It’s ironic, really. We wear leggings as pants to prove we’re not lazy, that we have every intention of working out that day. And yet, deep down we wear them because we’re actually too lazy to put on “proper pants”—no zippers, no buttons, no problem.
Being comfy is arguably activewear’s most defining asset—we don’t know about you but we’d take comfort over performance any day. I mean, we’re not trying to knock one second off our marathon PB; we’d just like to get through a sweat sesh chafe-free, right? But in the “leggings as pants” movement, we feel the fitness community got one thing wrong: opting for spandex over cotton.
Is it just us? Does anyone actually find spandex comfy? And what about what it’s doing to our hoo-has? … All tight and suffocating up in there. There must be something better. We set out to find it the only way we knew how: the Sporteluxe comfort triathlon. In our eyes, if a brand can pass the three-part test—30-minute Vinyasa flow, 30-minute HIIT class, followed by a 1-hour Netflix binge—they’re all-day, every day approved. We tried a lot of well-known and under-the-radar brands and there were some hot contestants but the winner—with flying colours—was Bhumi Organic Cotton.
You may not have heard of Bhumi before … nor had we but boy are we glad we found them. Not only are they comfy, they’re also Australia’s first certified fairtrade and organic yoga and activewear—and the more we learnt about them, the more we fell in love.
A female-founded startup (another reason we love them), Bhumi makes a case for wearing organic cotton much bigger than comfort: it’s way better for the environment. Yep, all those high-performance stretchy fabrics—like polyester, acrylic, nylon, acetate and spandex—are made from non-renewable fossil fuels. And to make them, dye them, package them and send them off to you leaves one big sneaker print on the planet.
It’s an impact Bhumi founder, Vinita Baravkar, saw first hand. From farmer suicides, child labour and pesticide poisoning to birth defects, harmful dyes and toxic waterways, she witnessed the effects of textile farming (including traditional cotton farming) and knew she had to make a change. She spent years meeting with NGOs, grassroots organisations and a growing movement of organic farmers to give yogis and athletes an eco-friendly, socially responsible alternative.
Bhumi Organic Cotton upholds a ‘seed to shelf’ policy whereby every step of their production and supply is certified organic and fairtrade. This means they are free from toxic dyes and synthetic pesticides, have policies to conserve water and reduce carbon and they ensure all employees receive their basic rights—a living wage, social security, pension, paid holiday and sick leave, medicals, safe working environment—as well as extras—house rent, free work transport and free schooling for their children.
When we think of pollution, it’s easy to shake our fist at the large mining and oil industries but the fashion industry is also to blame. Fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world and the second largest consumer of water. So while it’s easy to say we ride our bikes to work and switch our lights off when we leave the house, perhaps we should take a look at our sneaker collection and overflowing workout wardrobe—and start making more conscious purchasing decisions.
It’s at the heart of Bhumi’s motto: Knowledge brings power. Power brings choice. Choice brings change. So for yogis looking to practise their values on and off the mat and athletes wanting to feel good on and off the track, try Bhumi Organic Cotton.