Eco Friendly Jute Bags from Earthbags, Kolkata, India.
Established in Kolkata, West Bengal, India in 1995, Earthbags Export Private Limited is committed to “Mother Nature” and manufactures and exports eco-friendly jute shopping bags that are biodegradable and environmentally and eco friendly.
Earthbags design sturdy and functional jute shopping bags using the highest quality jute fibre produced in India.
Locally grown jute is the raw material used. Kolkata is a global hub for jute related products, which is a natural, versatile fibre.
Indeed Kolkata is often referred to as the “Jute Capital” of India.
In fact, the best source of jute in the world is the Bengal Delta Plain, which is occupied by Bangladesh and India.
A dedicated team of in-house designers and a product developers are responsible for new designs and products to keep in line with the changing seasons, fashions and international requirements.
Earthbags believe in not only selling eco-friendly products, but also manufacturing them in the most green way possible.
They want to ensure that a sustainable future is kept in mind at every step and so solar power plants, an effluent treatment plant, energy saving machines, a rainwater harvesting system, LED lights and less water consuming plants and trees can be found in their 60,000 square foot production unit.
They proudly state their all-women “Quality Control” team helps maintain the consistently high quality standards of the finished products – each item is closely checked individually!
Earthbags give employment to women and self help groups in Kolkata and strive to help the environment by encouraging more people to use these earth-friendly bags.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS JUTE?
Jute is a natural fibre with golden & silky shine hence the nickname “The Golden Fibre”.
It is one of the strongest natural plant fibres. Jute is a long, soft, shiny plant fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads.
It is the second most important vegetable fibre (after cotton) in terms of usage, global consumption, production and availability.
Reassuringly, it is 100% bio-degradable & fully recyclable.
Fabrics made of jute fibres are carbon-dioxide neutral and naturally decomposable. Its an extremely eco-friendly textile.
It grows best in warm, humid climates. India, Bangladesh, and China are the main producers of jute.
When the plants are about 15-20 cm tall, they are thinned out. About four months after planting, harvesting begins. The stalks are cut off close to the ground.
The stalks are then tied into bundles and retted (soaked) in water for approximately 20 days.
This process softens the tissues and permits the fibres to be separated.
After retting, the bundles are beaten on the root end with a mallet to start the fibres, which are wrapped around the fingers and the stems are jerked back and forth in the water to separate the fibre.
The fibres are then stripped from the stalks in long strands and washed in clear, running water.
Then they are hung up or spread on thatched roofs to dry naturally, in the sun. After 2-3 days of drying, the fibres are tied into bundles.
Jute is graded (rated) according to its colour, strength, and fibre length.
The fibres are off-white to brown, and 1-4 m long. Jute is pressed into bales for shipment to manufacture jute yarn which is then later woven into jute fabrics.
THE FINISHED PRODUCTS
These ‘Earthbags’ are hand-crafted to the highest specifications. Bags are silk screen printed.
Azo Free Direct Dyes are used in all bags. The inks used for printing are pigment colours and also Azo free.
Jute bags are generally coated inside with PP or LDPE lining.
And they feature cotton padded handles, to aid comfort when carrying heavy loads.
• Eco fact! 1 million plastic bags are used every minute worldwide and that the average lifespan of a plastic bag is 12 minutes! These jute bags are a great environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic for when you go shopping.
I hope this explains a little about the background of these bags, the material used and Earthbags, the manufacturer in India.
It’s worth remembering about Fair Trade, that “there is a real person behind every product”.
And finally, this Blog post features one of these jute bag —> Top 3 Selling Fair Trade Products
As always, thanks so much for reading my Blog post.
If you have anything to add, or have a question for me, please use the Comments section below and I`ll get back to you – Paul