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Green comes to the bedroom PDF Print E-mail
Written by By Suzanne Boyles   
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario - These days, green is more than just a colour. It's the banner word of an environmental crusade. More and more consumers are demanding products that make a difference for the environment, driving the bedding marketplace to rethink and retool to meet these demands.

Ask people in the home goods industry to define green and their answers vary. When it comes to mattresses, does the use of a "natural" product in manufacturing make it green? If so, how much product content is considered a respectable amount? Is green related to the disposal of worn out mattresses?

There often are more questions than answers. But the mattress industry is moving to meet the consumer demand for environmentally friendly products. And they are defining green to meet consumer desires.

The Natura World

Ralph Rossdeutscher, president of Natura World Inc., and his father, Harry, launched the company in 1994. From its inception, the focus has been on "helping consumers achieve a superior night's sleep."

They also believe the best way to serve consumers is by giving them "the greatest care, with the intention of helping them sleep better and live better." Living better can mean being greener, and Natura has focused heavily on this aspect of their business.

  1. Asked what going green means, Ralph Rossdeutscher says it involves three things:
  2. Using natural materials in the product.
  3. Improving what you're doing for the environment, including the components you use to create your product.

Avoiding the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides in the manufacturing process.

Components in Natura's mattresses include latex foam, wood, cotton and wool. All are considered environmentally friendly, he says.

"The least amount of pure wool we have (in our mattresses) is four pounds, and that's pure wool fabric," says Rossdeutscher.

Image
Ralph Rossdeutscher
And natural products make a better mattress, he says, citing studies that show wool actually enhances sleep. Benefits include 75 percent less toss-and-turn during sleep, and a steadier and lower heart rate. Wool wicks away and absorbs body moisture, regulating body temperature. Babies cry less sleeping on mattresses with wool content.

He also attributes his company's growth - 50 percent last year - in large part to its focus on green products.

Rossdeutscher says the demand for environmentally friendly product is being driven by changes in the way society thinks about the environment.

"It's not a fad, as in next year nobody will care," Rossdeutscher says. "It's basically a changing of society. A lot more people are concerned about it."

To read Suzanne's complete report on the ‘greening' of the Canadian mattress industry, download HGO's first ever e-zine: the 2008 Bedding in Canada annual. To get your copy, click here: http://canadianbedding.homegoodsonline.info

 

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