Heron Preston’s first email to The New York Department of Sanitation came with a subject line as uncomplicated and impactful as their future collaboration together: “Big Idea.” There’s a certain level of confidence required for such an approach and the momentum of those two words together is palpable, even in an email. What was his grand proposal? To design a uniform for New York’s Strongest (the DSNY) in order to give back to New York City and those who keep it running.
Prior to the birth of the big idea, Preston, having worked with the likes of Kanye West and Nike, had already felt compelled to include a cause in his next project; something he truly cared about that he could incorporate into the fabric of his design concepts, literally and figuratively. While swimming in Ibiza, a plastic bag brushed again him and catalyzed the notion of helping the environment, helping keep the earth clean.
Perfectly embodying a ‘think global, act local’ credo, after his initial “Big Idea” email, Preston joined forces with DSNY to rework their uniforms and present his collection (fittingly, a top a mountain of salt during September’s Fashion Week at the Salt Shed) to raise awareness for New York’s 0x30 initiative, which works to lend zero waste to land fills by 2030. The hoodies, gloves, vests, pants and shirts were reworked from pieces coming from Goodwill, Housing Works and actual sanitation workers who donated their uniforms for the collection.
Preston’s hope for the future of this project is to bring other designers on board so that DSNY merchandise might be as ubiquitous as NYPD or NYFD’s. New York City, after all, couldn’t function with this very under-celebrated group of individuals.
Pieces from Heron Preston x DSNY available here.