Office Furniture World News On 7/16/2023
By Barry A. Cik, Founder of Naturepedic
Previous installments in this series on the organic mattress trade have indicated that the primary certification for organic mattresses is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). The GOTS certification program is accredited by the USDA National Organic Program. GOTS certifies the entire finished product as “organic” or “made with organic,” depending on the percentages of certified organic fibers in the product. We will now review the other major certification programs commonly associated with organic mattresses.
GOLS and FSC LATEX: The filling material in organic mattresses cannot be polyurethane foam (which GOTS expressly prohibits). As such, most organic mattresses are filled with latex—but not just any rubbery material since most traditional latex is petroleum-based. The only latex allowed by GOTS is made from the sap of the rubber tree – otherwise known as natural or organic latex. There are two latex certifications for organic mattresses; GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. For GOTS certified organic mattresses, latex must have GOLS or FSC certification documents.
Organic Content Standard (OCS): The OCS certification program is managed by Textile Exchange, a “self-described global nonprofit organization that guides and supports” a growing community of brands, retailers, manufacturers, farmers and others committed to climate action toward more meaningful production, from the very beginning of the supply chain. OCS certifies individual components, not prefabricated mattresses. For example, the fabric of the mattress topper can be OCS certified. Or an OCS certification can be expressed as a percentage of organic matter in a product, for example, that a fabric contains 5% organic matter. Textile Exchange has other certification programs that retailers selling organic mattresses may find useful including: Content Claim Standard, Recycled Claim Standard, Responsible Wool Standard, Responsible Fall Standard, and more.
Made safe: The MADE SAFE certification program is not a membership certification in and of itself. However, it can be a valuable tool for demonstrating to customers that materials used in mattresses that are classified as organic are not likely to be questionable with regard to toxicity. Basically, the MADE SAFE program reviews the ingredients used for all of the ingredients in the mattress, and then compares this list to known ingredients and chemicals that are toxic or questionable. If there are no conflicts, the mattress can be MADE SAFE certified.
GREENGUARD AND GREENGUARD GOLD: GREENGUARD (part of Underwriter Laboratories – UL) certification programs test products for common emissions, such as volatile organic chemicals (VOC) and formaldehyde. GREENGUARD does not focus on material endorsement. Instead, it focuses on chemical emissions, also known as “outgassing,” that are released into the surrounding air. Organic mattresses pass easily. For example, certified organic and non-toxic mattresses (including Naturepedic mattresses) measured VOC emissions can be multiplied by 25 or more, and still pass the GREENGUARD GOLD standard.
Other certifications: Other certifications that could also be helpful. These include, but are not limited to, Certified Vegan, Oeko-Tex, Health Product Advertising, Green America, and more. Visit https://www.naturepedic.com/certifications for more information.
About Barry A.Cik: Barry A. Sek is a board certified environmental engineer and founder and chief technical officer of Naturepedic Organic Mattresses and Bedding. Since 2003, Naturepedic has been on a mission to protect families’ lives with organic products that are safer, healthier, and have a positive impact on the environment. A brand with purpose, transparency and ethical practices, Naturepedic is a multi-certified and well-respected brand by numerous health and environmental organizations (https://www.naturepedic.com/certifications) and is an EPA Green Power Partner. Since its inception, Naturepedic has been a consistent and generous advocate and supporter of NGOs and non-profit organizations that champion the “right to know” of what is in the products people bring into their homes.