|company: various (see text)|
country: various (see text)
product: organic bedding
distribution: worldwide, via Internet
intro: your mattress is one of the most important pieces of furniture you own and can significantly affect your health. Even though we spend at least 1/4 of our lives in our beds, we often spend less money on our beds than we do on a couch or a table. Furthermore, we will own our beds for at least 10 years. A bad mattress can cause stiffness, back pain or simply lack of sleep. Lack of good sleep can make you more moody, feel more stressed and prevent you from concentrating. You can change all that by buying a good mattress, along with good pillows, bed linens, etc.
why: do you dream of sleeping in an environment free of chemicals and other materials harmful to your health and to the earth? This might be the common concern of all those companies that in recent years have been developing bedding products in the name of good quality and safe sleeping, in order to prevent allergies and other diseases caused by chemical components used during manufacturing. In fact, a number of recent studies show that mattresses today are manufactured with increasing amounts of petroleum based foams, plastics and a variety of volatile chemicals (including controversial flame retardants).
who: what follows is an overview of some selected products’ main characteristics in this direction and their related manufacturers:
- Specialised in organic and chemical-free mattresses, bed linens, comforters and pillows, A Happy Planet [www.ahappyplanet.com] is the oldest natural fibre home furnishings company in San Francisco. The mission of the company is “to improve the quality of life for all creatures, by offering sustainable, quality products which do not compromise labour, animals or the earth in their production, use, or disposal cycles”. Furthermore, they claim to educate their customers about the personal, local and global benefits of using organic, natural and renewable fibres in place of conventional and synthetic fibres.
- The Natura Sleep Systems. [www.eco-furniture.com/docs/bedroom_natura.shtml], conceived by the Canadian company Natura, are made with hand-crafted care using materials from nature such as untreated, sustained yield woods, pure New Zealand sheep's wool and 100% unbleached cotton (available in either certified organic or non-organic).
- Ikea [www.ikea.com], the world-famous retailer (which claims to offer “affordable solutions for better living” ) is now becoming the most popular store selling PBDE-free furniture. This means that chemical components defined as Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, frequently employed in mattress manufacture as flame retardants, are substituted with other non-toxic agents. Ikea has in fact excluded this component from all its polyurethane foam mattress production.
Another alternative is having your hand-made mattress. This way, you would support the work of small enterprises based on the skill of local artisans!
sustainability features: do you need more reasons to choose organic, chemicals-free products for your bed?
- organic cotton is grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilisers. When you buy organic cotton products you are supporting sustainable farming methods. These methods do not pollute ground or surface water, or the air; nor do they poison farmers, farm workers or their families. What they do is improve soil fertility for future generations;
- given that indoor air pollution can be up to 10 times higher than outside pollution, it is important to reduce our exposure to chemicals such as pesticides and VOCs as much as possible: being naturally fire-resistant, natural fibres such as lamb’s-wool remain the safest option (no need for chemical additives).
- 100% cotton fabrics and garments may contain up to 10% dyes, which do not need to be declared anywhere. Of all textile chemicals used in the last 15 years (including dyes and ‘easy-care’ chemicals), 30% are hazardous to human health, 20% are sensitising and 15% are skin irritants.