Zero Waste Daniel: Designing Out Pre-consumer Textile Waste | Knowledge Hub | Circle Lab

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Zero Waste Daniel: Designing Out Pre-consumer Textile Waste

Pre-consumer textile waste poses a major concern, as raw materials that are used in the production of the textile are lost, meaning that they have been extracted for nothing, not to mention the possibilities of any negative externalities that go along during the production stages. Zero Waste Daniel collects pre-consumer waste through sample factories, production studios, and partnership with brands and non-profits. It then uses the collected 'waste' to make its garment and accessories collection. Together with its ReRoll™ production technique, each piece diverts around one pound of textile waste from the landfill and is unique from any other pieces.


Pre-consumer textile waste refers to any waste material produced before the textile pieces even reach the consumer. This includes fabric leftover after cutting out a pattern, those resulted from overstocking, defective printing, dying and finishing for instance. As a result of the natural shapes that make up a garment, approximately 10-30% of the fabric is cut away and discarded during the cutting process. Pre-consumer textile waste has its major concern: When they are disposed to the landfill before even making themselves to the consumers, it means that all the raw materials that were extracted for the production of them go to nothing, not to mention any negative externalities (e.g. water pollution as a result of dye effluent discharged) that goes along during the production stages.


Daniel Silverstein, the founder of Zero Waste Daniel, collects pre-consumer waste from New York City's garment industry and uses it to make its collection of unisex jogging pants, teeshirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets. The pre-consumer waste consists of cutting room scraps, design room waste and leftover materials. It also consists of the excess fabric of brands' order, pieces that were 'wrongly dyed' or no longer a part of the brand's collection due to changes in seasonality or design. To source its 'waste', it works extensively with the community and the industry. For example, it works with FabScrap, a local non-profit where designers and other clothes makers deposit their leftover bolts, samples, scraps, zippers, buttons and ribbons etc. It also works with sample factories in New York City, production studios around the US, and partners up with brands. Zero Waste Daniel utilises a closed loop production system and a technique called ReRoll™ to ensure that the placement of fabric will always be unique. Similar fabric materials are utilised in each piece to make a standard shape and fit.


Aiming to use, reuse, and recycle all he can, Zero Waste Daniel creates a collection of unique garment pieces with colourful patchwork, as well as cloth pouches and patches. Upcycling makes the whole production process more sustainable as it prevents textiles from going to the landfill or being burned. In addition, it does not require the extraction of additional materials to produce more fabric. According to Zero Waste Daniel, all the pieces are made in its transparent storefront factory in Brooklyn where each garment piece diverts around one pound of textile waste from the landfill. Its unique ReRoll procedure not only helps ensure that each piece is unique, but also creates fabrics of similar weights that fit within the same color palette and design.

Additional information

Zero Waste Daniel also uses recycled and recyclable materials in its shipping, packaging and office materials as well as proclaim zero waste mindset in everyday company life. 

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FABSCRAP provides convenient pickup and recycling services of textiles in New York City