Imagine a plant growing in harmony with the earth, nourished by the sun and flourishing without need of herbicide or pesticide. As it grows it suppresses weeds, returning nutrients to the soil via its roots and fallen leaves. Imagine a durable and versatile plant whose core, fibres, flowers and seeds yield raw material for a huge range of human needs. That plant is hemp.
Eco-friendly hemp is a plant that grows quickly, is an ideal rotation crop and can be grown with little or no chemical fertilizers. It also lifts heavy metals from polluted soils. Hemp is one of the most durable natural fibres that exists and has very high tensile strength. It softens with use and yet remains hard-wearing.
Jute is a rain-fed crop with little need for fertilizer or pesticides, making it a very environmentally-friendly material. It is the cheapest available vegetable fibre and yet has remarkably high tensile strenght and durability. It is the second most important vegetable fibre after cotton, in terms of usage, global consumption, production, and availability.
Jute is one of the most versatile natural fibres and is used for packaging, textiles, construction, and in agriculture. It is a relative of hemp but is totally free from narcotic elements and odour. The best source of jute in the world is the Bengal Delta Plain in the Ganges Delta, most of which is occupied by Bangladesh.
A little about Baladarshan: Baladarshan is a Fair Trade Organisation marketing the products of Chennai slum women working through the SPEED foundation.
New Internationalist Australia is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, which means we have to stock a percentage of Fair Trade products, and also adhere to Fair Trade practices ourselves. Great for supporting producers rights, and also for our staff.
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