Jute is a natural material that is not only biodegradable, but also grows with fewer resources than it takes to grow cotton, which is actually less durable. Americans are increasingly using reusable cloth tote bags now that there are legal bans on single-use plastic bags in so many cities and states all over the country.
Naysayers are claiming that the massive popularity of totes has made them part of the problem since there are now way too many of them. According to a 2018 study, a single tote bag made of organic cotton would have to be reused up to 20,000 times in order to offset the negative climate effect of producing it.
Tote bags made of jute are not only durable enough to be reused many times over, but certainly biodegradable and compostable as well. This gives jute the sustainability that brands these days are looking for. The added benefit is that jute is quickly and easily grown without all the resources that cotton requires for cultivation. Jute plants also absorb carbon dioxide from the environment faster than cotton.
Jute is basically a stable commodity in terms of replenishment. We thinks jute’s popularity will only keep growing as ongoing events across the world will continue to cause fluctuating prices in petroleum-based products.
Farmers love growing jute because it’s so versatile. They can sell the leaves as a vegetable product, the inner stems can go to paper manufacturers, and the surface layer can be spun into the fibers used to make tote bags. Anything left of the jute plant can be made into gunpowder or charcoal.
The New York Times reports that since the popularity of jute shows no signs of slowing down, the tote bag industry is looking for ways to increase its customer base. Manufacturers are coming up with new styles, designs, shapes, and sizes for their bags. Small bags are now being made for hotels and retail shops, while larger totes are being made for fashion brands and grocery stores. Companies are also experimenting with new textiles, namely a cotton/jute blend.
We recommends using a process called “transfer printing” when applying your logo or other graphics to a jute bag. This allows for the best distribution of color and detail.
Some companies have made totes in which the handle is part of the design, like the neck of a flamingo becoming the handle. Being clever can pay huge dividends.
The idea is to think and design “outside the box.” Creating custom designs should be encouraged. It’s amazingly simple.