Conserve India from India
Over a decade ago, Anita and Shalabh Ahuja left their comfortable life and careers to launch an environmentally savvy idea that helps reduce trash in the city while helping poor women find opportunity. With their life savings and extreme dedication, the couple launched an amazing concept that started as a 'green' project but quickly developed into much more. Conserve India creates purses and other products from recycled plastic bags gathered from trash heaps and 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 low-caste women who were without employment opportunities before the non-profit group was established.
Conserve has developed an impressive system of production for their products. Women gather shopping bags from the dumps of New Delhi and bring them back to the shop where the plastic is thoroughly cleaned, dried, and then fused together by a process developed by Shalabh. The fusion process creates a durable fabric that is sewn into an array of accessories ranging from bags to day planners.
The women of Conserve have refused to leave their lives to fate. In India's extreme poverty, many are forced to sift through the rubble to find shelter or food to survive. Conserve has created some hope amongst that urban waste; because of Conserve, many of these women now have a greater potential for a better living, an education and a new life.