Jute – Saving the Planet and Saving an Economy

Photo by: Pop and Zebra, Unsplash

By Howie Goldfinger, President Ecorite

As part of its overall line of sustainable and eco-friendly products, Ecorite imports many products out of jute, so I was particularly interested in reading an article I saw in the New York Times in October.

What’s jute, you say? Jute is in a family of plants that grow ubiquitously in parts of Ganges Delta in India. Jute is used to make burlap, hessian, or gunny cloth, as it is known in various areas.  Its biggest use today is probably for coffee bags, but at one time it was used to make billions of feet of rope, twine, and billions of square yards of tufted carpet backing.  Over time, many of these uses have been replaced by synthetics.  Since those days of substitution, humanity has learned about the downside of manufacturing using plastics and synthetic products, primarily due to the high environmental and social cost associated with these products end-of-use cycle.

As a result, jute is making a comeback.  Many of India’s jute mills, some of which have been mothballed for a generation, are getting re-started, as the demand for eco-friendly bags increases worldwide.  And why not? Jute is natural, durable, and bio-degradable when it comes to the end.  These qualities are highly desirable for making reusable tote bags, wine bags and other eco-friendly products.  Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that the revitalized industry is more creative, inclusive, and equitable than ever before, offering women equal wages to men and becoming more cost-efficient.

If you haven’t seen the complete range of Ecorite’s jute products, visit the website and do a search under the word ‘jute’.

Source: Reusable Bags Rescue an Industry, New York Times Weekend, Oct 22-23, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/10/business/india-jute-reusable-shopping-bags.html