Eco fashion news

New York Fashion Week For Daniel Silverstein, “Zero Waste,” U.S-Made Fashion Makes 100% Sense

Ecouterre sat down with Daniel and his brand manager and longtime friend, Chris Anderson, after his Fall/Winter 2014 presentation at Launch NYC Fashion Week to talk about his start, the label’s past four years, and the future of sustainable fashion.

By Ashlee Piper - Source: http://www.ecouterre.com

Photo © Daniel Silverstein

Photo © Daniel Silverstein


Whether you’re an avid reality television viewer or a follower of eco-fashion, the name Daniel Silverstein is probably on your radar. The charismatic, near-prodigy level graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (whose portfolio was lauded when he was only 14 years old) and finalist of NBC’s Fashion Star, is pioneering a new realm of design, one that benefits people and the planet. Ecouterre sat down with Daniel and his brand manager and longtime friend, Chris Anderson, after his Fall/Winter 2014 presentation at Launch NYC Fashion Week to talk about his start, the label’s past four years, and the future of sustainable fashion.
Photo © Daniel Silverstein

Photo © Daniel Silverstein


Let’s start at the beginning. How did you become interested in fashion?

Silverstein: All I ever wanted to do was be a designer in NYC, but there weren’t many options for a 16-year-old boy in Madison, New Jersey. I had been taking weekend classes at FIT for several years during high school and they had told me a couple of times, “you have a portfolio that we would accept now, but we can’t consider you until you have a high school diploma.” I participated in a student volunteer program so I could graduate sooner and give back to the community. And that’s how I met Chris.
How did you two come together?

Anderson: I was the executive director of Dress for Success in Madison and Daniel was my intern. We worked on a vintage-inspired fundraiser fashion show together, and became friends from there. The theme was “Workwear from the Last Century.” And Daniel did a design for 2050; it was incredible.

Silverstein: We did so many things to bring that event together. We had high school students in the community model the designs. We made handbags. The event was a tremendous success and we had so much fun doing it that we were like, whoa, we’re pretty good at bringing concepts together and fundraising; we should do this more often.
What was the trajectory from that Dress to Success event to Daniel Silverstein the label?

Silverstein: I had run in to Chris again shortly after I graduated from F.I.T. I was working at a giant corporate company and not really loving it. Good product, good people who taught me a lot, but I couldn’t see myself making an impact there.

One of the meetings I had the privilege of sitting in on was on costing, and a primary element that drives up the cost of a garment is how much fabric you use. The company was using traditional pattern cutting and sewing and there was a lot of wasted material. And it kind of clicked for me there. We were using wasteful traditional patterns, cutting out tons of fabric in a mill in China, throwing 15 percent or more of that fabric away, and charging people because our consumption was irresponsible.

So when I saw Chris, I said, “I really think I can make these zero-waste patterns that fit together like puzzle pieces, and that’s how we’re going to make clothes. I think it’s the future.” Every production run wastes thousands of yards of fabric. That’s not a little bit. What are we doing to the earth?
And who’s making it, and in what conditions…?

Silverstein: Exactly. And what is the toll of those materials? All of those things matter.

Photo © Daniel Silverstein

Photo © Daniel Silverstein

Read the full article at: http://www.ecouterre.com

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