Jute is a fabric most commonly encountered today in history books. It is generally thought as a rough textile of a bygone age. But now officials and entrepreneurs are placing new hope in the jute industry as the world realizes the value of natural fibres, and wasteful fast fashion fills the world's water with microplastics, Xinhua reports.
The uses of jute ranging from ordinary packing material to geo-textiles, apparel, and upholstery promise a new era for some Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in a sector endowed with great potential. In the last century, with the advent of synthetic fibres, jute almost disappeared entirely. Now, more environmentally-aware consumers may resuscitate the industry.
Sharmin Sultana is an entrepreneur with a keenness to do something with jute.
"I wanna work with jute products basically for myself and for the country," she told Xinhua recently.
She plans to establish a jute factory, and the products will be sold in Bangladesh first, and then exported to other countries.
A visitor views a product made from jute fibres at the Jute Diversification Promotion Center in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, Sept. 26, 2022. (Xinhua)
According to entrepreneur Fatema Akhter, the demand for jute is very high in both domestic and international markets. Currently, more than two hundred products are being made with jute fibres, she said.
"Jute is an environment-friendly resource, it does not cause any disease or environmental pollution," she said. "For this, we consider the use of jute suitable and beneficial, everyone is appreciating jute."
Farukuzzaman Badsha, an associate professor at the Department of Fashion Design at Shanto Maryam University in Dhaka, said, "We are working to create world-class jute products for the world market from Bangladesh, and creating entrepreneurs."
"We're paying special attention to the design so that our products can stand tall in the world and the products are of world quality."
Rekha Rani Balo, the additional secretary of the Ministry of Textiles and executive director of the country's Jute Diversification Promotion Centre, said the quality of Bangladeshi jute is considered the best in the world.
The ministry and the centre are working to create more markets around the world for Bangladeshi jute products.
"We want to expand our market, and save the environment," said Balo. "Bangladeshi jute has duty-free market access to China, a great opportunity for growth," she said, "We want to meet China's expectations with Bangladeshi jute."
A labourer carries bundles of jute at a market in Munshiganj, Bangladesh, on Sept. 2, 2022. (Xinhua)
As part of its continued efforts to revive the golden era of jute, the Bangladeshi government observed the annual National Jute Day on March 6 in the country, with the slogan "Golden country of golden fiber -- Environment-friendly Bangladesh."
On the eve of the day, Bangladeshi President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages greeting the people involved in the jute sector.
Bangladeshi Minister for Textiles and Jute Golam Dastagir Gazi stressed the need for arranging more jute fairs to help increase the demand and sale for jute products in the country.
"Jute fairs will encourage entrepreneurs to export more jute products outside the country," said the minister, adding that jute products are gaining acceptance day by day.