Jutes with the je ne sais quoi

Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their single-use consumption these days, and getting rid of a plastic bag habit is a great first step. One of the best ways to reduce reliance on plastic bags is by ensuring people always have a reusable bag with them, and the more durable and stylish that bag is the better.

In response, businesses and brands have begun producing a range of “bags for life” to help encourage consumers to make the sustainable choice, whilst retaining the free advertising opportunity that branded plastic bags presented. One of the best material options for a low-cost but durable shopping bag is jute – a more refined version of the hessian bag – which is eco-friendly, hard-wearing, weight-bearing and very easy to customise.

If you’re thinking about making merch to sell or give away as a way to promote your own brand, investing in personalised jute bags is a really smart choice. (Plus, head here to read more on the background behind jute bags and sustainability.)

Here are eight examples of brands and businesses taking advantage of jute’s best attributes.


Waitrose understands that their customers need a hefty shopper to get their precious cargo home in one piece, and the long, reinforced handles of their jute shoppers fit comfortably over the shoulder. Although Waitrose also sell a woven bag in their iconic green stripe, we love this design for the way it incorporates the natural colour of the jute.

Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater is known for the quality of their ceramics, which often feature playful text in their signature font. By dying the jute a deep black for this bag, the brand had ensured that their jokey wording stands out, in typical Bridgewater style.

Marie Curie

Selling merch is a great way for charities to raise funds, especially when they create designs that people would be eager to pay for under any circumstances. The low cost of jute means that Marie Curie can sell this beautiful design at a very affordable price, helping them sell a high volume and generate more money for their cause. 

The Eden Project

The woven green jute of this Eden Project tote is in keeping with their focus on the natural world, perfectly complementing the butterfly design created by their in-house team.

Seasalt Cornwall

Seasalt release different designs for their jute shoppers every season, making them a bit of a collector’s item amongst their loyal customers. The beautiful artwork of their bags is unbranded, although printed in recognisable seasalt colours, making them ideal for gifting. 

The National Trust

The National Trust opted for jute when designing their reinforced shoppers, and this version has been dyed a lush green to complement their iconic Alfriston leaf design.

Fortum & Mason

Although jute provides a highly affordable option for a quality product, this Fortnum & Mason design is a reminder that the material can still feel luxurious. The organic colour of the jute construction is perfectly complemented by handles in the brand’s iconic Eau de Nil blue.


This Selfridges Food Hall bag is another example of the versatility of jute, which has a neutral tone that pairs especially well with bright colours. The Selfridges yellow bag is well-known amongst tourists, and this provides a more durable alternative.

Want to print jute bags or other sustainable merch for your business? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing with an emphasis on providing sustainable and eco-friendly options. We count clients ranging from the Tate to Boiler Room and WeWork. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.