Born of a desire to reduce India's mountain of waste, improve energy efficiency, and help some of Delhi's poorest out of the city's slums, Conserve India achieves all this by turning plastic bags into high fashion.
Conserve started as a fledgling recycling project but quickly adapted to confront the biggest challenge it was facing – what to do with the thousands of plastic bags that could not be composted or recycled locally.
After much experimentation, the Conserve team hit upon the idea of not recycling, but upcycling by washing, drying, and pressing the bags into sheets. Handmade Recycled Plastic (HRP) was born and designs for handbags, wallets, shoes and belts quickly came flooding in. The challenge was obvious: Use high fashion to support better lives for the poorest and a cleaner environment for all.
Today, Conserve India employs and trains hundreds of people from Delhi's most disadvantaged communities to clear their streets of the plague of plastic bag waste. Once the waste bags are turned into HRP products they are sold for profits which can be spent in those same communities on education and welfare programmes.
By buying a Conserve bag, belt, wallet, shoe, or necklace, you not only get to be a trend setter with a beautiful, funky piece of high fashion – you will also be helping some of India's poorest people, and its environment.