Meet the zero-waste fashion designer pioneering sustainable fashion one scrap at a time

ByAmanda Saintina Localish logo
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Sustainable fashion designer crafts garments out of fabric scraps.
This sustainable fashion designer is redefining style while reducing waste with his genderless clothing brand, crafted from fabric scraps.

New York -- Brooklyn-based clothing designer, Daniel Silverstein is a pioneer in the fashion industry with his innovative and genderless zero-waste brand "Zero Waste Daniel" which utilizes textile scraps and pre-consumer, post-production materials to create one-of-a-kind garments. With the growing concerns about mass waste and pollution in the fashion industry, Daniel is proof that the fashion industry can reduce waste, one scrap at a time.

According to, in America alone, an estimated 11.3 million tons of textile waste equivalent to 85% of all textiles end up in landfills on a yearly basis. As there is more demand for the latest trends and fast fashion, the industry is producing more garments to keep up, which increases the amount of waste. Of the 100 billion garments produced each year, 92 million metric tons end up in landfills.

At the age of 5, Daniel Silverstein was already eco-conscious, recycling and buying fabric scraps for $1 at his local craft store to create doll clothes. After attending fashion school in New York and working in the industry, Daniel realized there were many widespread practices that did not align with his personal values.

"I wanted to bring my ethics into the conversation and make things that I believed in. And I believe in zero-waste. So that's just what I set out to do," says Silverstein. Thus, Zero Waste Daniel was born, paving the way for a new generation of designers to create sustainable garments.

His eye-catching signature designs and geometric patchwork are created from a process he dubbed "re-rolling". Rerolling is described as joining pre-consumer scraps and sewing them together to create brand new fabric. With this process, Daniel creates unique patterns and, after production, reuses the fabric waste.

"Clothing is a powerful form of nonverbal communication and what my clothes say to people with my signature designs and patchwork is that you care about the environment and care about upcycling," says Silverstein.

Zero Waste Daniel recently received the opportunity to bring upcycled clothing to a larger audience by partnering with Nuuly a womens clothing rental subscription service. Their upcycling initiative, Re_Nuuly, aims to tackle overproduction and mass waste in the fashion industry. With this collaboration, Zero Waste Daniel was tasked with upcycling 1,300 used denim garments to reimagine them and give them a new life. Daniel was able to create a one-of-a-kind 10-piece collection to be reintroduced to Nuulys rental assortment.

To celebrate this partnership, Zero Waste Daniel and Nuuly held an interactive walkthrough of the collection where guests were able to participate in a denim deconstruction workshop. By doing so, Daniel was able to introduce consumers to the amount of labor that goes into garment-making and spark meaningful conversations around sustainability.

"I want other designers to look at this business and think, well, if one person can make a self-sustaining business off scraps and off of their ethics, while still expressing themselves and participating in the industry they love; maybe I could do that with trash near me. And together, we can change the conversation and change the course of this industry," Silverstein concluded.