We aim to ensure that our production, product, and packaging are all crafted with the planet in mind. Recently we decided to go beyond our usual practices to explore more creative possibilities in sustainability. That is where a fashion designer from Brooklyn comes in. Daniel, Founder of Zero Waste Daniel (ZWD) is an innovative designer who uses fabrics scraps to create beautiful clothing that helps to keep linens out of the landfill. Struggling to find a donation center for our small fabric scraps we connected with ZWD to repurpose into garments that are both stylish and sustainable. Learn more about the ZWD mission and brand below and shop our subscription service to do your part in keeping linens out of the landfill.
Tell us a little about yourself: who you are, what you do, where you live.
I'm Daniel Silverstein, founder and designer of Zero Waste Daniel. I live in Bushwick Brooklyn, a neighborhood away from our make/shop in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
How did ZWD begin? When?
ZWD began in 2015 after I closed down my Manhattan studio that created high end zero waste cocktail dresses. We sold our first round of sweatshirts for pre-order in the 2015 holiday season.
Was there an a-ha moment when starting the brand?
After four and a half years of wholesaling, I had a very dramatic moment where I gathered everything I’d collected for seven years and was marching toward the dumpster, weeping. I threw the bag on the ground and all this nice fabric fell out. I looked down and thought, "Hey, that fabric’s kinda cool!" I took the rest of the afternoon and made a shirt. For years I’d been trying to grow my social media. I posted, "Oh, I made this shirt" and got the most likes by like a hundred. People were asking, "Can I order one?!" -- that's the a-ha moment.
How did you become enlightened about the unfortunate facts surrounding the fast fashion industry?
By always going into things with my eyes open I was able to see things through interning and working in the industry.
Where do you source your textiles?
Trash. I make everything from cutting-room scraps from local factories. I use what designers deem “too small” or “worthless.” Small pieces and weird shapes don’t scare me—it’s not waste unless we waste it.
Do you have a ZWD moment you are most proud of?
Uh, that's an easy one- ZWD's appearance on Broad City! The team and I are huge fans of Ilana Glazer and the show, so it was so exciting to see our piece on her.
What are some ways we as consumers can make a change?
Support companies that are doing the right thing!
How do you empower your customers?
We empower customers by being as transparent as possible. Not only does one sweatshirt save roughly one pound of fabric waste from hitting landfills but it is also handmade in Brooklyn where you can see the team working on all our pieces. This kind of transparency allows for the consumer to be empowered in their decision to support us! We also want our customers to love their product and keep it for as long as possible and because of that, we offer to customize. Customizing let's the customer build the zero waste piece of their dreams!
What are your favorite trends in fashion right now?
At Zero Waste Daniel we don't follow trends!
What inspires your designs?
Functionality and using the fabric that is available to me.
We love the Package Free shop. How did that project unfold?
As a consumer, I really wanted a place to buy all of my lifestyle essentials but it didn't exist so I co-founded it.
What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2018?!
2018 is going to be an exciting year filled with a lot more amazing one-of-a-kinds and more innovation with different scraps and textiles. Follow us on Instagram @zerowastedaniel or join our email list to stay up to date on everything new at Zero Waste Daniel!