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

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

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

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Lauren Kickstarts The Simply Co.

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer: The Simply Co.

My new friend, Lauren Singer, is launching her Kickstarter for The Simply Co. today. Lauren tells her own story …

My name is Lauren Singer and I live a Zero Waste lifestyle. As the founder of the blog Trash is for Tossers, former Sustainability Manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and Environmental Studies Graduate from NYU, I have learned to make all of my everyday products organically and simply. My friends always ask me to make my products for them and complain that they can’t find high-quality, completely pure products in stores. When my grandmother asked me to make her my laundry detergent for sensitive skin, I realized that I had a market. That’s when I created The Simply Co.— safe products for people who want a healthy body and truly clean home.

The Simply Co.’s first product is a laundry detergent unlike any other product on the market. Our detergent is handmade, organic, vegan, and contains only THREE ingredients: baking soda, washing soda, and castile soap. It comes packaged in a sleek, plastic-free, minimalist box made of out recycled materials that can be composted or recycled. 

But this company doesn’t exist yet; I need to raise $10,000. Today my Kickstarter launches and will run for 30 days. Together we can build a company that not only aims to create a ‘less bad’ product, but creates one that is truly good.” ~ Lauren

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

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

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

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

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

‘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

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours