My friend Else-Marie Malmek is right now on a really exciting journey in more than one sense. She's a social entrepreneur and together with Christina Östergren she started the company Juteborg.
Juteborg is an intersectional, industrial idea and development partner of Jute fibre-based products. We believe that the combination of the sectors of Textile, Automotive and Construction will give a synergetic effect gaining all three to meet the market’s need of more sustainable materials to re-place old bulk-fibres, such as oil-based plastics, wood, metals and other environmentally hazardous materials.Right now they are on a tour in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to stir up interest in their business and their idea to create an open innovation platform where people can collaborate on various jute project.
Already they have started the JuteLight project together with the research institute Swerea SICOM, Chalmers, Volvo Cars and the University of Borås. Here they explore how to use jute fibre in composites for the automotive industry. So far the results looks very promising!
Their Jute Ambassador Magnus Rosén, one of the world’s top ten rock bass players in the world, accompanies them on their tour. According to his blog, a news item with him and Juteborg has been shown on the three major TV channels in Bangladesh. Great work!
This is not the first trip for Juteborg to Bangladesh and they also have strong connections there. In their video from their last visit, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus explains the history of jute and why it's a good idea to use it:
Yunus from Kanvassfilm on Vimeo.
Apparently the technical properties of the jute fibre contains many useful characteristics that probably makes it the most sustainable alternative in many different application fields. It's 10-30% lighter than for example glass fibre, the tensile strength is comparable to steel, it absorbs humidity, odour and UV-rays, and it's less costly than other natural fibres. No wonder they call it "The Golden Fibre"!
I wish them all the best of luck and will definitely continue to follow their progress on Facebook!