CONSERVE INDIA & CONSERVE HRP
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. Conserve India employs some of Delhi’s poorest inhabitants, whose lives are blighted by insecure living conditions, poor sanitation, and scarce opportunities to get the education or training they need to lift them out of poverty.
Conserve offers training to its workers so that they can do better jobs throughout the organisation – from manufacturing to working in the head office. Conserve also supports schools in the slums where many of its employees live – helping many children to get the better chance they so desperately need. Beyond training and education, Conserve is also starting two new projects which will track the general welfare of its workers and provide health clinics for those with no other access to medical help.