Pioneering Sustainable Organic Cotton Textiles

Pioneering Sustainable Organic Cotton Textiles

My name is Vinita Baravkar, founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton. Bhumi means Mother Earth in Sanskrit. 

At Bhumi we provide GOTS certified organic cotton and linen products across Bedding, Bath, Basics, Sleepwear and Apparel.

Pioneering Sustainable Organic Cotton Textiles

I wanted to choose a name that was deeply rooted in the ancient and the old ways of the world. Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages in the world and in our current times I feel we have forgotten the ways that were sacred and in union with the Earth. 

The derivative ‘Bhum’ is found in many other languages to have the same or similar meaning and as we are all interconnected in this world this makes the name even more important of a shared connection to our Earth. 

The earth teaches us to be human, to love, to give, to thrive, to survive. Everyday we witness the changing natural world around us as a result of our actions and the choices we make. The entire ecosystem is interconnected and when we truly realize and experience this, our love for the earth, for life, for nature and for human nature is amplified.

My world before Bhumi was actually in health. I began my career as a nurse and worked at the Children’s Hospital with many families. I enjoyed the education aspect so went on to study International Public Health with a dream to work overseas.

It was a culmination of years working and traveling in developing countries such as India and Bangladesh where I saw firsthand the negative impacts of the textile industry on the workers, farmers and the environment. 

The same staggering patterns of child labor, toxic pesticides, usage of harmful dyes, chemical waterways, land degradation along with farmer suicides to name a few, kept coming up. I could not unsee what I had seen and I felt I knew too much to go on without addressing the issues and trying to make a change and find better ways of creating products that had a positive impact on both the planet and humanity.

So, after years of research on the ground I decided to start Bhumi, along with my husband Dushyant who had a strong financial and commercial background.

Bhumi Organic cotton apparel and textiles

The first initial challenge was moving my life from a health background in the world of retail and marketing.

We are a family run business with no outside investors so we have had to take the time to organically learn and grow which although was a challenge has been so important to fully understand every aspect of our business as it has grown.

Now as we and our team of specialists have grown, the biggest challenge is the avalanche of greenwashing out there by many brands. It makes it very hard for consumers to navigate this territory and be swayed by false claims.

We feel by continually talking about education and awareness of aspects of the textile industry and fabrics themselves, we can help people truly understand what they are buying and what it is made of and the journey from seed to shelf. Our biggest advice is always to ask questions to uncover the truth.

The biggest achievement for me is customer feedback and listening to what people want and making those changes. We are so grateful and fortunate to have over 11,000+ 5 Star Customer Reviews and a Repeat Customer Rate of over 65% – it gives us great insight into what customers actually like about our products and why they continue to purchase from us – which is they actually feel the difference on their skin after using our products.

Bhumi organic cotton products

The best achievement for us is when we hear that people are sleeping better thanks to Bhumi bedding. Sleep is such an important window to health – without good sleep everything falls apart so by helping people sleep better and hearing people’s reactions we are always thrilled.

We also have a large number of customers who have skin sensitivities because their skin reacts to synthetic dyes and toxic chemicals found on most other brands – it is so heartwarming to know people are able to be comfortable wearing, sleeping in and using Bhumi products.

We are so grateful and fortunate to have over 11,000+ 5 Star Customer Reviews

From the day we started, we have been committed to using the finest 100% organic cotton available on the planet. It ensures a better life for the people who grow it, and it makes a better product for the people who use it.

By using sustainable raw materials and fabrics and implementing the strictest production methods that ensures high quality products whilst maintaining high sustainable and social justice standards, we are able to guarantee a softer, more luxurious product.

We are also strict about all our products being free from toxins at every step — this way everyone can rest easy knowing that 100% of our products are free from harmful chemicals, pesticides and GMOs. We are very strict about our quality control from seed to shelf to ensure there is a deep respect for the Earth and Her people across. 

From the day we started, we have been committed to using the finest 100% organic cotton available on the planet.

At Bhumi all of our cotton is organically grown and produced as nature intended without the use of any toxic chemicals. 

Organic cotton farmers use environmentally sustainable systems that maintain and replenish the fertile soil, promote biodiversity and natural pest control. Natural fertilizers such as animal manure and compost are used that recycle the nitrogen within the soil. 

Bhumi founder organic cotton brand

The factories run on solar and wind power and all water used is collected from monsoon rainfall. We only use and will only ever use GOTS certified fairtrade organic cotton for there to be a positive impact from “seed to shelf” on humanity and the environment. Overall, this results in having the lowest environmental impact, a deep sense of social justice with fair trade practices and also the purest and softest cotton, that is resilient and gentle on our skin.

 Being strict in our certification with third party verification ensures that along the whole supply chain there are no GM seeds, no harmful chemicals, insecticides and pesticides, no toxic dyes, bleaches or finishes, no child labour, fair wages and safe working conditions. We cannot compromise on this or else there will be no change and the same trajectory will continue and the Earth and Her people will suffer.

We make Bedding, Bath, Sleepwear & Basics that we want to use ourselves—safer, softer, longer-lasting—and we spare no detail in expert craftsmanship and perfecting every step of the process from “seed to shelf”.

The avalanche of greenwashing is huge so larger brands can dupe consumers with their wording and marketing to appear as if they are making a positive impact but this is far from true. 

Our approach is to keep doing what we are doing – offering products that we know are having a huge positive impact on the planet and the people as well as education and awareness. 

The seed of awareness has to be planted and one day, the seed will hopefully germinate and influence consumer choices.

Every product purchased at Bhumi is made in a Fairtrade certified factory which ensures a positive social impact in the community. We achieve this by partnering and honouring artisans and farmers who are valued for their knowledge, skilled expertise and expert craftsmanship — we ensure they are paid fairly, they are treated fairly, they work at will, and there is no child labour. Hence, we only work with certified Fair Trade factories, no exceptions.

Bhumi organic textiles

This means — since the beginning, we’ve paid a substantial premium out of our profits when purchasing our raw materials and fabrics which includes additional wages to farmers and factory workers to sustain fair wages and invest in local infrastructure and their communities. The good thing about Fairtrade is that it also ensures a respect for the social, economic and labor rights of farmers and workers along the entire supply chain. It encourages sustainable farming practices, protects the environment and improves the quality of health and well being for farmers and workers.

We source all of our organic cotton from India and organic linen from Belgium. India is among the largest organic cotton producers in the world. For our required quality, volume and scale, we have chosen India as the destination to import organic cotton. Most of our organic cotton is produced on the back of monsoon rains in India and it is worth noting that organic cotton uses 90% less water than conventional cotton. Also, India has one of the longest and respected textile traditions in the world, which means it provides us access to some of the highest quality production facilities in the world that comply with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

To ensure continued standards in quality and ethical production, ALL our products are made from GOTS Certified Organic Cotton and ethically made in Fairtrade Certified factories. Our entire behind the scenes “Seed to Shelf” process is available on our website for anyone to see and learn more.

Bhumi products

I would question everything. Find out the seed to shelf journey of the products you love. This process uncovers everything and if brands are unwilling to talk or elaborate that says a lot. 

Look for products that are as natural as possible and read your labels. I would also say it’s a long journey so start with small steps so it does not feel overwhelming. Choose products that are closest to your skin as a start and then branch out to rooms and then your home to see how you can create low toxin spaces. 

To channel Lao Tzu, your thoughts become your words; your words become your actions; your actions become your habits; your habits, become your character; it is a lifestyle 

Absolutely – I love many brands doing amazing things. A big shout out to Inika Organic for beautiful skin routines and I adore Sans Beast and Matt and Natt for their bags and shoes.

Our goal for the future is to widen our product offerings based on continuously listening to what customers want. A big thing for 2024 is plus sizes and also going global.

We have mastered the softest organic bedding, we have brought to customers the softest organic sleepwear, we have launched plush organic towels, we have you covered with organic basics and underwear. 

Now we are entering the arena of Bhumi Apparel in a big way with new exciting partnerships established across our organic & fairtrade supply chain – we will be continually launching ranges across classic styles and staples reinvented in organic fabrics. In the post pandemic world where people are heading back to the office, we believe there is a huge opportunity in this space to provide the foundations of style.

I am always hopeful. I am concerned though as the Earth needs help but the things we are doing to destroy Her far outweighs what we are doing to protect Her. 

The textile industry is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions and the push for fast fashion and fast bedding is worrisome. The intense amount of greenwashing makes it difficult for people to really understand the truth.

So behind the scenes of the handbag, the jewelry, the food, the fashion, is a cycle of excess production, processing, plundering and subsequent destruction of the earth’s natural resources; the creation of factories whose manufacturing and operation creates inhumane working conditions, human and animal abuse & toxic byproducts; and the use of commodities themselves that create hazardous pollutants and waste. 

We are now witnessing mass deforestation and misuse of land, toxic levels of pollution, contaminated water sources, intensive and inhumane livestock breeding, mass animal slaughter, the export and dumping of industrial and electrical waste into developing countries, child and bonded labour, human rights abuses, inhumane working conditions all to fuel the fire of global and mass consumption. 

Bhumi organic cotton

I do hope with education and awareness more people question things. Asking what, why, where, when, how, where and digging deeper to unearth the truth may change our choices. It is time for change and it is our responsibility.

We strongly believe that knowledge brings power. Power brings choice. Choice brings change. Change for the better – for the earth and for humanity.

We strongly believe that knowledge brings power. Power brings choice. Choice brings change. Change for the better – for the earth and for humanity.

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