Three years ago today I made and posted this photo of the first ZWD shirt. This shirt, this photo and what they stand for are a sweet reminder of my driving force, #passion. I made this shirt because I thought I had given up on my passion, and had nothing better to do than make myself a sweatshirt, only to reignite my inner fire it and make it stronger. When I sat at the machine to create this piece, I remember having mixed feelings. You see, fashion is so confusing. It seems like beauty and appearances are the only things that matter, but those are not the most important things to me. I like to make things, to solve problems, and to look and feel good doing it. At that time, I was closing my studio. I had created a dress brand, #danielsilverstein, on the principal of #zerowaste #design. I wanted to prove that #beauty and #responsibleconsumption could co-exist, merging my passions. I emulated my mentors and idols, but was an #advocate that #fashion had a new direction to move in, one that could value rooted things in the earth, the air we breathe, our real bodies, but still nourish our eyes with glamor and fill hearts with wonder. My hope was that the world would make a little space and I could follow int he footsteps of the greats, selling to the top stores, leaving a legacy of beautiful work, but with the current eye of a global environmentalist. I was only 21 when I started this journey. Naive, and only 6 months after graduating from FIT, I set out to be a fashion designer, and 5 years later I thought I had given up. Mental pictures of #runway fame and red carpet glitz kept me hurling myself into an endless cycle of collections and shows, chasing editors and buyers....and invoices. At 23, I was discovered by #FashionStar and welcomed to the family of designers at #SaksFifthAve, but the reality of #realitytv, was that once the season was over, all bets were off, and instagram wasn’t really a thing yet, so...what now? I wanted to prove that #zerowastefashion was produceable, salable, wearable, beautiful; but who has $450 to blow on a #jumpsuit?!? And do they #care that not a #scrap went to #waste? NO. No they don’t. The #truth is, the #fashionindustry might not be ready for #change. Do we really think an #industry plagued with #antiquated #exploitative practices, #manipulativemarketing that promote #toxic products as #luxury, and celebrates #selfies and #vapid #influencers is going to gives special thanks to someone saving a few scraps from hitting the floor? Hell, even @stellamccartney is fighting an uphill battle, and is STILL the only major brand in #luxuryfashion with a #sustainability #platform. So, no, no I do not think those precious editors and designer, who now are fighting for their floor space in the once great retail giants, and for likes on platforms that did not matter back then, will step aside and share the catwalk. No, I don’t think the industry is ready to offer you something slower, or better for you. #Fashion is staying #airbrushed. #Photoshopped. #Edited. But on the day when I began to pack up everything I had done to try and change the game, the true meaning of this profession came to me, perhaps in earnest for the very first time. You can read here in the caption, I wanted a shirt, so I made one. I need to design. That is who I am. Its my personal identity. I needed to make this shirt, and I need to make you things. Its an unscratchable itch I have felt from birth. But, to get just one moment of satisfaction, I need it to be responsible. I can’t need to make work that hurts people, or oppresses people, that makes someone hate their body or their face, or that polluted someones water. I’m willing to work with what we’ve got, I don’t care how long it takes, I care that you look good. I care that its made here, that its made fair. I guess what I felt in that moment was that I couldn’t keep going trying to make the “fashion industry” care, but I could not stop myself from caring. I needed to make keep my passion, and some scraps alive. This day set me on a new path, one where the only people who matter are you and me. Getting outside the system has allowed me to make more beautiful things, give them more meaning, and express my passion every day since. Happy 3 year anniversary, ZWD!