Last Thursday marked the third event of the Ethical Writers Coalition: a talk with zero waste fashion designer, Daniel Silverstein. Zero waste is a revival of what used to be traditional practices: eat all the parts, use all the scraps, don't waste anything. It's being a good steward of your materials and appreciating the time and energy that went into their production. While working in the conventional fashion industry, Daniel saw materials being unnecessarily thrown out and knew he wanted to disrupt that pattern of waste. He reinvented the way he designed, cut, and produced clothing and in the process reinvented himself. Daniel is now a leader in the art of zero waste design and the packed room of students and designers we hosted confirms that there is growing interest in the zero waste movement.
As Juliette Donatelli of Spades + SiLK spoke with Daniel about his history, we learned that his is a true conversion story. The waste he witnessed in the fashion industry bothered him so much, he felt he had no choice but to leave. With the goal of producing the least amount of waste, Daniel re-works his designs until they produce only scraps of fabric which he later uses in other projects. All of his gorgeous pieces are created in his NYC studio by him and a small group of employees.
After the talk, we went into Daniel's studio to learn more about his zero waste design process. He explained how he created a box-cut tee (modeled by Alden of EcoCult), showed us one year's worth of scraps of fabric, and talked about some of his future projects.
After the Q & A, attendees were treated to cupcakes from Little Cupcake Bakeshop. Jacquelyn of The Stylish Kind brought the fair trade wine we served in Susty Party compostable cups. Attendees were also able to shop Daniel's collection and get his advice on sizing and style. Emma Grady of Past Fashion Future dished out sustainable style advice as she shopped while friend and model for Daniel's The Piece Project, Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers, was there to lend her support.
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