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Is Jute Sustainable?

All about Jute

Why do we choose Jute. 

Jute is a wonder in the world of sustainability, and we'd love to tell you all about it - read on!

What is Jute? 

Jute is sometimes referred to as hessian or even burlap.  All three are very similar and it is no surprise – ‘cause it all comes from the same plant.  But jute is a more refined version of its sister fabrics, hessian and burlap offering a much higher quality, softer finish, whilst retaining its raw and earthy beauty. This is why we think jute the perfect natural material for producing our shopping bag and insulated cooler bags.

The stalk of the jute plant (Corchorus) is spun into coarse, strong threads to make the jute fabric. It is one most adaptable natural fibers, and second only to cotton in the amount produced and variety of its uses.

The jute plant is 100% compostable and will eventually decompose into good quality soil - it is estimated will break down within 12 to 24 months.

Not only is jute completely biodegradable, but it is also a 100% recyclable fiber. 

Jute is a highly sustainable material for making our bags because the plants reach maturity quickly (in around four to six months), making it a highly renewable material too. Not only that, but the jute plant relies on only natural rainfall, rather than a huge consumer of irrigation and water supply.

So it is even more eco-friendly because it needs very little to no, agricultural intervention to grow and replenish and it grows to maturity quickly as well as breaking back down to good quality soil after production. Jute needs very little water to thrive and due to its robust nature, needs no chemicals or pesticides;

More fun facts about Jute;

  • The plant grows quickly
    • (4 to 6 months) offering large yields for the area sizes people plant it on
  •  Jute need less land to cultivate it in comparison to other crops
    • This preserves larger areas of natural habitats and ecosystems with our agricultural efforts
  •  Jute improves soil fertility for future crops either for more jute or other crops. Jute will add nutrients and attract less pests.  
  • Very little need for artificial irrigation growing in most environments within the natural rainfall conditions
  • Jute is biodegradable - it degrades naturally within one to two years and is naturally compostable. So, disposing of jute does not come with a high environmental impact and can, in fact, improve the productivity of your garden creating organic fertilisation.
  • Fibres are incredibly strong and durable, and are very resilient to damage, ripping and staining.
  • The jute plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at a rate several times higher than trees. Some say that one hectare of jute plants can absorb around 15 tons of CO2 and release 11 tons of oxygen during an average jute season.
  • Jute is currently up there as the second-most valuable fibre for materials, after cotton and it is arguably much more sustainable than cotton because of reasons listed above.
  •  The need for less water, agricultural maintenance, pesticides, and fertilisation will yield significant crops, making it eco-friendly and sustainable.
  • The term jute comes from the word ‘jhuta or jora’ from the Oriya language. Oriya is an old Indian language that is now only spoken by only 4.2% of the Indian population and India is still the world’s largest producer of natural and raw jute.
  • Jute can be grown in both sandy and clay based soils and even alluvial soil found near flood plains and deltas of river
  • Jute is obtained from the stem of the jute plant meaning jute fibres tend to be stronger than jute fibres.

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