As the new age consumer turns more and more conscious with each passing day, industries and markets around the world are innovating to create products using materials and processes that incur a lower environmental cost. With many organisations and markets overseas, as well as in the country, opting for plant-based low impact alternatives, India is shifting focus to an unexpected alternative- Jute.Jute, also known as hessian or burlap, is used mostly for gunny bags and sacks. The fabric that was once a crucial part of the pre-independence economy of India, is being given an attempt at revival. The Indian government has recently issued a mandate that all grains and 20 per cent of sugar must be packed in jute sacks.Jute is also becoming a fast favourite amongst various homegrown brands. Accessory brands like The Burlap People and Jute Smart surround their creations around the jute material. Indian designers Ashish Soni and Pawan Aswani as well as brands like Indie Maharani and Okhai also use jute blends for their fashion lines.However, a jute revival is not as easy as it may seem. In West Bengal, which houses about 70 jute factories, most set up in the 19th century mainly to produce coarse sacks for packing coffee and food grains, a dire upgrade in machinery and production methods is needed for better and scalable production.At a recent discussion session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) with the ministry of textiles, participants suggested that the Indian government should give special importance to the jute industry in the eastern part of the country, as reported by the Economic Times. Participants also requested the central textile ministry to have a fixed single slab of 7 per cent for all types of garments.Globally, the jute bag market reached a value of $2.07bn in 2020 and is expected to grow to $3.1bn by 2024 as the demand for single-use plastic alternatives soars, as per a recent report by Research and Markets. Jute proves to be a great alternative to plastic as the jute plant is known for its great carbon dioxide soaking abilities, this reducing the effect of greenhouse gases on the environment.Image used for representational purposes only.