I was just watching a sewing program which featured a collection of WWII-era flour, sugar, and feed sacks. Turns out that for resource conservation purposes, these were made in various colors and patterns, with ink that easily washed out. The idea was for housewives to unzip the simple chain stitching that formed the sack, and to use the laundered fabric for clothing and household items. These were tight-woven cottons, not burlap. Pattern booklets were included, Some had doll pieces printed on them, to be cut out, sewn, and stuffed, One had drawstrings sewn in, and became an apron when opened up; one was already hemmed and became a dishtowel; another became a tote bag. 60+ years later, these are ecologically-desirable ideas. I would think that a company would boost its sales and reputation if it replaced paper bags with cloth that could be turned into a tote or towel, even though doing so would up the cost of the pantry staple.