Sep 14, 2017
So many of us are experts at
identifying what is wrong in the world, aren't we?
What sets today's guest apart is
that he didn't just identify what was wrong in his industry, he
created a solution to the problem... and built a business around
I am so inspired by Daniel
Silverstein, who you'll know as "Zero Waste Daniel" after our
I'm thrilled to share with you,
during New York Fashion Week and fashion "season" around the world,
a man who is adding an inspired twist to the industry.
- Every piece of clothing made in
a factory (which is most of the clothing we wear) had to be cut out
of a sheet of fabric. The leftovers scraps end up in landfills. I
created Zero Waste Daniel to use these scraps + create articles
that are less wasteful.
- I was a very active kid, with
ADD and a wild imagination. My family recognized this and
helped me channel it.
- I had a lot of interests and
mannerisms that set me apart from my peers in rural Pennsylvania.
Incredible mother figures encouraged me as I tried to make sense of
why I was drawn to design and a little different from everyone
- I interned with fashion giants
Carolina Herrera and Carmen Mark Valvo. Then I got my
first job designing sweaters for a big catalog company.
As I learned about the cost we pay as companies and
as consumers for fabric that gets thrown away: I realized
it was a broken system resulting in catastrophic waste; 14 million
tons in the US annually.
- It's both a volume issue: Where
do we put all of this waste? and an issue of opportunity: We are
reaping finite resources from the earth and not using all of
- There comes a point in
your life when you have to decide to do things for
zero-waste vision came in 2010. I tried many iterations
until 2017 when, finally, I created a business model that
Waste Daniel Make / Shop in Brooklyn:
- Pick out the discarded fabric
scraps you like + then watch my team make your shirt on the spot.
This also helps you understand why a shirt is $50.
consumerism: Focus on need v. want. If you
want something, ask yourself: How do I it at low
- The Zero Waste Blog
Daniel references: Trash is for Tossers
- There are many new designers and
large designers coming to us now to help them cut their waste,
too. There's a chance to reach everyone and inspire change: If
it comes from consumers up and business downs, we'll all meet in
the middle eventually.
- Whether or not you're into
fashion, everyone wears clothes so it pertains to
- Always do your
best. It isn't the same every single day. But if you just
try your best, you have nothing to regret.
- It doesn't matter what industry
you're in, every industry has problems. Ask yourself WHY NOT ME -
why can't I make the needed change. The day I asked
WHY NOT ME, my whole life changed.
DANIEL SILVERSTIEN'S LIVE INSPIRED
1. What is the best book
you’ve ever read? My mom gave me The
Big Book of Small Business and I keep it on my bedside
2. Tomorrow you discover
your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you
millions. What would you do with it? I would invest
in businesses that want to make change.
3. Your house is on fire,
all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to
run in and grab one item. What would it be? One
of my grandmother's paintings. At 60, she survived breast cancer
and had her "Why not me?" moment. She learned to paint and has
created 100s of pieces now in houses across the country.
4. You are sitting on a
bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to
have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it
be? Cristobal Balenciaga an amazing designer
interested in crafting new shapes and thinking outside the human
5. What is the best
advice you’ve ever received? The harder you work the
luckier you get.
6. Looking back,
what advice would you give yourself at age 20? Just
7. It’s been said that
all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence.
How do you want yours to read? He was a kind honest
and genuine person who always did his best.
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