Review

Organic cotton basics with Bhumi

The process of growing cotton is more insecticide-laden than any other crop. Find the basics of a toxin-free lifestyle with the beautiful range from Bhumi Organic Cotton.

Pure, light and comfy - classic PJs with a trendy drawstring waistband and side pockets - made from stylish slub jersey, super soft and perfect for all year around. $69.

Transform your bedroom into a sacred space with our cool, crisp and rich percale quilt cover sets. These sets are designed for those who love that crisp feeling of percale and want to stay tucked in all night. Set includes Quilt Cover & 2 Pillowcases. Quilt Cover Sets are superior 300 Thread Count and close with ties. $179 Queen Size

Relax and unwind in a classic PJ set featuring button up short sleeve shirt and matching pants with sateen drawstrings - made from super soft jersey cotton. $89

Product details

Product name: Bhumi Organic Cotton.

Reviewer: Caitlin Howlett

Author: Caitlin Howlett

G Rating:

5

Think of the last few cotton items that you bought recently. They could be clothing, home wares, or a gift for a friend.

Now, ask yourself, how much do you really know about that fabric? How was it made, who was it made by, and where was it made and processed? Very few consumers – and even those who sell the products – can provide an answer to just some of those basic questions.

“Cotton is a great, multi-purpose natural fibre,” says Vinita Baravkar the founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton. “But up to 25% of the insecticides, and 10% of all the pesticides, made globally are sprayed onto cotton crops alone.”

Vinita has a Masters in International Public Health, and has worked for more than a decade on public health projects. She’s seen first-hand the toxic effect of that cotton chemicals can have on people and ecosystems – which is why she decided to source completely certified-organic cotton, and start her own clothing and home wares label in Australia in 2012.

Vinita tells us about research by the World Health Organisation that says in developing countries, up to 40,000 deaths are accidently caused by pesticide poisoning every year, including the children of agricultural workers.

Most of the world’s cotton is genetically-modified (GM), which actually needs more water to grow than heirloom varieties, and “the seeds from GM-cotton can’t be saved and re-grown, so farmers need to buy new seeds from these big GM corporations every year”.

“What’s more, for every kilo of raw non-organic cotton, a kilo of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is needed – and this produces nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that’s 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.”

“All of this is just the production of the cotton. For the manufacturer, there’s a whole raft of other problems, including toxic chemicals in the dyes, and in many cases, the fabric is made by slave or child labour,” says Vinita.

Once harsh realities like these are unveiled, there's no good reason why paying customers shouldn't be able to demand some important questions are answered before you buy a cotton product.

“We are thrilled when customers ask us for more information about our cotton – it shows that there's a growing awareness and demand of ethically-produced products,” says Vinita.

It was important to Vinita that all of the products at Bhumi are fairly-traded, Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, as “it’s a world-leading processing standard for organic fibres… it looks at the supply-chain as a whole, and has independent third-party certifiers to make sure products really are made from ecologically- and socially-responsible fabrics.”

In the true style of such an ethical and sustainable brand, there's a focus at Bhumi on the basic essentials. The simplicity of the range certainly provides a lesson in avoiding overconsumption and excess.

And, the products are high quality, and completely gorgeous. There are throw rugs, thick or thin bath towels, and a new range of sleepwear that’s just been unveiled this month.

“I love our new sleepwear range because it is designed to help you create the perfect environment for your body, your mind and a peaceful nights slumber by having a variety of fabric choices for different body temperatures. We believe sleeping is both an art and a science. Science has shown that sleep heals, repairs and detoxifies your body and helps build energy for the body and mind and the art of sleep begins with the sanctuary of the bedroom.”

Bhumi has a simple-to-use online website, and if it's your first time on the site, you can also get a $15 discount just by signing up to their e-newsletter too. Vinita is also very proud to unveil a brand new shop front store in Melbourne (Prahran) from Tuesday 7 April this year.

While it’s sobering to learn that less than 1% of cotton crops grown worldwide are organic, as conscious consumers it is possible to help that figure to grow. Next time, before you make a purchase, ask and make sure there weren't any unethical practices involved. And, if you’re unhappy with the answer – simply don’t buy it!

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Bhumi's beautiful products were the winner of a Green Lifestyle Award for two consecutive years, as judged by our independent panel of experts in the green lifestyle scene. For more info, visit www.bhumi.com.au and www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/greenawards.

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