Back to Basics: 4 Essentials Of Ethical Style

Back to Basics: 4 Essentials Of Ethical Style

“If you feel good in your clothes, then you look good. It exudes from you. I don’t think it’s about being trendy.”

― Christina De Smet, Designer

Bhumi Organic Cotton | Women's SingletFeatured: Women's Camisole (Black), $49

Let’s take all the time we spend deliberating about what to wear for a given day, or getting ready for a particular occasion. The planning, the mixing and matching, the moments of uncertainty… Got it?

Take those minutes, hours, days…then imagine what else you could have been doing in that time. Maybe cuddling the dog. Or enjoying a cup of tea. A book. Being in the sun. Making music.

Now imagine if you had a set of essentials in your wardrobe, with pieces that work for almost any occasion; pieces you can add personal touches to - with your favourite hat, a belt, a scarf, a pendant.

It’s taking the energy out of constant decision making (which is immensely tiring) and allowing you to put that energy towards more important endeavours. Less effort, more authenticity, and a timeless style.

Living simply does not mean missing out - far from it!

Living with the essentials means shedding the unnecessary things (physical, mental, and spiritual) from the way you live your days. It means choosing a more ethical lifestyle that benefits you, your family, and the wider world.

At Bhumi, we are believers in the significance of simplicity in living a life you love. Like ripples in a pond, our choices make an impact on the fabric of our shared society. By making more informed, value-based decisions, we can make a difference.

It begins with getting back to Basics.

When it comes to your wardrobe, it’s a bit like love; the key is to craft a collection you feel at home with and connected to (like that old coffee stained shirt you simply won’t part with). These are clothes you can collect stories with as they accompany you through your days.

So where do we start?



Here are four basic principles to follow, when considering adding to, or rejuvenating your wardrobe.

Bhumi Organic Cotton | Women's BasicsFeatured: Women's Camisole (Black), $49


There’s no space in your essential wardrobe for items that don’t fit your body, or for items that restrict your motion. Part of the privilege of having a body is to enjoy our ability to feel sensations and movement - so why compromise?

The closer to your body, the more important it is to match the form of the item to your shape. So be honest when you try items on. If the pant legs need to be taken up a notch, that is fine - but it you can spot several things that need ‘fixing’ (and you’re not blessed with hands or friends who can do the job easily), then it may be better to hang that piece back up.

Remember, it’s not just how something looks; it’s how it feels, and how it makes you feel. In the real world, the person most critical of your appearance is yourself. So choose clothes that make you want to celebrate who you are.

Awareness and presence | Bhumi Organic CottonFeatured: Women's Camisole (Black), $49 and Lounge Pants (Black) $49


There are two sides to quality: how the item is created, and how well it will last.

A high quality piece is designed with care and attention to how the item will fit the body, as well as how the fabric will age, and maybe even improve over time.

Look for natural fabrics that are pure, certified organic or ethically sourced. Not only are these safer than non-organic or synthetic fibres (which are often laden with toxic chemicals to colour or optimise the fabric), they also breathe better, generally hold less odour, and age more gracefully.

Think back to a generation or two ago when mending clothes was the most natural response to a loose button or a torn sleeve. Now, fast-fashion has shifted our mindset towards a newer-is-easier mentality. By only bringing high-quality, versatile garments into your collection, you will be much more inclined to treat them with the care they deserve, and the attention that will help them support your body for longer.

Bhumi Organic Cotton | Good for your skinFeatured: Women's Camisole (White), $49 | Sateen Sheet Set (White), from $159


Who makes your clothes, and who benefits from your purchase of the item?

In our vastly connected world, we are no longer directly interacting with the people along the Seed to Shelf journey. This means we need to be vigilant about what happens behind the scenes, because when you peek beyond the curtain, there are darker stories hidden from us.

It can be a complicated task to sort through what we can ‘trust’. Certifications are a big help here: items which are barcoded with the GOTS logo undergo rigorous monitoring processes that ensure the welfare of the environment and the people along the supply chain.

FairTrade Australia NZ

Fortunately, there are a growing number of smaller local and international brands inviting transparency into their process, and highlighting rather than hiding the environmental and ethical impact of their products, on the journey from land to cloth to you.

Demand drives availability, and the bigger ‘fast-fashion’ brands are starting to take note.

Good On You is an easy-to-use app, and a wonderful, increasingly comprehensive resource for checking how brands are (or are not) embodying these principles.

There’s something special about knowing how your clothes are made, and by whom. It helps us realise that each piece has interacted with many pairs of human hands before it reaches our own. That it is not about buying something as cheaply as possible, but instead doing our best to ensure that those working hard to create comfort for us, also receive the benefit of our financial energy.

By continuing to support the brands who are doing things right, we can slowly and steadily start a wave of change; a demand for integrity in business that will redefine how ‘mainstream’ fashion is understood.

Bhumi Organic Cotton | Women's Basics
Featured: Women's Camisole (Grey) | $49


Versatility is essential to simplifying your wardrobe; essentials are only essential if they can be used in a variety of contexts.

Each piece in your wardrobe should be something that can pair with at least 2-3 other items. For example, you might keep the items closest to your body (underwear, singlets, t-shirts, leggings) in neutral shades or colours. Black, white, and grey are lovely friends to have around. This means you can splash in a bit of colour with another layer, or any accessories of your choosing. Be playful with what you have!

Our new Basics range for Woman & Man are designed around versatility. These are pieces for any and every day. From being at the gym or yoga practice in the morning, to work, to picking up kids or walking your dog. For casual occasions or as base layers for more formal events. For making your body a comfortable space to inhabit, whatever you are doing.


Our time is precious, and so are the gifts of our bodies.

What’s next to your skin matters. So make choices that are empowering - for your health, your experience of life, and your contribution to our wider community.

It is through knowledge and understanding that we can make the most of what we have. By living simply, and getting back to Basics with our wardrobes, we can start to free up space in our lives; to give more attention o living and sharing the values we cherish.

Let’s start small, and think big.

Bhumi Organic Cotton | Featured: Women's Camisole (Grey) | $49

Educating ourselves about how it is all connected is a duty to our being, and our privilege as humankind. Simplifying our lifestyles and habits can help us reflect on what really matters, and what we value most deeply.

Over the next few weeks, we will be focusing on coming back to basics, and asking a key question: what are the Essentials in our daily life?

Join us!

If you haven’t already, sign up to the Earth Life Balance blog by entering your email below, and discover how you can bring more understanding, compassion and contentment to your choices.

About the Author: Lucy Lawes is an advocate for mindful living.

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