What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
It’s easy to assume that it’s a marketing ploy and that if you scratch the surface a large corporation is making bank. But that’s not the case!
“The first Giving Tuesday started in 2012 to fight against Thanksgiving’s commercial corruption,” according to Fast Company‘s conversation with the day’s founder, Asha Curran, who was then with the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Sign me up for that! “The very basic premise of it was,” Curran asks, “could we turn people’s attention from two days of consuming to a day of giving?”
Asha gave more than 2,500 nonprofits the tools they needed to participate –intentionally not branding it as a “92nd Street Y” thing to make it not about their idea but allow all the participants to make it their own.
Unlike the madness of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Curran hopes that Giving Tuesday participants will focus on far more than money. This is a chance for people, organizations, and communities to focus on all the ways they might improve humanity. As she puts it: “If there’s the same level of public awareness eventually of Giving Tuesday as there is of Cyber Monday, the world can only benefit from that.”
We did a photoshoot of some of our favorite local entrepreneuers whose businesses naturally give back wearing designs from our favorite zero waste label, ZWD. Read about them below and then shop our story gift guide!
Jessica Schreiber and Camille Tagle: Founders of FABSCRAP
The simplest way to describe FABSCRAP would be to call it textile recycling business. Which it is. But to us it’s also way more exciting. FABSCRAP picks up unused and unneeded new fabric from designers and brands which not only prevents them from going to a landfill, but allows young creatives access to amazing fabrics at thrift store prices
They are able to do this through an army of volunteers that on average sort 2000 pounds of fabric a week! In exchange they get to pick up 5 pounds of free fabric for themselves as well as get 30% discount if they want more.
*Customers can visit their Brooklyn Warehouse or Shop in Manhattan six days a week. For those located outside of NYC, their Online Store and Instagram are fun ways to source sustainable materials.
FABSCRAP is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, though it flips the traditional non-profit model. The service fee covers operational costs and allows us them to give away fabric to students, artists, local designers, and crafters for reuse. Rather than a receiving a tax receipt for the value of the donation, the service fee is tax-deductible.
Dianna Rose: Jars of Delight CEO
Social entrepreneur, sustainability expert, lecturer and community catalyst – Dianna Rose is the CEO of Jars of Delight, the zero-waste catering company that creates beautifully hand-crafted Caribbean-fusion cuisine in mason jars. Based out of Queens, Jars Of Delight has provided its innovative catering to over 3,000 guests across the Metropolitan New York area.
At the company’s core, is its mission of environmental and social impact, which is accomplished through their zero-food waste and zero packaging waste commitments. Mason jars are recycled and reused and provided at all events are compostable bamboo utensils sealed with beeswax, creating their core zero-waste brand. Among the companies many innovative solutions, are their partnerships with businesses and organizations to recover edible surplus food from events they cater to be safely donated to Queens citizens battling food insecurity. Food that cannot be donated for consumption (i.e.: produce scraps) is collected and donated to local community gardens as compost.
Dianna’s most recent passion project – Her Sustainable Life is a resourceful educational and informational platform tasked with building awareness on the topic of sustainability within communities that face socio-economic disparities. The goal is to create a lasting social impact on a better future through low impact living. When she’s not making jars or delivering delight to her weekly meal prep customers or studying, Dianna is enjoying time with her two sons, family and church family.
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Katerina Bogatireva: Founder of Precycle
Precycle is NYC’s first zero waste grocery store.
Katerina grew up in Riga, Latvia in the era of Soviet Union. As a young child she remembers bringing her jar to the market to fill it with sour cream. Plastic bags were rare and were admired. As a young adult, Katerina arrived in NYC in the early 21st Century. Quickly, the abundance and accessibility to food and other “necessities” started to become a norm and were taken for granted. Disposable was convenient and consumerism prevailed.
One day, her son came from school and asked a question “mommy, do you know how long the plastic will remain in the landfill?” From that question and her own concern about the environment the idea of Precycle began to take shape.
Precycle aims to address the growing problem of plastic pollution by empowering customers to reduce food and packaging waste by making different, yet still convenient, choices. More than simply bulk, Precycle sells fresh local produce without packaging, while also working up in its own supply chain to dramatically reduce and eliminate plastic and other waste.
At Precycle they work with local farmers and distributors on a one-on-one basis. Customer know where their food originates and are given the choice of reusable instead of disposable. They are determined to empower their customers with as much information and support as possible to reduce their environmental impact by reducing food and packaging waste.
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Cassell A. Ferere: Founder and Editor in Chief of PAGE magazine
Born and raised in Brooklyn, graduating Cum Laude from CUNY, Cassell founded Cassell Inc. while still a student. He has worked with many personalities including music producer Pharrell Williams, musician Ed Sheeran, radio personalities Peter Rosenberg and DJ Cipha Sounds, artist, like, Ron Bass and Mokshini and eyewear designers Coco and Breezy.
His most recent endeavor is Page Magazine which focuses on sustainable fashion and inclusive ideas. Previously working in media and fashion apparel companies, he noticed the lack of representation, not just of groups, but of the ideas that shape us in our everyday decisions.
“Page magazine will be the first truly sustainable fashion magazine. Our print issues will be made to order. But most importantly, we want to provide insight into fashion that is palatable for any fashion enthusiast who wants a grounded outlook on fashion. We intend to humanize fashion while informing and enlightening our readers.”
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NAAMA and ASAAF TAMIR: Co-Owners of Lighthouse Restaurant, Brooklyn NY
Naama and her brother, Asaaf, opened Lighthouse in 2011 after realizing that they couldn’t find any restaurant that served the kind of healthy food they wanted to eat in a community-oriented, environmentally-conscious atmosphere. Their menu is seasonal, the food is ingredient driven, clean, fresh and delicious. Produce is locally sourced from farmers and growers they love. They also have a great selection of organic, biodynamic, and natural wines, craft beers, classic & original cocktails.
They are advocates for composting and recycling, and works with several local and national organizations, including BABAR (Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants), Fair Kitchens, Billion Oyster Project, and the James Beard Foundation to support a more just and sustainable food system. In 2019, Naama was the recipient of the Snailblazer Award from Slow Food NYC, in recognition of her leadership and commitment to local, sustainable, and fair food systems.
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Krystal Persaud : Founder of Grouphug
Grouphug is not a therapy group. It’s a company that makes small, easy to use solar panels we can use to charge our stuff. They hang in the window with a suction cup and have a built in USB port.
Krystal started this when she was living in a 300 square foot apartment in NYC and was annoyed that she couldn’t install solar panels on her roof. She wanted to find a way to harness the energy of the sun that was easy to use and beautiful enough to hang in her apartment.
This kind of problem solving was natural to Krystal who spent over 6 years in the toy industry designing educational toys. She used that experience to design solar panels that make you smile.
“People think solar panels are ugly and utilitarian, or that you have to own a house with a roof to go solar, which leaves out millions of apartment dwellers in NYC. I realized, the fundamental design of commercial solar panels hasn’t changed in 60 years, despite the price of solar cells dropping a whopping 99% over the last four decades. Why aren’t solar panels everywhere? I’m going to try to change that.”
She is clearly on to something as recently she was on Shark Tank and walked away with a deal from Mark Cuban!
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Daniel + Mario, Zero Waste Daniel
Zero Waste Daniel is a New York based clothing designer and zero-waste lifestyle pioneer who uses pre-consumer waste sourced from New York City’s garment industry, as well as other hard-to-recycle materials, to create his line of genderless clothing and accessories that send nothing to landfills. His story and brand went viral in 2017 with more than 35 million views worldwide on NOW THIS, INSIDER, MASHABLE, and BUZZFEED.
Daniel continues to inspire change and make headlines by growing the mission of ending waste culture and redefining the meaning of “sustainable design” as a call to action for all who wish to participate. In 2019, his projects were featured on CNN, BUZZFEED NEWS, PAPER MAGAZINE, and THE NEW YORK TIMES.
“I don’t make work that hurts people, or oppresses people, that makes someone hate their body or their face, or that pollutes 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 it’s made here, that it’s made fair.” – ZERO WASTE DANIEL
Born and raised in New York, Mario DeMarco has a background in both fashion and hospitality. After several years in fashion, Mario changed industries and transitioned into management of casual fine dining.
He and Daniel met in 2017, first becoming partners in life and later in business. Starting in 2018, Mario joined the ZWD team and has since helped sculpt the brand into what it is today, from learning to take on a zero waste lifestyle to helping grow and streamline a budding business, all while combining his expertise in management with his life long love of fashion. He’s happy to now be co-running a family business with his husband, Daniel.