Have you ever wondered that the rubbish and waste you throw out of your home, can be converted into products of high fashion?
Meet Conserve India & Ashoka fellow Anita Ahuja who devised a unique system of recycling to create fashion accessories exported to various countries in the world. With a motto of ‘Fashion with Conscious’ see how Conserve is working with rag pickers in Delhi & NCR to provide them sustainable livelihood.
The products of Conserve India have become Agents For Change.
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. The rag picker community is one that is underrepresented, voiceless, faceless, living on the fringes of society and yet performs an important task in the waste management process by collecting, sorting and selling plastic/recycled waste. Conserve India was set up by Shalab Ahuja and Anita Ahuja, to recycle waste in their neighborhood that was not managed by local authorities. What began as a small localized initiative has grown leaps and bounds into proven and viable model of environmental conservation, eco entrepreneurship and social enterprise.
After much experimentation, the Conserve team hit upon the idea of not recycling 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.