NY NOW @ Feb 2014 Invites are out! – So, Who will be the head-turner ?

We let our invites out on a Fab Friday.

Now that they are released, you might be wondering, who will be the stunner or how will the charmer look like ?

Your answers are here. A special preview of the products we will be exhibiting in NY NOW @ Feb 2014. These are just samples. We will have lot more.

Make sure, you join us for a shopping spree from Feb 1 – 4′ 2014 at NY NOW.

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Green Products – Courtesy of Home Review Magazine!

While we were still admiring Rebeca Schiller’s well crafted words, we received another surprise

Closer to home, Home review Magazine gifted us with this beautiful piece.

It is published in January 2014 edition, Page 108

We are really honored.  Thank you Home Review Team!

You can read the article here – Green Products – Home Review


Materials Reborn – Courtesy of Hand/Eye Magazine!

As promised, presenting the well articulated creation of New Yorker.

We are really honored with this gesture of Hand/Eye Magazine.

Thank you Hand/Eye team!

Very special thanks to online editor Rebeca Schiller, a real pleasure to work with.

Let her expressive words speak today and create the magic……


You can also read the article here – Materials Reborn – HandEye

Cherished Moments

Our previous post gave all of us and more importantly to our Visionary & Creative Director, Anita Ahuja some really good nostalgic feeling.

The previous post reminded us about a well cherished and well treasured moment.

All of us here at Conserve were elated and honored when our visionary Anita Ahuja got an invite to speak on “Creating Green Jobs in USA” for Clinton Global Summit.

And that day came very soon!

But, the crowning glory was that epic moment………………..

A student raised a question – “As a social entrepreneur, when did you feel a sense of security?”

Our Eloquent Creative Director Anita Ahuja replied – “Never. We live on an edge. But there are moments, moments like these when you feel secure, feeling you have arrived.  But it’s fleeting”

At that very moment, there he was The Honorable Bill Clinton with a ‘thumbs-up”

Most revered moment for all of us here at Conserve.

But true, it was past, a well cherished past.

Tomorrow there will be yet another moment to admire and embrace.

An articulate former Californian has created a spell-binding article from her New York table.

Literary feast is waiting

Make sure you come again tomorrow!

Winning Combo – Social Enterprise and Eco-Entrepreneurship

There are certain combos that always go hand in hand. It may be as simple as Salt N Pepper or the exquisite Spaghetti N Meatballs.

Business domain is no exception to the combos

Barnes &Noble and Starbucks Cafe is one such scintillating combo.

You may assign the term co-branding. But, at ground level, it is just that, there is something that connects these two.

It is indeed a real bliss to read a book with a sip of coffee. Give me a High-Five!

There is a winning combo that is so close to our heart.

Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA)1, where mission meets market place defines Social enterprises as “businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.”

SEA2 also lists the characteristics of Social Enterprise as “It directly addresses an intractable social need and serves the common good, its commercial activity is a strong revenue driver, and the common good is its primary purpose.”

  • At Conserve, we directly ‘address an intractable social need and serve the common good’ by working on waste management as well as empowering the vulnerable Rag-pickers alongside.
  • At Conserve, our commercial activity is otherwise known by the name of Conserve HRP, Business arm of Conserve India. And Conserve HRP is undoubtedly a strong revenue driver
  • At Conserve, ‘our primary purpose is common good.’ Because we reinvest the profits of our commercial activity for the community initiatives like capacity building, health clinics and education for the betterment of the Rag-pickers

So, as per the standards of Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA), Conserve India & Conserve HRP is a Social Enterprise

SEA has been holding the reins on Social Enterprise for as long as it is here. So, who else can have the final say?

But, Are we just Social Enterprise? Nope, certainly not!

Our Business makes profit by efficient waste management through recycling which ultimately provides  a positive environmental externality of clean and pollution free environment as well as minimize negative environmental externality of littering, a form of pollution

Few words of wise……………………..

“Eco-Entrepreneurship is the process of starting new business in response to an identified opportunity to earn a profit and provide (minimize) a positive (negative) environmental externality. –Matthew. J. Kotchen, Some Microeconomics of Eco-Entrepreneurship”

Well, As per Kotchen, Conserve India & Conserve HRP is a classic example of Eco-Entrepreneurship

So, for those of you wondering, who are these people? & what is their empire?

Undoubtedly, we are winning combo of Social Enterprise and Eco-Entrepreneurship.

1 & 2– Sourced from https://www.se-alliance.org/what-is-social-enterprise

Monthly Monday Book Review for January’14 – I have a Dream – Rashmi Bansal

Sun started smiling with its sunshine! So, the wait is over.

Enjoy the Book Review with steaming hot coffee.

Book Name – I have a Dream

 Author – Rashmi Bansal

Official description of the Book

“I Have A Dream” is the story of 20 idealists who think and act like entrepreneurs.

They are committed to different causes, but they have one thing in common: a belief that principles of management can and must be used to achieve a greater common good.

These stories say one thing loud and clear change starts with one person, and that person could be someone next door. Someone like you

What’s in the Book?

It is divided into 3 sections – Rainmakers, Change makers and Spiritual Capitalist


This section includes a collection of social enterprise that generate revenue but whose primary motive is not profit

It includes stories of Sulabh international, Conserve India (Yippee! We were featured), Aavishkaar social venture fund, Rangsutra, Desicrew, Spiti ecosphere, SELCO, Pipal tree, Project Chilika, Super 30, Mirakle Couriers,

Change makers

This section includes profile of those who believed that it just takes a single person to start a movement

It includes stories of Pratham, Goonj, Association for Democratic Reforms, Akanksha, Parivartan, Blind Person’s Association,

The Spiritual Capitalist

This section includes profile of individuals who chose to live by the principle of ideal service and believe in purity of purpose and selflessness.

It includes stories of Akshaya Patra, Parivaar Ashram, Belur Math,

What I liked the most ?

  1. On a serious note, let’s start from the Prologue. I really love these verses – “principles of management can and must be used to achieve a greater common good. “ It strikes a chord. It is a real food for thought for many aspiring B-School students.
  2. The next thing I liked the best is the way in which the book is organized. First, it showcases a definition of her categorization followed by the brief individual profile of everyone under that category. It’s more like a curtain raiser. All these make it very user friendly.
  3. Further, those 3 different categories gives a feel that there is something for everyone. We all like to do some social good. But, the route we like to take may be different. For some profit doesn’t matter, when it comes to social good. There are people out there who believe it just takes 1 to start a movement. While there are others who believe in ideal service for the social good! Regardless of your route to social good, “I have a dream – Rashmi Bansal” will offer you something.
  4. The scattered Hindi Lingo was a fresh change and made me say – “Hey, I am reading a creation of Indian”
  5. Last but not the least, trust me every story will inspire you to do some common good.

Did you know?

Honorable Mr. Arvind Kejriwal is also featured in the book. You can read about him under the title “Into that Heaven of Freedom”. It showcases the movement ‘Parivartan’

What was the surprise?

I am aware of so many ‘Ivy League Wall Street went on to become monk”. All those IIT folks in spiritualist capital were real surprise for me.

Verse to remember

“When corporates do CSR, it is their last priority. But, when fair trade companies or NGO’s take up marketing programs, then fairness is the top-most priority. That is the difference.” – Rags to Riches, I have a Dream – Rashmi Bansal

Crowning glory

A kid never says no to candy, but there is always this special candy that he/she wants for every Birthday. We may relish every cuisine around the world, but homemade with mom’s love is the ultimate joy.

On that note, every story is great and there is no differing opinion on that.

But, the greatest, the most beautiful and the most impressive of all is “RAGS TO RICHES”

The title “RAGS TO RICHES” features the story of Conserve India and our visionary Anita Ahuja.

So, Have you read this book ? If yes, were our views different ?

Note – Official description of the Book was Sourced from https://www.facebook.com/IHaveADreamBook/info

Monthly Monday Book Review

First Monday of every Month, We will present a Book Review.

Though, it comes with a disclaimer that all the opinions expressed are that of the author with no intention to hurt any sentiments or person.

In this New Year, the first Monday of the first Month is going to be tomorrow – January 6 ‘2014

We are all set. Just waiting for the next sunrise!

Meanwhile, do you like to know the author?

Let’s keep you engaged.

  1. We are not feminist. But we have a soft corner for pink and ladies. She is a woman.
  2. She is a Generation X or Gen X. Born in 1971!
  3. As an undergrad, she studied Economics from Sophia College, Mumbai
  4. Grad school, she attended prestigious IIM – A
  5. Her first name starts with a ravishing R

So, who is she?

Journey ahead for Conserve………….

“An idea is like a play. It needs a good producer and a good promoter even if it is a masterpiece. Otherwise the play may never open; or it may open but, for a lack of an audience, close after a week. Similarly, an idea will not move from the fringes to the mainstream simply because it is good; it must be skilfully marketed before it will actually shift people’s perceptions and behavior.”  – David Bornstein

The man himself, David Bornstein, author of How to change the world – Social Entrepreneurs and Power of Idea asserts the importance of producer and promoter.

The past of Conserve India & Conserve HRP has proved that it has one of the most efficient producers. The past success will speak for itself about its best producer.

Now it’s the turn of the promoter to prove the mettle.

With an awesome producer, the play or this social innovation has opened up. Now, if the promoter doesn’t do his job efficiently, it may close for a lack of an audience.

Similarly,The intelligent producer has established this play or the social innovation in fringes.

Now, to move this idea from fringes to mainstream (aka) online shops, undisputedly mainstream of today, it need to be skilfully marketed.

Well, if you glanced our January newsletter, you should be already well aware of our goals for 2014.

We intend to become a social media junkie.

All this to be a good promoter and skilfully market our product from fringes to mainstream and hence shift people’s perception and behavior to buy more recycled goods and fair trade products

Journey so far – what was the strategy for the success of Conserve India & Conserve HRP ?

For the uninitiated, a business strategy is the means by which it sets out to achieve its desired goals. Generally, a business strategy will cover a period of about 3-5 years.

For conserve, it is a successful journey of more than a decade.  So, there should be some super powerful strategy. What is that?

Business Strategies can be categorized into 2 main entities namely – Generic and Competitive

Generic strategies

This is further categorized.

Growth – It is nothing but the expansion of the company in form of business or technologies or products. Here, Conserve achieved this through establishing the business arm or Conserve HRP and also through the patent of the products

Globalization – It can mean different things to different business. For Conserve, it meant selling their products in Fair Trade shops across Europe and America and also through many green online shops.

Sticking to Knitting – Does it sound like Greek or Latin? No worries, It means staying with the business you know so that you can concentrate on that company and build it up to the best it can be. Well, that’s what Conserve did at every stage. We started it as an experimental project. When we got a hold, we created an NGO. Finally, when we become a pro, Conserve established a business arm in addition to the NGO.

Competitive strategies

It is a no-brainer. They are only 2 ways either sell your products at a lower cost than your rivals or differentiate your products from those of rivals.

Conserve chose the 2nd option of differentiating our products from those of rivals.

In 2013, Conserve sensed that we need a boost – something extra. A collective decision was made to peruse printing. Our Visionary and also the Creative Director, Anita Ahuja worked her creative muscle in artworks and finally we used these as prints on Conserve products. It ultimately differentiated Conserve’s range from that of the competitors.


The world knows that, all these strategies made Conserve as one of the most successful social innovation. Its been here for more than a decade. And, it will be here in future too with lot more accolades.

Mapping Conserve India & Conserve HRP


Anita Ahuja , Ashoka Fellow and Shalabh Ahuja , Unreasonable Institute Fellow


A localized initiative to recycle the waste in the couple’s neighborhood, which was not managed by the local authorities!

Birth of NGO

In the year 1999, the planted seed gave birth to Conserve India, NGO with the following vision

  • Combat pollution or waste management
  • Empower the most vulnerable community – Rag-pickers

Human Capital

  • Suppliers – Rag-pickers
  • Employees – Rag-pickers

Yes, you heard it right. Rag-pickers are both suppliers and employees. They supply the raw material (aka) plastic waste, trash etc and once again they are employed in the production line.

Production Process

Plastic bags are washed, dried, mixed with fabric and pressed into handmade recycled plastic (HRP) in a 4 step process

  1. Step 1- Plastic bags are collected, washed, dried, and separated by color
  2. Step 2 –A machine presses the plastic bags into thick and durable sheets,
  3. Step 3 -The sheets are cut, lined with cloth, and stitched or molded.
  4. Step 4 –The finished products go through quality control and packaging

Finished Goods

The product line includes upscale fashion and home decor accessories that are aesthetically designed, and appeal to the conscience of buyers. They ultimately find their way into the wardrobes of discerning customers across the world

Financial information

Rag-pickers were paid three times more than what they would earn elsewhere


Conserve HRP, business arm of the NGO was established in 2004 to enhance the profit and reinvest the same for the welfare of this vulnerable community – Rag-pickers

 Community Investing

Business profits are reinvested in education, capacity building and health-care facilities for the most disadvantaged community (aka) Rag-pickers.  At the end of the day, they also become the beneficiaries of Conserve India’s development initiatives in the community.


The Handmade recycled plastic (HRP) process was patented in the year 2006.

Bottom line

A proven viable model in which waste is not only managed, but up-cycled into appealing high-end fashion accessories along with enhancing the quality of life of the waste managers.

Curtain raiser for Conserve HRP , Business arm of Conserve India

If you have gone through our Monthly Newsletter page, you will be already aware of our goals for 2014. To enhance our social media presence, we felt there is a need for official curtain raiser for Conserve HRP.

For uninitiated, Conserve HRP – Handmade Recycled Plastic is the business arm of Conserve India. True to our blog name, Conserve India & Conserve HRP come together to make this social enterprise a most successful Eco-entrepreneurship model.

Here we are unveiling Conserve HRP – http://eepurl.com/M-uq9

Welcome to Conserve India & Conserve HRP

Welcome to Conserve India & Conserve HRP!  Pioneers of trash into treasure and vision of Anita & Shalabh Ahuja. Come and explore the world of handmade recycled plastic and recycled fashion accessories. An Epitome of Fashion with Conscience!

Here you can find about recycled fashion, environmental conservation, new technologies that does not pose threat to nature, ways to tackle pollution, social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, eco-entrepreneurship, women empowerment, human empowerment, art exhibition, upscale fashion exhibition, handicrafts fair, online retailers of Eco-goods, fair trade etc

We have something for everyone. Happy Reading!