Anita and Shalabh Ahuja founded Conserve India as an organization that helps reduce trash in Delhi while helping extremely poor women find opportunity. With their life savings, the couple launched an amazing concept that started as a 'green' project but quickly developed into much more. The aim of the Conserve India is to reduce India's mountain of waste, improve energy efficiency, and help some of Delhi's poorest out of the city's slums by turning plastic bags into high fashion.
Artisans from Conserve India create purses and other products from recycled plastic bags and recycled seatbelts gathered from trash heaps. 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.
Conserve India is a source of hope for low-caste women who are desperate and homeless, giving them the opportunity to grow through education and employment opportunity.Conserve now employs and empowers over 300 women who were without any livelihood before the non-profit group was established. Conserve has developed an impressive system of manufacturing for their products.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 programs.
Handmade Recycled Plastic is created through a unique method of upcycling plastic bags. Because the plastic is kept in its original form and color, Conserve's upcycling technique uses much less energy than traditional recycling and needs no dyes.