Handmade by empowered women in Chennai, India.
Meet the Shakti.ism jute tote bag. These beautiful eco-friendly jute market bags are lovingly handmade by our makers in Chennai, India. These stunning handwoven bags are made using jute fiber fabric. Jute fabric is made from natural fibers and is also known as hessian, burlap or gunny cloth. These fabulous reusable bags are sturdy and reliable, and gorgeous with their unique ethnic design and bold colours.
Dimensions: 28 cm length x 33 cm height x 13 width (11 in length x 13 in height x 5 in width). Strap length is 30cm (11.5 in)
Care: Gently hand wash in cold water. Hang or lay flat to air dry.
Colour + design: Note that these items are handmade and each item is one-of-a-kind. There are various colours available. Some items have minor imperfections, but we think this makes them charming and one-of-a-kind.
//WHAT IS JUTE?
Jute fabric is a type of textile fiber made from the jute plant. Cotton takes the title of most-produced plant-based fiber, but jute is a close second. Jute is one of the primary textile fibers of India and neighbouring countries. Jute plants grow to be over 10 feet high, and the fibers derived from these plants are harvested in a single long string. Therefore, jute fibers are among the longest natural textile fibers in the world.
While jute absorbs water readily, it also dries quickly, and it is highly resistant to abrasion and stains. Jute is highly breathable, but it doesn’t naturally retain much heat, which makes it an ideal apparel material for hot and humid climates.
Like all natural textile fibers, jute is biodegradable. Therefore, it does not accumulate in the environment, and it does not release microfibers, which continually cause more and more pollution of waterways and other aquatic ecosystems.
//MEET THE MAKERS
Amidst Chennai’s bustling urban suburbs, you’ll find an oasis of quiet that is Madras Fuse – a social enterprise that empowers women, by Oasis India*. There you’ll find a small group of five enthusiastic women, with differing family backgrounds and challenges, joined by a common interest in sewing and shared goals. Each woman desires to gain new skills to sustain themselves and their families, and each feels an improved sense of dignity and self-respect in the midst of unimaginably difficult challenges as a result of this initiative.
With a sense of purpose and value, these five women design and create beautiful bags, accessories and home decor items.
The income they receive from the sale of these products has helped Kavitha, Selvi, Sandhya, Rani and Manimegalai pay off loans and their children’s education fees. While having a stable income has made life easier, the women also benefit in other ways. Rani never imagined that her dream of becoming a fashion designer would come true. Today, she designs clothes and bags! She also has access to a local government support scheme and is in the process of setting up her own tailoring unit. Sandhya says that the respect she has gained from her relatives and the confidence that she now has in herself are priceless.