When Ami Sata visited Sweden, little did she know she would chance upon a business idea to sell sustainable, luxury organic cotton bed sheets and bath towels that inherently felt softer than conventional cotton, were chemical-free from farm to fabric and gave farmers a respectable livelihood by freeing them from the vicious cycle of GMO cotton seeds and ultimately debt and suicide.
Once back, she was appalled to find that the majority of bed sheets were plastic packed and no one spoke about where the cotton was coming from.
She says, “Just like you question where your food is grown, you also question where the cotton for your bed sheets (considering you spend 8 hours directly in contact with it) comes from. From early on, I knew I wanted to reshape the way textiles were being sourced and manufactured. Truth is most manufacturers don’t know where their cotton comes from. You’d imagine why. Amouve hence sourced its organic cotton from farmer cooperatives which was then weaved into sumptuous bed sheets and bath linen. The certified factories have responsible waste and water management systems, use 100% renewable energy and are fair-trade certified, meaning all workers get a respectable wage.”
The textile trade is redundant with gory practices. From farmers putting their lives at risk with chemical pesticides every day to hectares of land being contaminated with run-off water, soil being contaminated to workers surviving on meager pay, the impact on people and the environment is far and wide.
In India, the average life expectancy of a cotton farmer is 35 years. There’s the danger of dying with cancer and other respiratory diseases due to usage of chemical pesticides, while on the other there’s mounting debt. Farmers under a contract with GMO companies are forbidden to regrow seeds the next year. If something is freely available in nature, you’d wonder why.
Amouve therefore uses 100% organic cotton for its products, right from sustainable raw materials to its packaging which is plastic-free and 100% recyclable. It also is the first one in the country to create the organic kapok pillow which uses 100% tree grown kapok fibre, hence doing away with petrochemical formulated microfibre and foam. The product range comprises organic cotton bed sheets online, bath towels (hand towels and face towels too), pillows, duvets, comforters, dohars and quilts, all of which is 100 % made in India, in line with the ‘Make In India’ initiative.
A recent addition has been the Su Casa range of bed sheets in percale weave in myriad styles and designs.
Concludes Ami, “Sustainability isn’t a fad. It is a way of life, rather the only way. We are 100% committed to our choices and not as and when it is convenient. We don’t do gimmicky products or marketing. Doing what’s right is non-negotiable. The pandemic along with the vocal for local campaign will bring a bigger shift towards healthier products.