What do you do?
I am the Founder and Creative Director of Bhumi Organic Cotton.
What can’t you leave home without?
I have to have my Cheeki water bottle filled with lemon water – the brain is 75% water and staying hydrated keeps me going and keeps away headaches!
What did you think your career would be when you were a teenager?
I wanted to work for National Geographic as a Marine biologist with great camera skills!
You worked for over a decade on international public health projects – which project had the most impact on you personally? Which were you most proud of?
I have been fortunate to be a part of many amazing projects as well as travel across many parts of the world – the project that had the most impact on me was early on in the piece when I was writing a research report on the mental health impacts of micro finance initiatives on women in a remote area in India. It was here I truly realised the onion layer of issues impacting peoples lives from health issues, socio economic issues, domestic violence and gender bias and it was here I stood in awe of the beauty of inner strength and resolve I saw in many women to survive. The stories of domestic violence and abuse had such a profound impact on me and it was from this point on I have been passionate and proud to support women and children in areas of empowerment and education as a door to a different future.
What was the catalyst for you to start you business, Bhumi Organic Cotton?
I experienced 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. After years in the field meeting with amazing NGOs, grassroots organisations and a growing movement of organic farmers, it was time for positive change. I was able to combine my deep love for the Earth, humanity and sustainable design to create Bhumi Organic Cotton.
What are the most common misconceptions about the organic industry as a whole? What do you wish people knew about cotton?
I think the word “organic” can be used very loosely across a lot of products misleading a lot of consumers. So, I recommend looking for certifications on products and brands to ensure authenticity and a strict adherence to environmental and social justice standards.
I wish it was more transparent how much hazardous chemicals and toxic dyes are used in manufacturing cotton products, along with poor working conditions. So, I always urge people to ask the brand questions such as how the product was made and who made it when purchasing any cotton products.
What is your favourite book and why?
‘Eat Pray Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert – I love true stories and this book resonated with me on so many personal levels. It made me laugh, made me cry, made me happy, made me stronger – you need books that do that to you!
Favourite memory from your travels?
Swimming with the majestic whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef – an out of this world experience in the most natural and pristine setting.
As a busy business owner, how do you take care of yourself? Do you have any favourite preventative measures or practices for wellbeing?
My mantra is ‘something every day’ – so an activity each day where I unplug from the business and family and have some me time. At the moment I love going to Happy Melon in Armadale for the Calm 45 minute meditation class followed by a walk around The Tan at The Botanical Gardens.
Do you live your life ‘organically’ in other areas?
Absolutely – it has been such a big shift in all areas over the years – I think once you know about the use of harmful chemicals, pesticides and toxins that are in the things we use and eat every day of our lives like food, detergents, toothpaste, make up, shampoos, textiles and so on, and then knowing the effects these substances have on the planet, humans and animals, for me I don’t feel comfortable about supporting this detrimental cycle – there are healthier options for the planet, for us as consumers and for humanity at large.
What’s your best beauty tip?
People often comment on how shiny my hair is and that is all thanks to a weekly self scalp massage with Melrose Organic Refined Coconut Oil, which is available at health food stores.
What’s next for Bhumi Organic Cotton?
There is a strong pipeline of product range that we are currently working on which will be launched over the next 18 months, however in the short term, for the second half of this year we are very excited to be launching in July a luxurious range of Bedding, a casual street-wear Men’s and Women’s range followed by a Kids Clothing Range for sizes 0 – 10.