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Specialty Sleep Association Announces “Green Initiative” to Establish First “Green” Standards In Bedding Industry


March 11, 2009 - The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) announced today it is launching the first mattress/bedding industry “Green Initiative.” This initiative is a step-by-step process designed to identify, define and set standards for how mattress manufacturers and retailers label “green” and natural sleep products such as mattresses, box springs and pillows. The ultimate goal will be to create a certification program based on existing legitimate standards and programs as well as sleep industry specific terms and standards for mattresses and bedding. This initiative will be the first time any North American national sleep products industry group has created a uniform standard.


“While we laud the overall movement towards environmentally-friendly sleep products, we are aware that there is a green washing taking place at retail, with every manufacturer and supplier using its own definitions of what is green, sustainable 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 T. Read, who is also the publisher of BEDROOM Magazine.


The SSA green standards initiative will kick-off with an industry wide conference in May 8, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, FL that is expected to identify and define a set of standards which are expected to be ratified by the summer of 2009.


“Since its inception as an advocacy group for innovative, technology-driven sleep systems, the SSA has always 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 Board of Directors voted unanimously in early February to support the initiative. The non-profit organization chose to commit to a process of defining critical terms and standards for the sleep industry, rather than wait for the government or a non-mattress/bedding outside agency to define these terms and set these standards. 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. Among other challenges, the SSA will define such terms as "green,” “natural,” “all-natural” and “organic."


With confusion among consumers and debates in the mattress industry over what constitutes “sustainable” or “green,” the organization will reach out to the entire industry --- retailers, manufacturers and suppliers --- and invite them into the process beginning with a SSA “Green Initiative” opening conference May 8. Thought leaders in the sleep and home furnishings industry will offer presentations on “environmentally-friendly” bedding at this first meeting scheduled to review, discuss and formalize the SSA “Green Initiative” process.


Memory foam, latex, air, gel, water, adjustable, new spring technology, natural and organic bedding products continue to fuel the growth of the bedding industry.


Founded in 1995, the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) is a national not-for-profit organization created to facilitate the growth and positive awareness of the specialty sleep category. Its members develop and/or sell specialty sleep products, including air, flotation, latex, foam and adjustable sleep surfaces, and related merchandise. SSA membership is comprised of more than 100 manufacturers and retailers ranging from small, family-owned businesses to large corporations.


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