Meet the kind and earthly Vinita Founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton a certified organic cotton retailer located in Melbourne. Vinita combined her love for the Earth, humanity, and sustainable design to create Bhumi Organic Cotton. Here she shares her ideas and feelings on Sustainability, the power of social media and how to strengthen our local industry.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”…. Mahatma Gandhi
Tell us a little about you…
I have a background in Health and a Masters in International Public and have been fortunate to travel to many exciting destinations on the planet and experience the beauty of nature and cultures of the world. I love expression, the ocean, animals and the forests and I believe in humanity.
…and how you came to opening a store dedicated to organic, sustainable cotton?
I spent many years overseas travelling and with my experience in international public health, I saw first hand the disastrous health and environmental impacts of traditional cotton growing with farmer suicides, child labour, pesticide poisoning, birth defects, harmful dyes and toxic water ways. After years in the field meeting with amazing NGOs, grassroots organizations and a growing movement of organic farmers, it was time for positive change and I combined my deep love for the Earth, humanity, and sustainable textiles to create a store both bricks & mortar and online Bhumi Organic Cotton.
What does Bhumi mean?
Bhumi means Mother Earth in Sanskrit one of the oldest languages in the world. I wanted to choose a name that resonates with all people around the globe and the derivative in Bhumi appears in other languages with similar meanings. For me it is about drawing on ancient wisdom and traditional modes of practice and drawing on the connection to each other. Going back to what was and what actually worked without all the toxic and harmful elements.
Can you share with us the benefits we would experience choosing organic cotton items?
Choosing certified organic products ensures no toxic dyes are used, not toxic chemicals or pesticides are used, no genetically modified cotton seeds have been used, no child labour and fair working conditions are mandatory.
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 the skin.
You’re a huge advocate of sustainability…What motivates you and why?
The experiences I have had and what I have seen and now know has changed me forever. Conversations with farmers and families and seeing the layers of devastation stay close to me and it has turned everything around for me. Seeing children who deserve the right to a safe life and education but instead are working in areas or conditions that are detrimental to their health and well-being and their stories of survival makes me more passionate every day to be a voice for them, stand up for the planet and spread education and awareness around the truth behind the textile industry.
How do we start when it comes to switching to sustainable & organic products?
Certification especially in the textile industry is the key for when one wants to start switching to sustainable and organic products. Look for products with strict certification criteria to avoid any loopholes. Switching to ‘natural’, ‘pure cotton’ or even simply stated ‘organic’ does not ensure the whole journey from seed to shelf is transparent or without the use of child labour or the toxic dyes. Look for the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) Standard and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). These certifications ensures products are made (from harvest to shelf) without the use of any harmful chemicals, allergens, insecticides, pesticides, toxic dyes, bleaches or finishes, does not use genetically modified seeds and uses less water than regular cotton.
What amazing products can we find in your store?
Our goal is to have a range of products for people when they come home to their organic sanctuaries that are toxic free alternatives. We have a range across Bedding, Underwear Basics, Lounge/Sleepwear Basics, Bath and Baby. We have an exciting year ahead with a New Range in Baby and Kids being launched mid year and some exciting collaborative projects we are currently working on.
We have found there is a shift towards a more conscious way of living, people in Australia are starting to take notice of their impact on the environment, do you agree?
Yes definitely here are so many people that care and there is a shift to conscious positive consumerism. People are really starting to ask questions. People want to know what’s in the products they are buying and what’s the story behind that. At Bhumi, we really encourage dialogue. We want people to ask what’s in the textiles they use every day. Ask what’s in the label; find out who made it; where was it made, how was it made; what chemicals and dyes are in it.
Is social media the key to getting a healthful message out there?
Absolutely. The power, pace and scale of social media channels are incredible. It is the way of the present to communicate and spread messages, education, and awareness and the way forward.
Who are your favourite 5 “Instagrammers” that you are following at the moment?
@e.ying – an artist & philanthropist
@depthsofbeauty – for all your eco-beauty advice
@amylecreations – vegan cooking and the page is edible
@ecobling_org – upcycling waste into jewellery
@soulful_expression – when soul meets expression in the ocean
I believe…. With KNOWLEDGE and knowing the truth behind the textile industry comes POWER. With power comes positive consumer CHOICES. With choice comes CHANGE. Change for the better for the Earth and Humanity.
Store Location: 138 Commercial Road, Prahran VIC 3181
Upcoming Events: Sign up to our newsletter to find out about our New Ranges in Bedding, Bath, Baby and Kids being launched mid-year and some exciting collaborative projects we are currently working on including In-store events.