These fashions from New York designer Daniel Silverstein are decidedly stunning, but they also include an element that may surprise you: They’re made from fabric scraps and are almost entirely zero-waste.
According to Silverstein, an average of 10 to 15 percent of the fabric used to make every garment is thrown away — a shocking statistic that led the Fashion Institute of Technology graduate to create a collection that strives to keep fabric waste out of landfills.
Scroll through to catch a glimpse of Silverstein’s Fall 2013 collection and learn more about how these runway-ready looks reduce waste.
Using a unique draping technique, Silverstein keeps fabric waste close to zero. “Spine” details and special embellishments wrap around the body to use the full yardage of fabric put into each piece.
These details have become the signature look of the Daniel Silverstein brand and make each garment one of a kind.
Posted on his website, Silverstein shares this experience — written in his own words — to underscore the importance of reducing fabric waste.
“I am so distraught,” he writes. “I just left a meeting where I wanted to have garments cut out, and the factory owner could not understand why I would save my fabric scraps. She also did not understand they were artfully laid out to be appliquéd on to the dresses after the pieces had been cut.
“She told me she pays more than $500 per month to have her scraps removed, and thrown into landfills because her business is so wasteful.
This is not the only factory in the Garment District creating waste like this, and this is not only an acceptable practice to the industry, this is the only practice.”
“This is why my collections will be zero waste for as long as I can keep producing clothes,” he continues.
“This does not mean you cannot have spectacular designs. You don’t have to look ‘eco’ or like a tree-hugger. Trust me, my cocktail attire is not suited for yoga class.”
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