The Burlap People are makers of bags. Good looking, well made, unique, beautiful and made-of-burlap bags. Better than that, from their home in West Bengal, India, they make bags that have a story behind them and a lot of heart. Bags that have been designed with sustainability and ethics in mind. I chatted to Sam, one of the dynamic trio behind the company, to hear more about The Burlap People way of doing business.
Hello Sam! Thanks for being here and for sending me one of your gorgeous makes to try out. Now tell me, why bags and why burlap?
S: Because you wouldn’t travel without one and because jute, or burlap, has traditionally always been used for bags! We just wanted to find a new and aesthetic way to make them. Burlap grows abundantly in West Bengal, India- where we’re based. It’s also an incredible plant – one of the most sustainable in the world. Every single part of the plant is consumed. It grows naturally, and has wonderful qualities (besides looking gorgeous!) that made it our first choice when it came to making bags.
Take us through The Burlap bag process…
S: Jute is one of the most affordable, sustainable and eco-friendly vegetable fibers in the world. We take a heavily woven form of jute, dye it, and then wash it to make it softer and vintage looking- basically, we give it an aesthetic upgrade. This is then hand stitched by our 3rd generation craftsmen into bags. Our bags constitute of about 90% jute, making them one of the most eco-friendly options available on the market today (compared to similar bags available in canvas, leather and synthetic materials). Although, our bags are not currently 100% natural or biodegradable, we are constantly working to make them so. At this point, as mentioned, all our material is manufactured and sourced locally (except for our zippers and brass fittings), as burlap or jute grows naturally in our region. In fact, the region is the largest producer of jute on the planet. We source the burlap directly from the mills who cultivate the jute crop and weave the fabric.
Thanks so much Sam and the whole Burlap People team. Isn’t that the most incredible way of doing business? People and planet first, profit second. Honestly, since discovering these guys and following their journey I have been blown away and challenged by the way they choose to make their products – and they do this in the most humble way too. Make sure you go visit them over on their Instagram, say hi and, when you are needing your next bag, remember The Burlap People.