In the promotional bag world, cotton is the most commonly used “eco-friendly” fabric for totes and pouches. But what if there was a more cost-effective and lower carbon print alternative to costly cotton?
Jute lost it luster in the ’80s when synthetic plastics and polythene materials were used in its place. But now the natural fiber is making a spectacular comeback and it’s better than ever.
Jute is one of the cheapest natural fibers and, after cotton, the most widely used.
Jute is considered to be the second most important natural fiber after cotton in terms of cultivation and usage. The plants, from which jute is obtained, grow mainly in hot, humid areas such as Bangladesh and India. It is a vegetable fiber that can be spun into strong threads. It is grown without putting any extra burden on the soil, unlike cotton where lots of fertilizers and pesticides are needed.
Jute is the second most commercially important vegetable fiber after cotton. For centuries, jute has been an integral part of culture of West Bengal, India – the largest global producer of jute fiber. -letsbewild.com
Good For Industry
I visited a plant near Kolkata earlier this year that was started by the British 150 years ago that now employs over 5,000 people with its own school and hospital. They employ the deaf to operate loom machines as the noise is dangerously loud.
Jute comes in many colors, sizes, and shapes and is used widely, from twine to rope, carpets, rugs, crafts, home furnishings, apparel, footwear, furniture and, of course, bags.
A lot of jute bags tend to be laminated, which makes printing and assembly easier. While lamination makes the bag more durable, adding lamination introduces plastics into the overall construction. Lamination is not necessary though. A little bit of sacrifice in printing registration can give you a bag that will biodegrade with your leftovers.
Jute has the ability to be used either on its own or blended with other fibers and materials. For example, some innovative uses are:
- Geotextiles used for soil erosion control
- Used in laying roads to give more durability
- To make pulp and paper
- Denim fabric made from blended jute fabric with cotton
Our Take on Jute
Jute typically has a stiff feel to it but it doesn’t have to be made this way. If you’ve ever walked through Chelsea Market, there is a kiosk selling beautiful soft jute bags. Custom Direct Promotions produced these bags (shown above) and the body is a soft, enzyme washed jute. The handles are 100% cotton and the small tasteful sewn tag is leather. After a long use, it can be disposed of with no guilt as it’s completely biodegradable!
The Many Benefits of Jute
Jute is 100% eco-friendly and has many advantages, including:
- Abundant availability
- Fire Resistant Properties
- Low CO2 footprint
- Low water footprint
- Low ecological footprint
- Cradle to Cradle
- Biodegradable & 100% compostable
- Extremely strong
- Reusable and therefore environmentally friendly
- Hip and on trend
Next time you’re thinking of an inexpensive way to promote your brand, consider jute. It’s on trend! Contact me if you’d like to learn more.
The history of the Indian Jute Mills Association dates back to the year 1884.
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