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, a Fair Trade bag company, achieves all this by turning plastic bags into high fashion handbags.
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.
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