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By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
A favourite with Amber Valletta, who chose parts of his collection for her Master & Muse collection on Yoox.com, the young fashion designer Daniel Silverstein enlightened New York’s Fashion Week on how zero waste is the future in fashion. Textile pollution is a growing problem in this industry, but Daniel is adamant in fighting it with his unique cutting techniques, exquisite taste, and aesthetic patterns.
In this exclusive interview with Eluxe, Daniel shares his thoughts on his past, process and philosophy.
How is your collection sustainable?
This collection is zero waste. That means we work on eliminating textile pollution from the manufacturing process and that is done by being very creative with our pattern makings. Normally when you cut patterns with a marker in traditional fashion you will waste 15% to 20% of the material that is cut and goes straight into landfills and is scrapped. So all of our patterns put together make some jigsaw puzzles, so that this is eliminated or brought down to less than 1%.
What inspired you to get into sustainable fashion?
I’ve always been a fashion designer in my heart. I have been drawing pictures of dresses since I was a child; it was the first thing I doodled when I was a two year old. I was taken by the female form and adorning it. I grew up in the East Coast, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, I studied at FIT and the training and exposure I got to the industry there and at the sister school, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, encouraged me to incorporate sustainable practices into my business. And just as a member of youth culture it’s a very important thing to be concerned about the future of our planet, so also when I think about employing people and truly being innovative as a designer, what I want to bring is not just a sense of style, but a way of making things that is better for us. I’ve been doing this for four years but now my team and I rebranded as the Daniel Silverstein collection last spring, so this is the second collection under my own name.
How are you eco-friendly yourself in your day-to-day life?
Simply in the little things that can change the big picture. At work for example we encourage everyone at the office to recycle, we use left-over materials for other projects, we donate scraps to an artist who works only with textiles, and our interns run all around the fashion district with tote bags, no plastic bags from my office!
Where can people buy your clothes?
We don’t have our own store, but we do sell online both through our website and other retailers, some of my favourite include Oak, Bettina Duncan, Fred Segal, Yoox.com, we have a good relationship with Shop Up and it’s been so exciting to see all of my pieces in all of these places.