Chapter 5; Jute Songes

The Story Behind Jute Sponges

by Gary Cohen

We have been producing various household sponges for many years.

As with so many manufacturing companies in the US, suppliers come and go…they get bought out, or close, or merge, and they often morph into supplying different products.

NV Jute Scrub Sponge - THEN (Old Label)

One of our suppliers offered us a jute sponge. I didn’t know for sure what Jute was, so I looked it up in the dictionary.

(To my younger readers, before Google, you looked things up in a dictionary. Google “what is a dictionary” to see what that is ).

Or look here: (Photo credit: wiseGEEK)

Anyway, according to Wikipedia…Jute is a long, soft, shiny Bast fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. Jute is the name of the plant or fiber used to make burlap, hessian or gunny cloth. Jute is one of the most affordable natural fibers, and second only to cotton in the amount produced and variety of uses.” –

The supplier told me it was plant-based, and we decided to produce it.

We called it a Jute Eco Nat sponge. How did we come up with that? That’s what the supplier called it. Naming products can be easy sometimes.

Interestingly, around the office, we referred to it as our “Juke A Not” sponge.

I thought it would sell well because of the Jute. I was wrong. It was also made with soybean oil. I never did get an answer as to why it was made with soybean oil.

Sadly, it’s been discontinued, as the supplier no longer produces it, and we haven’t found a new source.

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