Solution Overview

Solution Name

Project Palaash

One-line solution summary.

Utilization of floral waste generated from places of worship to naturally dye fabrics, addressing the issue of water pollution and preserving India's handloom heritage by redefining fast fashion practices.

Elevator pitch

What is your solution?

We tackle the problem of water pollution by collecting floral waste and further using it to dye fabrics. By redefining the practices of fast fashion we bring sustainability in fashion and revive the traditional Indian art form of handloom. By doing this we not only tackle floral waste but also simultaneously replace synthetic dyes and polyester fabric. The utilization of floral waste along with the promotion of natural dyes helps make oceans cleaner and enhances the quality of life underwater. It also increases the fertility of the land around and drastically helps in reducing pollutant runoff. We have also collaborated with an NGO to promote sustainable fashion through the handloom industry for fabric that is 100% vegan. With this initiative, we are working towards minimizing water pollution by substituting power looms containing microplastic which pollute the water. We aim to install a zero-waste system through our business model. We cut down on our production costs by sourcing raw materials for free from temples. The floral matter remaining after the dyeing process is converted into compost, and the wastewater generated in the dyeing process is used to water plants thus enabling a circular economy. 

What specific problem are you trying to solve?

We aim to address the issue of floral waste through this project. Every year, approximately 8 million tonnes of floral waste from religious ceremonies are discarded in India, accounting for 16% of river pollutants. Most temples dump their waste into nearby bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, and lakes. Several temples in the country, particularly those in the Ganga basin, directly dump daily waste into river streams, endangering marine life. Aquatic life forms primarily suffer as a result of a decrease in the amount of fresh dissolved oxygen in water bodies caused by increased toxicity while rotting flowers have an impact on water quality, pesticides used on them leach into the water and deteriorate its quality which ultimately leads to loss of drinking water. 

Under Palaash, we also tackle the problem of fast fashion by reviving the traditional Indian art form of handloom thus bringing a new wave of sustainability amongst customers. The synthetic Dyeing and Fast Fashion Industry emits 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2, releases 1.7 million tons of microplastic fibres every year while affecting lives below and above water. 

Another major contributor to water pollution is the textile waste secreted by various industries. Textile waste comprises 20% of freshwater pollution and is also a major contributor to carbon emissions. We plan to manage this waste and venture into newer product lines.

Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?

At Project Palaash, we have been directly working together to meaningfully improve the lives of people from the most disadvantaged sections of society. We have formed synergistic collaborations with the renowned NGO – STOP Global Movement, which has been dedicatedly working towards the mission of rescuing victims of human trafficking and oppression by empowering them through education, legal employment, vocational training, and development to rescue them from the inhumane practices of slavery and trafficking.

Our project has empowered the underprivileged sections of society by providing them with a means to learn and earn through basic skills. We provide extensive training to them in order for them to become self-sufficient social entrepreneurs. Furthermore, our beneficiaries gain a mature financial understanding by allowing them to manage their operations, income flow, and resources effectively.
By introducing vocational skills and dyeing techniques to the poor and engaging the masses in the transition to organic and sustainable fabrics, our project has given them a platform.
As a result, we have led this particular underprivileged segment of society down this path toward independence and self-sufficiency.

What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?

Before launching our product lines, we conducted extensive research to analyse the current market situation in our country. In this market survey, we analysed the current trends, demands and patterns. With this research, we were able to come to the conclusion that people are now making sustainable choices and shifting towards slow fashion. A lot more importance is given to sustainable fashion especially after the pandemic. Before venturing into natural dyeing and sustainable fashion, we took mentorship sessions from Ms Madhurima Singh, founder of a sustainable fashion label Dhuri, who taught us various natural dyeing techniques. To engage our potential customers, we offer them an option to customize their orders where they can choose the dye and the design they want. 

Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Improving financial and economic opportunities for all (Economic Prosperity)

Our solution's stage of development:

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in at least one community, which is poised for further growth

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution—in other words, what have you accomplished to date?

Project Palaash was established with an aim to tackle the problem of water pollution by uplifting the underprivileged section of society. We employ a community of human trafficking victims and currently have more than 20 beneficiaries. By providing them access to sustainable employment opportunities and various dyeing techniques, we have helped them become self-sufficient in handling their operations, income flow, and resources effectively by promoting a mature financial understanding and generating online sales. Our products include naturally dyed t-shirts, dupattas and cater to business as well as customer needs. Our sales model is essentially focused on providing customers with an integrated hands-on experience of naturally dyed fabrics. In our pan-India expansion phase, we have collaborated with various NGOs. We have also ventured into the handloom industry to amplify our impact. Under our latest ventures, we employ the artisan community to make 100% handloom cotton fabric.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

New Delhi, Delhi, India

Team Lead:

Parth Jaiswal

More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new use of an existing technology (e.g. application to a new problem or in a new location)

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Our project employs the widely accepted technology of natural dying. We don't rely on any advanced or high-tech technology to operate. We use a simple procedure and natural ingredients to carry out the process of natural dying.      

To carry out the process, we require a stove to create a mordant bath in which we dye our fabrics with the help of a natural ingredient-Harad (helps in making the dye durable and long-lasting by acting as a fixative). Then, to achieve colour on the fabric, a dye vat is prepared with flowers, tea leaves, onion peels, and other natural materials. As a result, the technology we use is low-tech, making it simple for our beneficiaries to use.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Ancestral Technology & Practices

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India

How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.

One of the main goals of Project Palaash is to impact lives and make them better. This past year we’ve directly served 500 people, and we’re hopeful that this number will increase to 1000 by next year and to more than 2500 in the next 5 years. 

Indirectly, our project positively impacts the lives of more than 5000 people.

What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?

Palaash has empowered victims of human trafficking by assisting them in becoming self-sufficient in terms of managing operations, income flow, and resources by promoting mature financial understanding and generating online sales. Our beneficiaries who have mastered the art of dyeing, weaving, and stitching have found a sustainable livelihood in these domains. We plan to set up more centres PAN India and globally as well, generating more employment opportunities. 

To increase our impact, we have introduced handloom workers to natural dyeing. Floral waste accounts for nearly 1/3rd of total solid waste in India but is often neglected. When this waste decomposes, it produces toxic gases. Also, the pesticides stuck to these flowers dissolve in water and poison it. Palaash helps improve biodiversity by ensuring that floral waste does not end up in oceans. This floral waste is instead converted into organic dyes and organic compost, thwarting the production of toxic gases. We aim to reduce the floral waste in Delhi by 55% by 2022.

In the long run, we hope to achieve and create a demand for sustainable fashion, as well as revitalise the handloom industry and provide a consistent source of employment and income for our beneficiaries. We also plan to venture into managing textile waste, which is a major contributor to carbon emissions, by utilizing it to make newer products. Through this, we aim to provide employment to local skilled workers. 

How are you measuring your progress or planning to measure your progress toward your impact goals?

Indicators used to measure the success of our project are: 

  1. No. of people directly impacted 

  2. No. of people indirectly impacted

  3. Amount of Material Ocean Waste Reduction

  4. Amount of Ocean/Coastal Habitat Restored in square/kilometre

  5. Number of jobs created

  6. Amount of new revenue generated

  7. Amount of cost savings generated

  8. Metric tons of CO2 or equivalent emissions reduced

  9. Amount of Chemical Pollution Averted/Cleaned Up


Until now, we have been able to salvage 8 tonnes of floral waste, Produce 600kg+ of handloom cotton, avert more than 50,000 litres of chemical pollution, reduce 20 tonnes of carbon emissions, while creating an impact on more than 25,000 lives.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?

Being a college society, financial barriers will be one of the biggest hindrances we face as we aim to grow our project. We are dependent on the funds we generate from our business activities to grow while ensuring the financial sustainability of our beneficiaries. With 70% of the revenue generated going to our beneficiaries, we are left with 30% to cover our expenses and expand. This also acts as a barrier when we want to expand and upscale our project. 

The other barrier that might limit our impact in the future is the lack of awareness about the importance of sustainability in fashion. The sceptical nature of people towards the quality or durability of our product might make it difficult for us to capture a larger market share as we expand pan-India. Also, the highly saturated clothing market makes it all the more difficult to introduce our innovative products in new areas.

About Your Team

How many people work on your solution team?

Full-time: 90 Part-time: 20 Other workers: 500

How long have you been working on your solution?

Established in 2019, our team of 90+ student entrepreneurs has been working on the solution for a period of 2.5 years.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our team consists of 11 core members and 90+ associate members from various academic backgrounds who share the same passion for resolving the most pressing issues while finding the best possible solutions. We are united by our genuine commitment and desire to make a difference in the world. We work in various departments (such as Research & Development, Tech and Analytics, Marketing, Content, and Design), where the entire process, from the conception of an idea to the achievement of results, is overseen by our core members, faculty advisors, and industry experts. We, as students from various ethical and cultural backgrounds, bring forward the best ideas, which aid in sensitization to the needs of every segment of the population. The problem statement that we addressed was identified at a personal event where tonnes of flowers were used and were to end up in water bodies the next day, polluting the water bodies and affecting aquatic life. Since then, we've been working relentlessly to curb the problem of floral waste while promoting sustainable fashion.

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

  1. Dhuri- They’re an expert in natural dyeing who have been training us with new and innovative techniques of dyeing and designing.
  2. STOP NGO, Prabhaav NGO, and Etasha NGO- Collaborated with these NGOs working towards rescuing victims of sex trafficking and providing underprivileged women skill training to make them self-sufficient.
  3. Sri Gyan Vidya Samiti, Madhya Pradesh & Loom Key and Banni Handcrafts, Gujarat- Collaborated with them to promote the sustainable use of 100% handloom vegan cotton fabric and products.
  4. Greenbandhu: We’ve collaborated with Greenbandhu to make compost out of floral waste.
  5. Ecophase, Going Zero: Listed our products on these e-commerce platforms.
  6. Khushii NGO: We collaborated with Khushii NGO to set up health camps and spread awareness regarding various social issues that prevail in our society.
  7. Collaborated with youth organizations like YAH India, GirlUp Abaadh and Enactus NIFT Delhi to spread awareness about sustainable fashion.

Your Business Model & Resources

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The HP Girls Save the World Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.


If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The HP Girls Save the World Prize to advance your solution?

Not applicable

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Pozen Social Innovation Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.


If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Pozen Social Innovation Prize to advance your solution?

Project Palaash employs a community of women who are victims of human trafficking. We aim to uplift these women by providing them access to sustainable employment opportunities and undertaking skill development sessions teaching them various dyeing techniques. In the span of two years, we have helped them become self-sufficient in handling their operations, income flow, and resources effectively by promoting a mature financial understanding. We currently employ more than 20 beneficiaries and have been successful in increasing their income capacity by 300% making them independent and self-reliant.

The Pozen Social Innovation Prize will help us in expanding and upscaling our project. We’ll be investing in research and development, setting up new centres which will employ more women, establishing new verticals and marketing our products.

Solution Team

  • Parth Jaiswal Enactus Aryabhatta
to Top