Las Vegas, Nevada - Producers of bedding exhibiting at the Specialty Sleep Association's showroom have been reminded that any 'green' marketing claims should be fully qualified, spelt out, quantified, and supported in detail - "even if properly certified."
The association adds: "If you cannot substantiate your 'green' marketing claim - it would be best not to allude to it at all."
Bedding professionals are asked to visit sleepinformation.org and examine the recommendations and blogs there for advice.
Within the SSA showroom use of words such as: natural, bio-based, all-natural, eco-friendly, bio-degradable, eco-safe, and especially organic, should conform with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Green Guides and the recently release summary of proposed changes to the FTC Green Guides and/or the various organic marketing rules by USDA (US Department of Agriculture) (see blogs above), and/or the various certifying agencies.
"Be sure all your market labels are substantiated with detail," the SSA reminds exhibitors.
As an example. the SSA says, "If you claim your product is 'natural,' you must to be able to explain what you mean (the SSA definition is natural = biobased) and what you are excluding from your claim."
For instance, manufacturers must spell out what percentage of bio-based or renewal material they are using for foams based on soya or castor oil or palm oil polyols and be able to substantiate how much is really the biobased or renewable material.
SSA also warns that "Having a certification for a product or a product component or material does not remove your obligation or requirement to substantiate that certification."
So for products marketed as 'organic,' manufacturers must substantiate and use the various government regulations, certifications and standards rules.
The association stressed that "Retailers that have improperly marketed beds referencing USDA have been subjected to expensive investigations and enforcement actions. "
"It is important that we create consistency with our messaging throughout the industry," the SSA added: "By addressing these issues NOW, we will save each and every one of our members possible expenses, government run-ins, fines, law suits," and more.
The association has developed a mattress /bedding industry environmental definitions and terminology, and identified and clarified existing certifications and standards regarding 'green' claims.
It has also published an Environmental Claims Report for all manufacturers ($99 to SSA members and $299 to non-members), and encourages any manufacturer marketing 'green' characteristics to use this guide. It will help manufacturers market correctly and ensure clarity in communications to consumers and stay in line with requirements from the FTC, USDA NOP, GOTS, OekoTex, CertiPUR-us, etc.
SSA also has an 'Environmental & Safety Program' for consumer education, retailer training and "truth in 'green' marketing."