Friant, California -- The US Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) is launching the first mattress/bedding industry "Green Initiative," to identify, define and set standards for how mattress manufacturers and retailers label "green" for natural sleep products such as mattresses, box springs and pillows.
SSA said its ultimate goal will be to create a certification programme based on existing legitimate standards and programmes, as well as sleep-industry specific terms and standards for mattresses and bedding. "This initiative will be the first time any American national mattress products industry group has created a standard," the group claimed in a 10 March announcement.
"While we laud the overall movement towards green sleep products, we are aware that there is a 'green washing' at retail, with every manufacturer and supplier using its own definitions of what is green or natural. This is causing a tremendous amount of confusion with consumers and we as an industry must take a leadership role in creating a uniform set of standards and definitions," said SSA president Dale Read, who is also publisher of Bedroom Magazine.
SSA started the green standards initiative with an industry-wide conference on 8 March at Bonita Springs, Florida and expects to identify and define a set of standards, to be ratified by the summer of 2009.
"Since its inception as an advocacy group for innovative, technology-driven sleep systems, the SSA has been a leader in promoting natural, healthier and safer sleep solutions for consumers. Educating consumers, retailers, suppliers and manufacturers about existing standards, and defining new 'green standards' for the mattress/bedding industry is the most important mission we could embrace in 2009," Read said.
The SSA aims to define critical terms and standards for the sleep industry, rather than wait for the government or an outside agency to do so. The SSA has joined the Sustainable Furnishings Council, and will be working closely with the extensive information this council has developed for sustainable and green standards to define such terms as: green, natural, all-natural and organic.
This move follows debate in the mattress industry over what constitutes 'green," and SSA want to invite the entire industry -- retailers, manufacturers and suppliers - to participate in this process: manaufacturers of all types of bedding and mattresses - including memory foam, latex, air, gel, water, adjustable, new spring technology, natural and organic bedding - need to be involved, as they continue to fuel the growth of the bedding industry.
For more information on the SSA "Green Initiative" meeting, contact [email protected] or visit www.SleepInformation.org.