts go to landfill. This commitment transcends every element of Daniel’s designs.

I love that Daniel Silverstein is going bridal. I’m buying it!

New bridal looks, courtesy of Daniel Silverstein

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The Pin and The Message for 2015

My lady bug bee pin, by Joan Rivers, paired with a tee by Missoni (for you, Joan)

“The bee pin has been my signature.”  ~ Joan Rivers

As I move into 2015, I look back at TFIO 2014 for the stories and the messages that meant so much to me. I treasure stories like Ilene Beckerman’s who created the book which later became the play – Love, Loss, and What I Wore – as a way to document the clothes and the moments and memories of her life; like Isabella Rose Taylor who as an artist and a fashion designer at 13 was told she was never too young to dream; like Daniel Silverstein, a New York designer who is 100% committed to creating beautiful clothing with Zero-waste technology; like Pro-Age revolutionary Cindy Joseph who wowed me (again) with her outlook on life and true beauty; like Lisa Curran, a swimsuit designer who never forgets the importance of bringing out the best in a woman’s self esteem, and like my dear cousin Drew Ann Rosenberg, who as a Director and Assistant Director of films and television, is a woman working in a male-dominated profession.

But perhaps the single most important message came from comedian Joan Rivers. On Labor Day we heard that Joan Rivers, one of America’s hardest-workers (forget the fact that she was 80 years old!) was in critical condition following a medical procedure, and finally the news followed that she had passed. To honor Ms. Rivers I wrote about her in a piece I titled, “Joan Rivers: Beeautiful!” As a designer for QVC, Joan Rivers had a signature bee collection as part of her jewelry line. With a name like Melissa, which means bee in Greek, I have collected several of Ms. Rivers’s bee pins. But I never understood why the bee meant so much to her until I heard her tell the story: “The bee pin, for those of you who don’t know, has been my signature. It represents achieving the impossible because the bee absolutely cannot fly, cannot get off the ground, the way it’s built; yet it flies and makes the world beautiful. So it gives you hope … When people say, ‘give up,’ … no, no, no, no, no … don’t give up, up and at ‘em, make the world better.”

That is the message that I carry with me into 2015 and I happily share with youDon’t give up, never give up – even when people say you can’t or you shouldn’t. If you believe in it, do it. Do it. And make the world better for it. The bee somehow finds a way to fly. Joan Rivers did it. And we can, too!

Photo by Alexandra

 

 

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Jenny’s Personal Style and The Story of Her Pink Coat

Jenny

Jenny Williams

Can you imagine how pleased I was to read an article entitled: How I Found My Personal Style When I Let Go of Most of My Clothing?  And even more excited to meet its author? The person who wrote this thoughtful piece is Jenny Williams; I connected immediately with Jenny and her message, which may sound familiar, from recent conversations I have had about Zero Waste, with Lauren Singer and Daniel Silverstein. Jenny agreed to share her story on TFIO. It is a lovely reminder how fashion is one of our universal connectors. Here is that conversation with Jenny:

MKG: You have embraced the concept of less-is-more, when it comes to clothing and personal style. What does that mean to you?

JENNY: I think getting dressed in the morning should be a creative jump start to your day. It should be an expression of your personality; since it automatically sends a message to the people who will be seeing you, and you want it to be accurate.

Since I have started to focus more on quality rather than quantity the past few years, I have found that I feel more creative when I get dressed in the morning. Having more options does not mean that you have a more versatile wardrobe; in fact, a larger wardrobe overwhelmes me and stifles my imagination. I feel more ‘myself’ when I am working with a smaller wardrobe. That is liberating!

MKG: Tell me about that ‘coming-of-age-moment’ when you purchases your pink coat from Anthropologie? Where were you in your life and why do you think you were ready to understand that spending more for a single item could be worth it? Continue reading

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Lauren Doesn’t Trash Vintage Shopping!

Lauren Singer, outside her favorite vintage shop in NYC: Beacon's Closet

Lauren Singer, outside her favorite vintage shop in NYC: Beacon’s Closet

When I first met and interviewed Lauren Singer, the creative force behind the Zero Waste movement Trash is for Tossers, I knew she was dedicated and committed. I knew she was enterprising. And I knew that Lauren was only 23 years old. What I didn’t know was the depth of her passion: on Wednesday, October 29, Lauren will launch her own clean-home products line, called The Simply Co. I knew that I had to get into her head and find out what makes this young phenom tick! That’s why I spent the best morning with my new friend, Lauren Singer, as we hung out and shopped at her favorite vintage shop in New York City, Beacon’s Closet. It was a wonderful reminder that we are all connected, no matter our age, no matter where we live, or where we are in our lives …

MKG: Lauren, you are only 23 years old! How did you discover such a deep-rooted passion for Zero Waste living? Was there a life-changing moment for you?

Lauren: I am a really sensitive person and I always have been; I am highly aware and my emotions hit me intensely. With all of the different experiences in my life, I am constantly learning and as I do, everything affects me deeply. I can’t not keep growing, and once I learn something, I can’t undo it. I have to keep moving forward.

MKG: I love when you say, “you can have strong ethics, live a sustainable life, be Zero Waste, and not sacrifice style. One of my favorite things ever is that when people meet me, they expect me to LOOK like I lived in the woods for 23 years!” That is brilliant, Lauren! How do you marry Zero Waste with style, and living in NYC?

Lauren: I am me first; Zero Waste second. I have always loved fashion and being stylish. 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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PODCAST RETURNS! This week in fashion …

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My podcast returns! Photo credit, Patricia Saxton

My podcast returns! Photo credit, Patricia Saxton

My podcast returns this week, and I am thrilled. I have been nervous to produce my own podcasts, since my engineer and my podcast-parter-in-crime, my son Eric, left for college. But I am a big girl, and I know that I can do it. Here are this week’s fashion stories that are on my mind. So glad to be back!

I love and welcome your comments!

 

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‘Just say no to fast fashion and other waste,’ says activist Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer is on a mission to eliminate as much waste as possible from her life. This is admirable in and of itself, but as you read this interview, remember one thing: Lauren is only 23 years old. Here is my interview with Lauren …

MKG: Lauren, you are so young to have such a lofty and serious mission. How and why did this become your purpose?

LaurenThank you! Before I became Zero Waste, I was an activist against the fossil fuel industry and particularly vocal against hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, the process of extracting natural gas from shale formations that requires the use of millions of gallons of water, sand, and a mix of hazardous chemicals that are carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting, and all around polluting to the environment. For me, saving the planet meant yelling at big oil. In fact, there was a time when I truly wasn’t even thinking about my trash, or my own ecological footprint in a holistic way. I had believed that studying environmental science, caring a lot about the earth, and talking about how much I disliked the fossil fuel industry was enough. However, in my years of protesting, I had forgotten one crucial aspect of activism that is hugely influential: my power as a consumerContinue reading

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News flash: Daniel Silverstein is not just a rising star, he is a fashion star!

 

Optimized-P1040339P1040230P1040288P1040305P1040299On Friday night, I viewed the Fall 2014 Collection of Daniel Silverstein and I was blown away. I met Daniel, designer, artist and entrepreneur, a year ago, just in time to watch him earn his fashion stripes on NBC’s Fashion Star. Since then, he has continued to design and manufacture exquisite, ethereal, sexy and zero-waste creations for women. His Fall 2014 Collection is strong and vibrant and quintessential Daniel Silverstein. Bravo, Daniel! And Bravo, for creating sustainable fashion and showcasing diversity on the runway! Continue reading

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Does fashion create waste? This young designer thinks so!

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Daniel Silverstein, Founder and Creative Director - Daniel Silverstein

Daniel Silverstein,  Creative Director and Founder – Daniel Silverstein

Meet Daniel Silverstein, Creative Director and Founder of Daniel Silverstein, who, at 24, is young and energetic and leading the way by imagining how clothing design can look in the future. He is not only charming but purposeful, with a strong interest in preserving the industry and the planet with responsible concepts like no-waste and sustainable fashion. I have no doubt that where he goes, other designers will follow. Meet Chris Anderson, Brand Manager of Daniel Silverstein, and Daniel’s mentor, visionary, and longtime friend, helping Daniel achieve his life goals.

You may remember Daniel as one of the three finalists on last season’s Fashion Star on NBC. In this podcast, we talk about his life-altering experience on the show and his passion for design that began as a child who simply “couldn’t be stopped,” according to Daniel …

Daniel Silverstein, Spring 2014 Collection

Daniel Silverstein, Spring 2014 Collection

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