During my first visit to the Naturepedic mattress factory, something struck me.
The smell. The factory smelled fresh. As strange as this will sound, I thought it smelled … good.
I’ve been in many factories, and good smelling is generally not a characteristic I’ve noticed. Bakeries? They smell good. Factories? Not so much.
Honestly, I first noticed the lack of expected smells. Where was the combination chemical/solvent/adhesive/plastic smell I associate with factories? Not there. I knew in advance the entire factory was certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), but I still had an expectation of, well, a more industrial smell. The lack of a heavy synthetic odor caught me off guard, but in a good way.
Adding to my sense of surprise were the sounds, or, again, lack of. There was a LOT of activity, but the factory wasn’t loud. All around was a beehive of productivity, with people hand-stitching at sergers, cutting organic cotton with large hand shears, and more. Sure, there was noise, but this was the whirr of craftsmen, not giant machinery.
The entire place is quieter than my house when my three sons are playing or arguing. It was after becoming comfortable with the lack of expected factory sounds and smells that I began to notice the subtle, underlying smell that IS there.
Walking past giant rolls of super soft organic cotton, a type of earthy freshness sneaked up on me. While not strong, cotton, like almost any agriculturally grown product, has its own smell.
More noticeable was the smell of organic wool, a healthy outdoorsy smell. The smell of wool in bulk might surprise factory visitors born and raised in a city.
It is simply not a city smell. Mingled with these smells is the scent of the pine wood used in the mattress framings to create an overall freshness of scent.
I almost said “farm fresh”, but I grew up around farms, and they have a different type of fresh smell, particularly in regards to cows and pigs. There was none of that fresh scent here. Walking through the Naturepedic factory, you know there is something special going on. You can sense it. You can see it. You can hear it.
You can smell it.