What are the Green Mattresses standards and when are they coming and what are they exactly? On May 8 2009 the Specialty Sleep Association may be able to give us a better idea.
According to David Perry of Furniture Today Magazine in his regular blog announced that the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) has a plan to eliminate confusion in the Green Mattress Industry. The confusion related to sustainable furniture, organic mattresses, all natural, and natural by eco friendly green shoppers is understandable. Industry insiders and customers make the accusation that every one of these products and product categories is being sold quite literally under various “shades of green”. The SSA hopes to put into place a uniform set of labeling standards requiring green manufacturers to abide by. The SSA is supportive of the eco friendly product push. By and large they are praising the new green movement but ideally what they really want to see is some consistent industry wide standards to determine what natural, green, and sustainable is going to be, this is according to SSA president Dale Read.
The Specialty Sleep Association said its objective is to build a certification plan based on “existing legitimate standards” and programs, as well as sleep industry-specific vocabulary and standards for bedding and mattresses. Other challenges the SSA will face will be how to define exactly those terms like natural, green, organic, and all natural. On May 8 2009 the SSA will meet in Florida and is likely going to put definitions to these liberally used and confusing terms by attempting to define and identify at set of industry wide green standards which could then be ratified by the end of summer 2009.
The USDA for natural, all natural, organic, and certified organic foods has already put similar standards into place. These standards have not completely eliminated confusion but have helped a majority of confused shoppers and with more customer education they can differentiate and choose what kinds of all natural or organic food they desire to purchase and consume.
The Specialty Sleep Association will be inviting all bedding industry manufactures, suppliers and retailers to attend the May 8 conference to discuss similar guidelines. An interesting note: The SSA event is scheduled at the approximately the same time as the Bedding Conference and is expected to pull some participants from the ranks of the Bedding Conference which could ultimately mean higher SSA participation.
The SSA group believes that its most important goal for 2009 is the education of its manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers. They hope to define, identify, and classify for the bedding/mattress industry not only existing standards but also any and all new green standards that could be put into place. What the group does not want to do is wait for a non-industry group like the government to put a set of standards in place allowing an outside source to regulate such decisions. Considering the abuse of many of the words like natural, all natural, organic and certified organic such regulation would most likely be inevitable.
The Specialty Sleep Association has said it will utilize the information accumulated and attained concerning sustainable and green standards from the Sustainable Furnishings Council SFC, which it announced joining on March 19th on their website.