100% natural and remarkably durable, our newly arrived mesh bags and totes are handmade by Khmu artisans in Laos using fiber from a fast-growing vine, Pueraria phaseoloides.This perennial vine self-sows, grows, and re-grows without any cultivation or human intervention. It thrives without any fertilizers, pesticides, or any supplemental water beyond rainfall. As a member of the pea family (Fabaceae), the vine fixes nitrogen from the air into the soil and improves the soil where it grows. It can be planted in completely barren soil on construction-damaged sites, and as it grows, it improves soil fertility and heals the soil tilth, restoring a healthy ecosystem for insects, birds, and wildlife.
The leaves are used as a graze or forage for livestock. The vine's fiber is used to make fishing nets and bags.
According to the United States Forest Service, Net Zero is a goal to reach the point where our business operations are in balance with our environment. While working to promote the Khmu artisans’ handmade products, the JungleVine® Foundation in Luang Prabang, Laos launched the Nature Bag Project, focusing on keeping the carbon footprint of all JungleVine® products as close to zero as they can.
Each bag weighs less than 70 grams (2.5 oz.), which is an invaluable part of their light consumption of transportation and fossil fuel resources.
No fossil fuel is used until the finished bags are transported from the acquisition centers to Luang Prabang. The JungleVine® Foundation always use public transportation for the bags within Laos - on passenger busses, bundles of bags are tied on top of the bus or stowed in the luggage hold.
Electricity in northern Laos comes entirely from water and solar sources.
At the foundation's warehousing site in Iowa USA, it requires only a small amount of electricity for the occasional use of energy-efficient lighting. The space, insulated by earth on all sides, does not require heating or cooling. In Iowa, more than 37% of electricity comes from wind power, thus even the small amount of electricity used there is the greenest in the U.S.
Most of the containers used to ship to buyers are extremely lightweight, biodegradable, or recycled. Product inserts are on thin small-sized paper.
From beginning to end, the Nature Bag Project creates very little waste. The trash can in their Iowa warehouse, for example, is a tiny 7-gallon waste bin that only needs to be emptied once every six to eight months.
The vine fiber is remarkably strong and durable, so each JungleVine® bag will last a long, long time, and can be reused for many years, perhaps even decades to come. At the end of their long lifespan, all JungleVine® Products are biodegradable and can be composted, where soil organisms and earthworms break down the vine fiber and make the elements of the plant material available for re-use by new plants.
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With wool sourced directly from the nearby mountains and whimsical design from Brooklyn, New York, women artisans in Kyrgyzstan are crafting gifts and decorations with their traditional technique of wet felting. This generations-old technique creates a textile that is strong and incredibly soft to the touch, making it a beautiful medium to connect the heritage of Kyrgyz nomadic culture with our modern urban lifestyle.
Consisting of pillows, rugs, and baskets, Ximena's home collection is entirely handcrafted at artisan cooperatives throughout Colombia, using only natural materials native each region - wool, fique, and palm leaves. "This collection is about empowerment," says Ximena. "I strive to empower artisans in my homeland, and these designs are the way to bring their skill set, my vision, and creativity to life."