How one woman's organic bedding brand helps Indian farmers

Saloni Dhruv

You know how sometimes traveling to another place can leave a lasting impression on you, inspire you and change your life? That was certainly the case for Ami Sata, who founded a unique, organic bedding brand in India, called Amouve. “My trip to Scandinavia introduced me to the most sumptuous bedding I had slept on. Made of organic cotton, it was a bed made in heaven and I knew I had to know its origin. Several days of research later, I traced it back to India. Soon enough, I was making calls to manufacturers and sitting upon an idea that I felt right about”, explains Ami, talking about how the idea of starting a bedding brand came about.

Amouve retails luxury bedding, duvets, quits and ultra soft pillow covers online, that promise to give you a comfortable and a good night’s sleep. How is the quality of the bedding connected to good sleep, you ask? More than you think.  Very few actually realise that conventional bed sheets are choc-a-blocked with chemicals, from pesticide-laden cotton to formaldehyde finishes. Anti-wrinkle and anti-stain fabrics may be easy for maintenance, but not for your health. Considering we spend nearly 1/3rd of our lives in bed, it is necessary we sleep without these chemically driven fabrics and products. “When you sleep on organic sheets, your body breathes better. It feels super-soft and luxurious. Not only this, we wanted to bring a global standard to India concerning health, safety and the quality of sleep and going organic is a way to achieve that”, insists Ami.

Not only that, Sata’s organic brand supports Indian farmers and textile workers by sourcing fabrics from certified organic and Fair Trade farms. Most of the cotton grown by these farmers is often bought over, thereby giving farmers an opportunity for pre-financing of up to 30 % of the cotton harvest. “We wanted to be a business with a conscience and stand up for the cause of the Indian cotton farmer. Farmers enter into contracts with multinationals for purchasing patented GM seeds and pesticides. These, bought at exorbitant rates are more often based on false claims about yielding a good crop.” Shedding more light on this matter, Ami explains the cause of rising number of suicides of the farmers, “Cotton accounts for nearly 24% of the world’s insecticide market. Pesticides and Insecticides not only kill cotton pests but even the beneficial insects. Because the natural enemy has been eradicated, the target insects which at one point were a minor nuisance, become more pronounced and even greater amount of pesticides need to be sprayed to keep them in check. This vicious cycle leads to what is known as the ‘pesticide treadmill’. This in turn leads to rising debt and suicides of farmers.” The idea of bringing about real change that would be beneficial for these farmers is what contributed to starting the brand.

But the path is not always rosy. Going organic is a huge lifestyle choice. Ami believes her biggest challenge lies in educating the consumer as to why organic is a better and sustainable choice to make. While organic food and personal care are now being widely adopted, organic textiles are relatively nascent and yet to develop into a market-wide phenomenon. But is ‘sustainability’ just a fad? Ami begs to differ, “In my opinion, sustainability needs to be a habit, not just a trend. Be it sleep, food, clothing, appliances or transport, sustainability needs to be a part of our DNA.”