Impact of Fashion and Role of Jute

Brands, Retailers, Independents and Mom & Pop shops are all moving their focus to sustainability. At the 2019 Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference, 23 renowned Global brands pledged to use 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 (Sustainable Cotton Communique). Zara has gone 1 step further and pledged to work with 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025. The issue was also bought up at the G7 this year where the heads of the biggest Global brands joined world leaders in making a pledge to move to sustainability-a global pact to fight the climate crisis and protect biodiversity and the oceans

Nice initiatives but the question is if it is enough to reverse the impact of fashion on Climate change? Currently the Fashion industry is the 2nd biggest polluter (after oil) and has a bigger carbon bill than the shipping and aeronautical industries combined.

Role of Jute

Jute has the distinction of being one of the most sustainable fibers in the world, however Jute has traditionally not been focused to serve the need for high-end fashion items. The problem of jute fiber is its fiber staple length (1.0-1.50 meter) and higher micronaire (7+). With the conventional jute spinning system, finest count that can be made is Ne 5/s that is very coarse. However recent advances in Jute-tech and the emergence of Juton (Jute+cotton) has led to Jute being embraced in fashion, especially in the East.

The added softness and breeziness of cotton makes jute less coarse and much more comfortable. This kind of fabric still retains the interesting golden aesthetic of jute but has a softer feel which is why it is used to make all types of stylish and affordable daily wear clothes. Blended jute fabrics are also used to make more formal garments such as suits and dresses, though these tend to be a bit more colorful in their look. Too many heavy embellishments would not really suit the home spun, earthy vibe of jute, which is why the most favored technique for decorating this fabric is printing. Printed jute fabric comes with many types of western as well as ethnic motifs and designs done in vibrant colors. These can be done using the traditional block printing method used in Indian subcontinent, in which wooden blocks engraved with designs are dipped in paint and then pressed on to the fabric, or they can be printed using machines.

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