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Specialty Sleep Association Joins Sustainable Furnishings Council


March 19, 2009 - The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) announced that it has joined the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) according to Dale T. Read, president, SSA.


“As the SSA undertakes its step-by-step ‘green initiative” to identify existing terms, standards and certifications, and to define and set standards for how mattress manufacturers and retailers as well as natural sleep products label “green,’ creating a relationship with the SFC is an important step in achieving our goals,” said Read.


The ultimate goal of the SSA 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.


The SFC is a non-profit coalition of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and designers that has become the top organization in green home furnishings. “Seeing Green/Selling Green” is a new training program offered by SFC to train the staff of its members and their dealers. The goal of the program is to empower sales staff to sell based on members’ commitment, emphasizing facts and discouraging “green washing.” In turn, retail staff can educate the consumer, helping the purchaser understand that they are getting not only a great home furnishings item, but also contributing to the greater good.


“We’re delighted to have the SSA as our newest member,” notes Susan Inglis, Executive Director, Sustainable Furnishings Council. “This gives the SFC a mattress/bedding specific angle to further promote our green efforts.”


“While we laud the overall movement towards environmentally-friendly sleep products, we are aware that there are degrees of 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 Read.


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.


The SSA will be working closely with the extensive information the SFC has developed for sustainable and green standards. Among other challenges, the SSA will define such terms as “green,” “natural,” “all-natural” and “organic."


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.


Companies interested in learning more about air, water, memory foam, latex, gel, adjustable beds and green or all natural sleep products should contact SSA Executive Director Tambra Jones,


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