While the job of a sanitation worker is often viewed as dirty and unsafe, Zero Waste Daniel, a New York-based clothing designer and zero waste pioneer, believes sanitation uniforms are a badge of honor to be worn with pride.
To bring the importance of sustainable fashion and zero waste to the forefront, Zero Waste Daniel has joined forces with the City of New York Department of Sanitation's (DSNY) official nonprofit, the Foundation for New York's Strongest, to create a one-of-a-kind collection of streetwear and accessories made from retired DSNY attire, material and hard-to-recycle industrial items once considered trash.
The collection, ZWDSNY, was unveiled during New York Fashion Week at Zero Waste Daniel's one-man show, "Sustainable Fashion is Hilarious." Held at Ace Hotel New York, the event featured a comedy act by Zero Waste Daniel and benefitted the Foundation for New York's Strongest.
"I live my life and run my grassroots design business with a driving goal: inspiring people to protect our environment," said Zero Waste Daniel in a statement. "My hope is that my collaboration with Sanitation's foundation will encourage people and the fashion industry to take on climate change in beautiful and creative ways."
"With our ambitious goal to send zero waste to landfills, Daniel's collection exemplifies the beauty that can be found in recycling and reuse," said Julie Raskin, executive director of the Foundation for New York's Strongest, in a statement."
The eco-streetwear collection is being exhibited at Ace Hotel's Art Gallery Space from September 9 through October 4. The exhibition features select pieces from the collection as well as information about how Zero Waste Daniel used materials provided by DSNY, such as uniforms, tents, tablecloths, aprons and sanitation vehicle parts, to re-envision design and create a fashionable collection without waste.
According to an exhibit description, "the collection aims to fight waste by sharing an allegory written for our time. The narrative—outlined by the archetypes represented in each look in the collection—tells the story of today's disposable consumer culture and its relationship to greed, power and climate change. ZWDSNY highlights the DSNY Sanitation Workers as the unsung superheroes battling waste and fighting to increase New Yorkers' awareness of trash and its effects."
Flip through this gallery to view some photos from the event.