A trailblazing sustainable fashion brand just opened a new store in Brooklyn

This beautiful one-of-a-kind clothing is made of fabric scraps.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Things to Do Editor
A rack full of denim items.
Photograph: Bobby Pache

The antithesis of fast fashion, Zero Waste Daniel transforms scraps from other brands and factories into gorgeous genderless garments with patchwork designs. The sustainable fashion brand just opened a brick-and-mortar store in Brooklyn with one-of-a-kind clothing, lifestyle products and a Seussian display of clothing scraps.

"The mission is really to challenge the norms of garment production and say that it's possible to make things that are beautiful and desirable and affordable without creating waste," the company's founder and co-owner Daniel Silverstein tells Time Out New York

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Zero Waste Daniel stays true to the brand’s name by sending nothing to landfills—a rarity in the fashion industry. The only waste that leaves his studio is floor sweepings, and it takes nearly a year to collect a kitchen-size bag of those tiny bits of thread and fabric. The brand makes every single one-of-a-kind garment on-site using unworn scraps from other clothing production operations.

The product line includes a colorful floral hoodie ($175), chic black patterned joggers ($165), a one-piece black and neon swimsuit ($119) and lots more. Here's the full online store.

Daniel Silverstein sits in front of a sculptural wall of fabric scraps.
Photograph: Bobby Pache

An upcycling pioneer, Silverstein is determined to change the way people dress. 

We must innovate past the idea of a new hemline or silhouette and address the real problem of how we make and consume clothing.

“As designers, we’re meant to solve problems,” he says. “Right now, we are faced with the issues of climate change, overconsumption, and scarcity of resources. This is the moment when we must innovate past the idea of a new hemline or silhouette and address the real problem of how we make and consume clothing. It is my great honor to be at the forefront of this movement.”

His ethos for sustainability started at a young age. As a kid, he'd make Barbie clothes out of scrap fabric. Then, seeing a retrospective of fashion designer Bob Mackie's pieces for Cher showed Silverstein that fashion could be a career. 

Shoppers look through clothing at the Zero Waste Daniel store.
Photograph: Bobby Pache

"I have been hellbent on making that my reality," he says. 

He moved to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), competed on Fashion Star earning finalist status and launched a line of zero-waste cocktail/evening dresses. But soon, Silverstein watched as fast fashion took over, leaving local designers' businesses to crumble. 

Silverstein decided to stop making clothes for the runway and instead make clothing he’d wear on an everyday basis. After selling at markets and pop-up events, he worked with an investor to launch a store, but the pandemic and a rent hike eventually closed that brick-and-mortar, leaving the brand online only again. But now, they’re back with a new, larger location thanks to the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Inside the Zero Waste Daniel store.
Photograph: Bobby Pache

“We missed being customer-facing; we missed having interactions in the store. I missed learning from other people,” Mario DeMarco, the store’s co-owner and manager (and Silverstein’s husband), said. “We’re opening up in Bushwick, which is our neighborhood, it’s our home. It’s really a queer creative hub. I’m so excited to be in that neighborhood.”

In addition to selling clothes, Zero Waste Daniel plans to organize community clean-ups, host sustainability workshops and partner with neighboring businesses to repurpose their waste. 

Find the Zero Waste Daniel Store in Bushwick at 257 Varet Street, open Tuesday–Sunday.

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