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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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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