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KUWAIT - Economy

Stephanie Tan

Executive Director, My Jute Company


Focused on meeting day-to-day needs while offering tangible eco-friendly solutions, Stephanie Tan is an environmental supporter and entrepreneur born in Singapore. She is owner of the My Jute Company: a one-stop-shop for sustainable packaging solutions which is a company that was able to connect eco-friendly products with quality and style. She knows that every action has a reaction, and she will always search for the best, living by her own motto, “Your choice matters, choose wisely.”

"Prior to relocating to Kuwait, I had already embarked on an entrepreneurial venture in Singapore, developing a sustainable packaging product known as jute fabric."
TBY talks to Stephanie Tan, Executive Director of My Jute Company, about the story of the company, running a business in Kuwait, and operations in other markets.
What inspired you to establish your business in Kuwait?

Prior to relocating to Kuwait, I had already embarked on an entrepreneurial venture in Singapore, developing a sustainable packaging product known as jute fabric. The whole intention was to establish a comprehensive solution for packaging needs, emphasizing eco-friendly materials and to create a one stop shop for sustainable packaging. When I arrived to Kuwait I understood the market and their preferences. Kuwaiti market appreciates high-end style and enjoys experiences through high quality packaging, but at the same time, thrives to learn and support causes that will help to live and do better in every phase of their lives. After realizing this, it seemed like a natural progression to extend My Jute Company´s vision in Kuwait that matched with its Mission. Finding environmental solutions is a worldwide must which can´t be limited within one country.

When did the idea for My Jute Company come to life?

Insights and dreams probably appear during events that seem insignificant at a first glance combined with personal values. The seeds for My Jute Company were planted when I was just 21 years old. It all started with a simple gift—a wine bottle wrapped in a disposable wrapper which caught my attention. I reflected about the short span of life of this material and the frustration with the fragility of small, conventional bags; but the high environmental impact that would affect us all. My mission was clear: to create eco-friendly products using a 100% biodegradable fabric or material. I sought a sturdy, biodegradable alternative to the paper bags that would often tear or break under the weight of daily essentials. After researching and investigating, I found a versatile material called Jute. I ventured to India in search of a manufacturer who could produce jute wrapping, without knowing that this trip would lead me to enduring relationships that would be crucial to My Jute Company’s journey. Now we are proud to say that we offer an array of functional bags in four distinct sizes with a main differentiator, which lies in the customization we offer (including collaborations with local Kuwaiti calligraphers to custom-design customer names and make every item unique). Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our production process as well – each product is meticulously hand-printed, eschewing the use of machinery.

Could you elaborate on your primary markets and key partnerships?

Our journey has led us to significant collaborations and market expansions through personalization which is a cornerstone of our product offering, appealing to a broad customer base. This service initially started as a retail offering, My Jute Company products are featured in Debenhams stores across Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain. The next step we took was to expand into corporate collaborations. Some of our most significant partnerships to date have been with Dubai Duty Free and Alshaya Company. One example can be with Starbucks in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, for whom we designed a special Starbucks jute bag; and our aspirations include extending this partnership to the Starbucks chains in the UAE, Qatar, and Jordan. Another rewarding cooperation has been with Monoprix in Doha, where we supply all their grocery bags. Furthermore, we are in the process of developing customized bags for Dean & Deluca, expected to be launched by the end of the year. Our interactions with Starbucks and Monoprix, represent our ventures into ‘corporate’ bags, while our regular merchandise comprises day-to-day bags.
All in all, the market that we are targeting is wide, because our mission fulfils the current environmental and day to day needs. The journey with My Jute Company has indeed been a fascinating one.



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