Conserve India

 

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.

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. So how does Conserve help its workers with the difficult and dirty job that they do? Firstly they pay a fair wage to everyone working for them. An average rag picker earns $25 a month. A rag picker working for Conserve will earn on average $70 a month. But even with a better wage, no one would be happy to stay in this work, and Conserve is not content to leave its workers at the bottom of the employment pile. 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. 

The materials used are: Handmade Recycled Plastic. Through Conserve's unique upcycling process, Handmade Recycled Plastic (HRP) is made from polythene bags that are picked up from Delhi’s streets every day. Because the bags already have colour, once they are collected, sorted, washed and compressed together they need no dyes to achieve their vibrant look. Moreover, the unique upcycling process uses much less energy than conventional recycling and causes no pollution. Finally, by providing an income for some of Delhi's poorest people we believe that this material signals hope for the future in a world where poverty and climate change are the biggest challenges we face. Rubber tube: As a soft and durable material the rubber that we get from old truck tyre inner tubes, which would otherwise be wasted, is a great alternative to traditional bag materials like leather. Once it is washed it can be cut into any shape or pattern in a way that allows total flexibility to our designers and provides you with fashionable and fun bags! Denim: Ever wondered what to do with that old pair of much-loved jeans that now have holes in the knees but are otherwise fine?  Why not send them to Conserve India where we can turn them into a trendy bag that, like your jeans, will go with any outfit! Seat belts. They're good for keeping you safe, but when manufacturers have rolls of seat belt material going un-used they are also great for weaving together into fabulous bags. We use this hard wearing but supple material as an imaginative and ethical alternative to bags made using heavy cloth or newly manufactured nylon. Saris: the quintessential Indian fashion item, saris come in every colour and quality of material.  The never ending supply of these beautiful fabrics means that there is always plenty left over.  As determined upcyclers we seized on this opportunity and our designers developed a range of bags and accessories which can be made, like saris, in every colour imaginable.

for more infor please visit: www.conserveindia.org

 

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