Why did CULT+KING switch from Canvas Totes to Jute?

Last summer (on 8/24/21 to be exact), we noticed an article in The New York Times called “The Canvas Tote Crisis… How did the solution become part of the problem?

Here’s one of the things we read in that article:  “An organic cotton tote needs to be used 20,000 times to offset its overall impact of production, according to a 2018 study by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. That equates to daily use for 54 years — for just one bag.”

We also read that cotton is so water-intensive that it has “dried up rivers.”

After passing the article around the bit, we made the decision to stop making cotton totes and look for a more sustainable, environmentally conscious alternative.  Jared jumped in and began about a million hours of research, with all the accompanying discussion and reflection.

Coincidentally one of our local business contacts (a horticulture major, landscaping business owner, and passionate environmentalist) was raving about jute.  He said, “Jute is the most sustainable crop on earth! It grows without fertilizers or pesticides and only needs natural rainfall for irrigation and it absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen faster than trees.”

Hello, jute! We got right to work making the switch.  And many months later, here they are. We hope you love them!

Keep listening. Keep trying. Keep learning. Keep caring. Never underestimate the difference you can make.

More about Jute:

  • Jute is known as “the Golden Fiber.”
  • Jute is a crop that can be easily grown without harming the environment. Jute grows easily without additional water, existing comfortably on natural rainfall. It is grown efficiently in terms of the land it occupies, so a relatively large crop yield can be obtained from a small area. Jute also grows quickly, and the need for pesticides or fertilizers is minimal or non-existent.
  • In addition to using far intensive agricultural methods, jute essentially benefits the environment. As well as biodegrading in its entirety, it also releases oxygen and absorbs impressive quantities of carbon dioxide. Instead of depleting the soil in which it grows, jute plants actually enrich it.
  • Like all plants, jute absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere when it grows and returns it when it decays. Studies reveal that the CO2 assimilation rate of jute is several times higher than other trees. Studies indicate that one hectare of jute plants can consume up to 15 tons of carbon dioxide and release 11 tons of oxygen during the jute growing season (about 100 days).