Interview: Founder of organic cotton label Bhumi

bhumi organic cotton

Turkish Towels Bhumi

Vinita Bhumi

Many of us strive to live a healthy lifestyle.  Exercising and eating well is high up on on list. But how many think beyond these pursuits?  Do you consider the toxins that went into producing your sheets or doona cover which you cuddle up into 8 hours or more a night, or what’s in the fabric of the underwear you spend an inordinate amount of time in.  How about the detrimental effect on the environment and health of people involved in the manufacture of your manchester?  Vinita, the founder of Australian based organic cotton label Bhumi, meaning mother earth in sanskrit, was so passionate about the negative effects of regular cotton making, that she launched her own eco conscious brand just two years ago.

Not only is the Bhumi range beautifully designed, but Vinita has ensured every item is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), meaning no harmful chemicals, allergens, insecticides, pesticides, toxic dyes, bleaches or genetically modified seeds were used in its production. Quite a list isn’t it! In addition, the manufacture of GOTS certifed organic cotton uses less water than regular cotton.  To top it off the Bhumi range is also certified by Fairtrade Australia. Listen up all – This is one seriously great label.

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In our interview below, Vinita shares with us the challenges involved in operating an organic cotton label, her favourite products of the moment and a sneak peek into what they are launching this year. Enjoy!

How did Bhumi begin? Who makes up the team?

Bhumi began in 2012 after I decided it was time for a positive change with my life experiences and travels across India and Bangladesh. With my background in International Public Health I saw first hand the disastrous health and environmental impacts of traditional cotton growing with farmer suicides, pesticide poisoning, birth defects, harmful dyes and toxic water ways and ecosystems. It was here that I learned the benefits of organic cotton to the planet and the people. After years in the field meeting with amazing NGOs, grassroots organizations and a growing movement of organic farmers, I felt it was time to combine my deep love for the Earth, humanity and sustainable living to create Bhumi Organic Cotton here in Australia.

Our team is growing each year and at the moment I am the founder, Andrew Keast is our Store & Partnerships Manager, Shauna Magpantay is part of our Creative Design Team and Mel Steer heads up our Creative Imagery and Photography. 

bhumi team

What challenges have you faced creating a label that carries a wide range of GOTS certified organic cotton homewares?

Our challenge so far has been in generating awareness and understanding around the GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standards) certification, and breaking down what the certification means to people as it is not widely known in Australia yet. And the other challenge we face is prioritising our product line as there is so much demand for certified organic cotton products across Bed, Bath, Clothing and Baby categories! So for us it is a question of what to roll out and when.

Share with us your favourite Bhumi product of the moment? Why?

I love the cool, crisp and crunchy nature of Percale fabric especially in these warmer temperatures we have been having. The Percale Quilt Cover and Sheets are so cooling on the skin especially when you are hot and tired and to have that cool comfort surround you as you sleep is absolutely divine! I love knowing also that the sheets are ethically made with love in a toxic free environment.

Bhumi percale

What has been your hottest seller over the holiday period?

Although the Turkish Towels and our signature Sheets were in high demand, the Women & Mens Underwear were the stand outs this holiday season!

bhumi underwear

Can you give us any sneek peek into what new products we can expect to see at Bhumi during 2015?

2015 is going to be exciting with Bhumi Organic Sleepwear and Children’s Underwear launching in March – later in the year. We have new additions to the Women and Men Clothing line, new designs and fabrics in Bed, Bath and Table linen categories. We are also busy planning on hosting some events this year as well as investing a new and bigger experiential store which is going to be another unique chapter for us!

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Bhumi has both a physical store located in Melbourne’s Toorak Village, and are also available online (details below).

++ Bhumi ++

22 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, AUSTRALIA

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