#AceNewsReport – Oct.08: Also known as sack cloth, hessian, or burlap, the fibre is hailed by environmentalists because growing it can help with carbon capture, and it uses less natural resources than cotton.
#AceDailyNews says that according to a report by AFP News India’s battle to rebrand jute: From the boutiques of Christian Dior to royal wedding favours, jute is growing in popularity worldwide as demand for alternatives to plastic soars, with experts predicting the bag industry alone will be worth more than $3 billion by 2024.
“One hectare of jute plant can soak up to nearly 15 tonnes of carbon-dioxide and discharge 11 tonnes of oxygen during a season, thereby reducing greenhouse effects,” estimated Swati Singh Sambyal, a sustainability and circular economy expert based in New Delhi.
She added that production takes about only four months and requires “minimal water and fertiliser” compared to cotton.
During British rule, the jute industry was a key part of India’s economy and the fabric was exported worldwide but by the 1990s it was struggling, unable to compete with cheaper synthetic substitutes and lower production costs of farmers in neighbouring Bangladesh. Today, India is trying to promote jute as a fabric for a sustainable future, with the government issuing a mandate that all foodgrains and 20 percent of sugar should be packed in jute sacks Dibyangshu SARKAR AFP
Today India is trying to promote jute as a fabric for a sustainable future, with the government issuing a mandate that all grains and 20 percent of sugar should be packed in jute sacks.
Leading homegrown designers such as Ashish Soni and Pawan Aswani also use jute blends for their fashion lines.
But critics warn the country’s rundown mills and outdated farming practices do not match up with such grand ambitions.
- Billion dollar industry –
“India can cater to global demand but for that two things are needed: upgrading the skills of the people…to produce different types of products and upgrading the machinery,” said Gouranga Kar, who heads the Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres.
At Meghna Jute Mills hundreds of barefoot workers labour in a vast dingy hall covered in fine, fibrous dust across eight-hour shifts, 24 hours a day.
“Jute has a potentially huge international market” said company president Supriya Das, as noisy machines rolled out long strands of shimmery yarn behind him. Also known as sack cloth, hessian, or burlap, jute is hailed by environmentalists because growing it can help with carbon capture, and it uses less natural resources than cotton Dibyangshu SARKAR AFP
“If the machines are high-tech we can produce good yarn. For diversified end use, the quality of the fibre has to improve. The industry won’t be viable unless we introduce value-added products like decorative items and rugs.”
Nearly all of the world’s jute is grown in this region or in Bangladesh, because of the conducive humid climate and availability of cheap labour.
According to a recent report by Research and Markets, the global jute bag market reached a value of $2.07 billion in 2020 and is projected to touch $3.1 billion by 2024 as consumers look for alternatives to single use plastic.
The material’s appeal has been boosted by brands such as Dior making jute sandals and stars such as the Duchess of Sussex wearing jute footwear and using hessian gift bags for guests attending her wedding to Prince Harry.
- Drowning in plastic pollution – AFP Via France24: Read More:
#AceNewsDesk report ……………….Published: Oct.08: 2021:
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