Sustainability and SBN (Sustainable Business Network)

Sustainability and SBN (Sustainable Business Network)

Here at Simply Jute we are proud to be members of the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), New Zealand’s largest, longest-standing sustainable business organization. We strive to provide you with ethically sourced reusable bags made from natural materials such as jute and cotton.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is about being resilient and thriving in the long term, making a profit whilst improving environmental conditions. It’s the capacity to endure! For us it’s about looking at our business and seeing where we can change or improve things to minimize our impact. The most recent example of this was a simple move to jute string for the swing tags of our bags. We had just assumed for years that the barcode swing tags needed to have plastic loops but once we started asking questions, it seemed that our manufacturers were willing to make the change for us with very little drama. Have a look at yourself or your business and see what you can question & change for the better.


Who are SBN?

They are a wonderful group of people inspiring change in businesses of all sizes, and in all sectors. They have the tools, advice, leadership and resources to help businesses on their journey to sustainability.

We have attended many meetings and presentations by fellow members and guests, who all have one thing in common. They are taking action and inspiring us all, from the smallest startup businesses to the multi-million-dollar international ones.

What do SBN do?

There are many projects supported by the Sustainable Business Network. Here are a few examples

  1. Circular Economy – SBN are calling this the biggest business transformation since the Industrial Revolution. Ideally, we move away from the throwaway society and become a circular society where products and resources are never abandoned. They are reused until the end of their serviceable life and then returned to nature. As part of this initiative, we were happy to be involved in The Bay Goes Circular workshops, sharing the story of our journey towards sustainability.
  2. The Now Crowd - This is a group of highly motivated people in the early stages of their careers, driving sustainability initiatives within their businesses and in the community. Young people can and want to make a difference and it is great to see them striving for a better future.
  3. Million Metres Streams - The goal is to plant a million metres of waterways with native plants and trees to help stabilize the banks of the waterways and reduce erosion. It helps filter pollutants from agriculture, industry, housing and roads. It provides shade to the water. It restores the habitat of waterway plants and animals and we are more than happy that 5% of our membership fee goes towards this fantastic project. So far, they have worked with 38 projects around the country and supported the restoration of more than 34,000 metres of waterways. Pretty amazing stuff!
  4. GulfX – This is a 3-year mission to restore the Hauraki Gulf in time for the 2021 Americas Cup. The project is specifically targeting the reduction of plastic waste entering the gulf and tackling heavy metal pollution. It will also work closely on the waterways feeding the gulf with the Million Metres Streams project.
  5. Good Food Boost – A free mentoring programme given to successful applicants to provide support and guidance from leading mentors to give good food businesses a boost.


We have been members for many years and together with their support and the drive and vision of lots of other organizations, worked hard to bring reusable jute bags into supermarkets as an everyday alternative to plastic. It was a long time coming and now, with the total ban on single use plastic bags in place, we can look forward to our next project.