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Bushwick's Zero Waste Daniel opens new storefront after closing during the pandemic

Daniel was so successful with his mission that he was able to open his own store in Williamsburg in 2017. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, he and his husband were forced to close down.

Greg Thompson and News 12 Staff

Sep 21, 2023, 2:42 AM

Updated 299 days ago

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Bushwick resident Daniel Silverstein - better known as "Zero Waste Daniel" - became a social media star due to his unique clothing designs made entirely out of leftover and unused materials.
"I saw the mountains of waste from every internship, every factory, everywhere that I had worked," Daniel explained to News 12, "and I knew someone had to do something about this, and I made it my mission to redefine the way we create, and hopefully, do it without waste."
Daniel was so successful with his mission that he was able to open his own store in Williamsburg in 2017. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, he and his husband were forced to close down, moving the company first to their apartment, then to a small studio. 
For a little while, they didn't know what would come next, but then, Daniel says "I was watching RuPaul's drag race, and I thought, 'that's what I want to be doing'.  I want to be dressing these superstars who entertain me."
With the encouragement of his husband, Daniel reached out to the show.  One thing led to another, and his work became regularly featured.  Business started to pick up after that, and Daniel found this new space on Varet Street. 
After launching a Kickstarter campaign to bring the community into it, Daniel says he was surprised to find out his work  had inspired enough people that he raised more money than he even needed, saying "it's been so heartwarming to see the responses and to feel everyone telling us zero waste Daniel is a brand for anyone that wants to participate."
The new storefront officially opened for business on Saturday, Sept. 16,, and Daniel says that so far, both feedback and sales have been good. Eventually, he hopes the space can be more than just a business.
"This store is kind of a proof of concept that if you can be true to yourself, if you can find something that is authentic to you and speaks to your community, then you can live your dream," said Daniel.
Zero Waste Daniel is open Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment only, then Thursday through Sunday for walk-ins.


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