One of the simplest pleasures in life is crawling into a warm bed with clean, crisp sheets on it. For some reason, there is something incredibly satisfying about it, right? It makes you want to curl up and stay in there for days. I love it! And for the past two years, I’ve had the complete luxury of crawling into a bed with Bhumi 100% organic sateen sheets on it (I do wash them). This, my friends, is heaven. I now consider using anything that isn’t 100% organic cotton a sin. A deadly one. And ordinary cotton now feels, in one word, shithouse.
Bhumi, which means Mother Earth in Sanskrit, is an Australian owned company offering products made from premium quality 100% organic cotton. It uses only fair-trade practices and has products for bed, bath, body, baby and table. I was introduced to the Bhumi products when I was approached by their founder, Vinita, and her business partner Andrew at an Edgar’s Mission event. Vinita had such a warmth about her and I stood there and listened in awe as she spoke of her products and how she came about creating Bhumi. Vinita was previously employed by the United Nations and has a Masters in International Public Health. She has travelled extensively all around the world but spent a lot of time in India seeing first hand the disastrous health and environmental impacts that genetically modified seeds and traditional cotton growing methods were having (cheers Monsanto you bastards).
Cotton is widely considered as the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most dangerous and hazardous pesticide to humans, animals and the earth. Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet uses 25% of the world’s insecticides, more than any other single major crop. The use of massive amounts of pesticides results in toxic cotton, and this is reeking havoc on those that farm it. Since 1997, almost 200,000 Indian farmers, many of them cotton growers, have committed suicide and every year the number of suicides increase. What is commonly known as India’s ‘suicide belt’ has seen a growing amount of toxic water ways, pesticide poisoning and the destruction of crops (and families) due to the use of GM seeds and incredibly hazardous chemicals.
Image: Cotton Bolls
With this in mind, consider the cotton in your home. You’re probably sleeping in ordinary cotton sheets like most of the population, right? You spend more time in bed than anywhere else. Regardless of how many hours you spend boozing, working late nights in the office or staying in whatever bed beckons your presence, at the end of the day you spend a good chunk of your time in your own bed. You lay on top of a sheet, your face rests on the pillows and you cover yourself with the material of your doona for an average of eight hours a night. Direct skin contact. Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs states in his book Principles of Home: Making a Place to Live “In a newly bought 100% cotton bed sheet or pillowcase, there is only 73% of cotton, the rest being chemicals added to the fabric during growing or treatment, including formaldehyde”. The same applies for your bathroom towels. Your skin is at it’s most porous straight after a hot shower or bath and this is the time when it is most prone to absorbing whatever makes contact with it. Do you really want your body absorbing toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde when it can be easily avoided?
The fibres in organic cotton sheets and towels like those at Bhumi have been grown without the use of any chemicals. Organic farming methods use natural fertilisers, like compost and manure, that recycle the nitrogen already in the soil rather than adding more, which reduces both pollution and N2O emissions. Bhumi uses no harmful chemicals, allergens, insecticides, pesticides, toxic dyes, GM seeds, bleaches or finishes, thus creating a completely pure product that has the lowest environmental impact and is good for your health.
Bhumi has an extensive range of luxurious products for your home that are all certified fair-trade and organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Their towels come in a range of different colours (all from natural dyes) and their blankets are simply exquisite to the eye and touch. As well, their sheets have various fabric options including sateen, flannel, jersey and percale and have a thread count of approximately 200-350. Contrary to popular belief, higher thread count doesn’t mean higher quality. The quality and the feel of the product depends solely on the quality of the yarn used and the weaving process that has taken place and Bhumi has spared no expense sourcing only the best for their products. The Bhumi products feel nothing short of luxury and sleeping in their sheets virtually guarantees a sound sleep (trust me on this one).
Whilst you may spend slightly more on 100% organic cotton, the quality is unrivalled and the products will last you a lot longer than ordinary cotton. See it as an investment. An investment for your own health, the environment and the futures of the families of the farmers who grow it. Switching to organic products around your home is something you will not regret. Once you’ve used organic cotton products there will be no looking back. Sumptuousness in its finest form.
You can visit the Bhumi store on Toorak Road, South Yarra or at www.bhumi.com.au.