Archive for the ‘Naturepedic’ Category

The Human Side of Organic

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Every purchased product, even if mass produced, was made by somebody with materials gathered or processed by real people.

Naturepedic always remembers that, even when sourcing materials. I am fortunate to know and interact with the real people who build Naturepedic organic mattresses. Most of the manufacturing team is made up of Amish men and women possessing considerable skills, and it’s impressive to watch these craftspeople build mattresses. With an office just outside of the manufacturing floor, I see the process frequently.

A reflective moment as our life size organic cotton sheep stuffed animal mascot wishes to become a real sheep

A reflective moment as our life size organic cotton sheep stuffed animal mascot wishes to become a real sheep

That said, although we make our mattresses here in Ohio, even coiling our own springs and then hand assembling them with organic cotton encasements one at a time, we still bring in raw materials like organic cotton, latex, wool and wood.

We don’t have our own live sheep at this point.

Did you know the organic certifications we offer for our mattresses and materials also take into account the human, animal and environmental impacts related to those materials long before our mattresses are even made?

Organic Certification

As a writer for Naturepedic, I generally focus on the end user benefits of a certified organic mattress, such as not being exposed to toxic flame retardants. There are, however, other aspects of responsibility that are near to my heart that do not get mentioned.

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the standard to which Naturepedic mattresses and our entire manufacturing facility are certified, ensures that crops are grown and harvested without GMOs and toxic pesticides and fertilizers, but it goes beyond that.

GOTS also examines the harvesting and processing of those materials and how it affects the soil, wildlife, insects, and the humans who gather and make the materials. In other words, GOTS looks at the entire global impact.

Cotton

The global cotton industry alone is responsible for some of the worst human rights violations anywhere. A 2007 report from the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) in collaboration with Pesticide Action Network UK found that six of the seven largest cotton producing nations regularly employ child labor, often under the most grueling circumstances.

For GOTS-certified cotton (and any agricultural products), crops must be harvested through employment freely chosen, and all levels of the product must be made without child labor in a safe and hygienic working area. Our mattresses use USDA-certified organic cotton grown in Texas, so we already have a huge step up using USA-grown cotton compared to mattresses made in other countries with lax human rights standards.

GOTS-certified organic cotton also doesn’t use the synthetic pesticides of conventional cotton.

The EJF report mentioned above estimates that cotton covers only 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet used 16% of the world’s insecticides. The report found in India, a remarkable 54% of the country’s pesticides were used on cotton, which occupies a little less than 5% of land use under crops!

These figures are just for the growing and harvesting phases, but the processing phase can also pose threats to workers and the planet. GOTS-certified cotton cannot be processed with the same harsh chemicals used in traditional cotton that are so detrimental. The certification looks at the whole process, from planting to processing.

Latex

Sourcing of organic latex foam, where rubber sap can be harvested from trees growing in countries without the same level of human rights afforded us in this country, requires even more vigilance for human rights. Our latex is independently certified to the Global Organic Latex Standard, or GOLS. Like GOTS, GOLS certification requires the latex be harvested responsibly, with workers treated fairly.

Additionally, it means rubber sap is harvested in a sustainable fashion with minimal environmental impact.

The Big, Sustainable Picture

Organic cotton fabric being stitched at Naturepedic

Organic cotton fabric being stitched at Naturepedic

Like GOTS, we strive to take a “big picture” approach in looking at overall planetary impact. Certified organic wool certified to GOTS, for example, must come from sheep raised humanely. But that’s not all. Even the wood we use to build our mattress frames has received certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to guarantee it was harvested in a sustainable and responsible manner.

We make you the safest, healthiest mattresses we can possibly make, and you can rest easy knowing that. We hope you’ll also feel better knowing your mattress was made with respect for the planet overall and the people, plants and animals living there.

Jenni June and Naturepedic want to help your kids sleep

Friday, May 9th, 2014
Jenni June, bringing sleep to babies and parents!

Jenni June, bringing sleep to babies and parents!

At Naturepedic, we appreciate the goodness of sleep, and so does our friend celebrity sleep specialist Jenni June. Beginning May 31, 2014, Jenni June kicks off her latest 15-city West Coast tour, bringing good sleep to babies, toddlers and parents!

The tour begins in California with The Family Sleep Event, made up of four 20-30 minute educational discussions. Jenni June understands the frustration parents experience when children won’t sleep, so she makes sessions fun, engaging and most of all empowering. Sessions are designed to give parents immediate tips they can begin using that same night as well as suggestions for building overall good sleep habits in children. Jenni will also cover ways parents can green-proof the sleep environment of their children to promote healthier sleep.

The first 100 registered guests per city get a gift bag with items valued at $80, including a Naturepedic Organic Cotton Fitted Crib Sheet. At the event, parents can also browse baby products from Naturepedic and other companies.

The tour ends on August 9 in Denver. Naturepedic is sponsoring The Family Sleep Event tour and we are thrilled, not only because of our commitment to Safe, Healthy Sleep™  (we are the most highly awarded crib mattress manufacturer in the U.S.), but also because we really like Jenni June!

WEST COAST FAMILY SLEEP EVENT FROM JENNI JUNE

San Diego, CA: Saturday, May 31

Del Mar, CA: Sunday, June 1

Newport Beach, CA: Saturday, June 14

Irvine, CA: Sunday, June 15

Pasadena, CA:  Saturday, June 21

Los Angeles, CA: Sunday, June 22

San Jose, CA:  Saturday, June 28

San Francisco, CA: Sunday, June 29

Eugene, OR: Saturday, July 12

Portland, OR: Sunday, July 13

Olympia, WA:  Saturday, July 19

Seattle, WA:  Sunday, July 20

Boise, ID:  Saturday, July 26

Salt Lake City, UT:  Saturday, August 2

Denver, CO:  Saturday, August 9

Jenni June at the grand opening of Naturepedic's Los Angeles store

Jenni June at the grand opening of Naturepedic’s Los Angeles store

Register for The Family Sleep Event.  You can find more about The Family Sleep Event as well as information on Jenni June’s overall work promoting sleep at her website at jennijune.com.  Read more about the event tour here.

What is Organic Certification?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

What is large? Bigger than a mailbox? An elephant? A gymnasium?

Big ... but maybe not to a dinosaur! (CC license , Eve Livesey, photographer, on freestock.ca

Big … but maybe not to a dinosaur!
(CC license , Eve Livesey, photographer, on freestock.ca)

The word “large” holds no value without a reference point. A sandwich the size of a dachshund is large. An alligator that size is not.  The same holds true for “organic.”

Alone, the word “organic” is of questionable value. If you’re trying to sell me a product, I have even more reason to question the value of that word, as it will often be contorted to imply elements that simply are not there.

WHAT DOES ORGANIC MEAN?

If a mattress contains “organic” cotton but has a cotton fabric cover treated with a chemical flame retardant, is the mattress organic?  What if the mattress is waterproofed with chemicals like PFCs?  You probably don’t want a mattress off gassing fair amounts of VOCs regardless of whether there is organic cotton there or not, so how do you know what “organic” actually means on a label? How do you know if the label is even truthful?

You demand certification to a rigorous, globally recognized, third-party verified standard such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOLS)  or the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). Whether for an individual component or an entire finished product, a global standard defines and ensures materials or products live up to the definition.

RED FLAGS FOR THE GREEN WORLD

So what greenwashing organic logo tricks are out there? Here are a few:

 Organization Memberships as Proof

Be cautious when you see memberships to organic and environmental organizations and groups used to prove organic authenticity of a product. We proudly belong to many organic and sustainability organizations but know membership doesn’t verify our products. While we are members of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), for example, we don’t suggest that demonstrates our mattresses are organic; we use GOTS to show that. Sadly that sneaky join-a-club logic is used by some companies: pay membership dues to a trade organization then use the organization logo to “prove” organic veracity. It just doesn’t work that way.

Improperly Used Logos

Naturepedic uses USDA certified organic cotton grown in Texas which we proudly mention on our website. What you won’t see though is the USDA logo on our mattresses. Why? Because that is a label for agricultural materials. The USDA does not certify cotton fabric, furniture or mattresses. They don’t even allow the use of their logo on manufactured products, so if you see that logo, it doesn’t verify the mattress or fabrics are certified organic.

Fake Certifications or Meaningless Graphics

The great thing about living in the information age is you can quickly find out the details of a “certification” with a quick online search. If you’ve never heard of a certification before, it’s time to check.

The FTC is becoming more vigilant against deceptive green labeling practices, but that they won’t catch all offenders. In 2013 the FTC required EcoBaby to stop using their made-up NAOMI organic seal. The FTC said the logo gave the impression of a third-party, independent certification based on objective criteria, which wasn’t the case. In this extreme example, the company had actually created a false, and meaningless, certification!

Similar to fake certifications are eye-pleasing graphics masquerading as certifications. A pretty image of a leaf that reads “organic,” “earth friendly,” or some other green claim may simply be a picture created by the company’s graphic artist.

Pieces vs. Whole

We offer GOTS certification for our entire mattresses, but that certification can also be for individual components. (Our entire manufacturing facility is GOTS certified.)  GOTS-certified components are great. However, if you want your entire mattress GOTS certified, be careful. Sometimes the GOTS logo is used to imply a whole product is certified when in reality only select components are.

 WHY CERTIFICATION? SO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING.

Look for the GOTS logo for organic authenticity

Look for the GOTS logo for organic authenticity

The bottom line is independent, legitimate organic certification lets you understand exactly what you’re getting, and not what a company wants you to think you’re getting.  Demand more and understand what a certification means.

Otherwise, you might just get a pretty logo and a bunch of chemicals.

Making Better Decisions: Eileen Fisher

Monday, May 5th, 2014

I have to admit I’m not much of a fashionista. I don’t quite follow the industry, which is not to say I don’t respect it or admire it. I just don’t necessarily prioritize my time or my budget as much as my friends do. When I do buy new things, I like classics and basics. And for convenience sake, I like washables. I just don’t have the time or patience for dry clean only.

Aside from the time and cost to take my “special” clothing to some other building and drop it off and pick it up, dry cleaning isn’t something that’s great for the environment. Why? Chemicals. Are they really necessary? I have countless items of clothes that suggest dry cleaning that went on the delicate cycle and once hung turned out fine. (Instinct and experience with a variety of laundered items prevails, please don’t send me your clothing bills if you test and ruin an item!)

So what are we to do when we need a red carpet worthy outfit that worn once requires a wash? Purchase the right fabrics – and even entire lines of clothing – in the first place! Don’t just read the tags to see if it’s your size, flip it over, see what it’s made with and manufacturers’ suggested laundering tips. Avoid buying those which are truly dry clean only. If you pay a little more for those items, count up your time, your transportation costs and that dry cleaning receipt you saved.

Is it possible? Of course. Where do you buy it? Well it’s as close as your local favorite department store. I just recently discovered Eileen Fisher clothing line. (If you’re thinking “Did you live in a hole?” refer the beginning of this blog post.) If you’re like me and haven’t heard of her, you’re welcome. A co-member of the Companies for Safer Chemicals Coalition, Eileen Fisher offers eco-friendly lines of clothes made with organic, sustainable and no-dry-cleaning-necessary textiles.

thisiseco

eileenfisher

And I’m sure you know how I feel about organic… Saving myself time on the laundry and saving the planet from pounds of insecticides to grow cotton? Two-for on this “Making Better Decisions” Monday.

Find out more about Eileen Fisher at eileenfisher.com, on Twitter see the #thisiseco campaign.

Naturepedic hosts gala for first Organic Mattress Gallery

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Hollywood celebrities,  organic and vegan food, wine, music and organic mattresses. Sounds like a party … And it was!

NPLAGO1 - StoreFront1NPLAGO2 -RibbonCutting

The Naturepedic Organic Mattress Gallery in Los Angeles hosted a lively Grand Opening Gala on Sunday, April 27. Festivities kicked off at noon when Debbie Levin, president of Hollywood’s Environmental Media Association, took charge of the giant scissors for the official ribbon cutting. A sunny California day added an extra special touch as Naturepedic founder Barry Cik rolled out the green carpet for the guests, literally. Of course an organic mattress store would have a green carpet!

NPLAGO3b - BarryCikFrancesFisher

Founder Barry Cik with actor Frances Fisher

NPLAGO7b - BarryCikWendieMalick

Founder Barry Cik with customer and actor Wendie Malick

NPLAGO11b - JenniJune

Celebrity Certified Sleep Consultant, Jenni June

NPLAGO14 - TedMetasCiksCharlieBeer

General Manager Ted Metas with Jason, Barry and Jeff Cik and VP of Operations, Charlie Beer

The gala proved to be loads of fun, with plenty of conversation, laughter and shared interests concerning healthier products. The event also marked an important milestone for Naturepedic, officially recognizing our first company-owned standalone showroom. We couldn’t have asked for a better day! If you’re out that way, make sure you visit our Los Angeles Organic Mattress Gallery at 456 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, one block south of Burton Way.

NPLAGO5b - ConstanceZimmer

Actor and customer, Constance Zimmer, lounges on a certified organic mattress

NPLAGO9 - JeffCikRaphaelSbarge

CEO Jeff Cik with actor and customer Raphael Sbarge

NPLAGO8b OmarosaOneeDebbieLevinWendieMalick

The Apprentice’s Omarosa with EMA’s Debbie Levin and actor and Naturepedic customer Wendie Malick

See all of the photos on our Facebook page! Or review the live-tweeting fun that was had with #NPLAGO 

Coping With This Year’s Allergy Season – The Worst In Years

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

pollen-grains-colorYou may have noticed that different species bloom at different times in the spring.  For months, we get to enjoy Mother Nature’s timetable. First we see little spring flowers poking their heads through the snow, then buds appear on the trees and not too much later, the grasses start budding and sporting their full color. By summer, they’re lush.  But for allergy sufferers, this schedule has special significance – the blooming season of each species is potentially something they dread. And this year is going to be worse than most.

Why? As with other tricks up Mother Nature’s sleeve, the bloom timetable is a result of a complexity of factors  -  just one of which is the weather.  And as anyone north of tropical or semi-tropical climes will attest, the recent winter was long and severe. Even now, near the beginning of May, there is still snow on the ground in some locations  – and the timetable is a mess.

Since it wasn’t warm enough for trees to get a head start on the grasses, they’re all going to be blooming at once. For allergy sufferers, that means a double or triple dose of the pollen they dread!

How Can You Meet the Challenge of All That Pollen?

Of course, you will have to follow your normal allergy routine, but pollen is only one source of onslaught to the immune system. If you can relieve the burden of other sources, you have a much better chance of fighting off the pollen.

How do you do that exactly?

Everything that is toxic to your body – whether ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin – sets your immune system into action. When the body has to deal with too many things, you wind up with symptoms of overload. In the case of pollen, those symptoms are usually a runny nose, difficulty breathing, swollen and itchy eyes, sometimes a rash, and so on.

The simple solution is to eliminate as many as possible of the other things putting demands on your immune system.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Stop eating food containing preservatives and other chemicals. Instead, choose fresh, organic produce, meat and poultry without hormones and antibiotics, and stay low on the sugar and other junk food. Not only will this relieve the chemical burden, it will actually boost the immune system.
  •  Switch out your furniture. Okay, that’s not so easy to do. Not all of us can afford to replace all their couches, chairs, tables, and so on with products that are made with organic materials or, at the very least, don’t contain chemicals that may be off-gassing toxic fumes into the air you’re breathing. But you can, and should, make some changes if at all possible. One good change to make is your beds – after all, you spend about eight hours a day in bed, with your nose very close to the mattress, not to mention breathing the bedroom air. This is especially important for kids, who don’t have the resources adults have to fight off allergies because their immune system is still developing.

At Naturepedic, we make organic crib mattresses and twin mattresses that are perfect for your kids. Not only are they free of toxic chemicals, some even have built-in dust mite barriers – dust mites can also cause reactions. Plus, our infant and kids’ mattresses don’t contain latex or wool, both of which can be a source of allergy or sensitivity.

I hope this helps you and your children to really enjoy the season and have a lovely spring!

A hidden guest bed with your Symphony organic mattress? Could be!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Call this a Symphony in Comfort

Call this a Symphony in Comfort

Psst. I’ve got some inside information for you. Naturepedic’s newly redesigned and sublimely comfortable Symphony organic pillowtop mattress offers a hidden “guest bed.”  We don’t market this as a feature, so this will be our little secret.

If you have a Symphony, I doubt you’ll be offering it to guests, not even to a favorite sister. With a base of two layers of support coils, each coil individually wrapped in certified organic cotton fabric and hand assembled, how can you be expected to go without that glorious support and isolation of movement? I’m not judging. I didn’t even mention the 1 inch of certified organic natural latex foam built into the base. Listen. I understand. The Symphony takes comfort to a remarkable level.

This base alone is already incredibly comfortable as a cushion firm mattress.

Of course on top of this base you have a two-sided pillowtop made with 3 inches of organic latex. One side of the pillowtop is deeply quilted for an uber-plush, luxurious feel. Flip the pillowtop over and you find a lower-fill quilt design that creates a firmer sensation while still delivering a plush level of support. Three sleep sensations, depending on your preference, or even mood.

So here is the secret.  If you’re in a pinch and need one more additional sleep surface, you can pull that lush pillowtop onto the floor for a comfy, cushy pad. You still get an incredible sleep sensation, and your guest(s) gets a cloud-like sleep surface better than any cot or couch could ever offer.

An "inside" peek at the Symphony

An “inside” peek at the Symphony

You’ll sleep satisfied. Instead of giving the shirt off your back, you’ll have given the top off your mattress, and that’s kind of the same thing, isn’t it?

Yes. It really is.

 

Earth Day Musings from Naturepedic

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

We’re about organic mattresses at Naturepedic so we love Earth Day as much as National Sleep Day (Jan. 3), World Sleep Day (March 14) and even National Sleep Week in March! A combination of better earth choices and sleep is our thing.

sprouts

Wake up the kid in you — it’s Earth Day!

Speaking for myself, I love the centering aspect of Earth Day; it reminds me to reexamine how my choices and actions affect the planet.

Instead of focusing on the gloom and doom of pollution and environmental degradation, I use Earth Day to recharge my energy toward positive action where I can make a difference.

Additionally, I use Earth Day to remember how cool our Earth is. If you’ve temporarily forgotten, go look at a spider web up close or at the sprouting plants all around to recapture some of that childlike wonder about planet Earth.

Competition for Planet Earth

green-city-feature

(c) City of Vancouver website

Five years ago, Vancouver (in Canada, not the state of Washington) kicked off its Greenest City Action Plan, a goal to become the greenest city in North America. They might be on to something.

Consider: a city collectively working for the bragging rights of being the greenest city. Instead of pouring money and energy into defeating and circumventing earth-friendly action, could cities, governments and companies use a spirit of competition to drive toward a healthier environment?

Top Cities for Earth Day Celebrations

According to a ranking by website SaveOnEnergy.com, Austin, Texas takes the top spot for Earth Day Celebrations in 2014 with their Austin Earth Day Festival. If you’re heading out to Austin, check out Naturepedic mattresses at The Clean Bedroom or Austin Natural Mattresses.

Earth Day Selfie

NASA is promoting aGlobalSelfie_shareable_FINAL Where Are You on Earth Right Now? #GlobalSelfie campaign. People tweet pics of where they are on the planet on Earth Day, April 22 using the hashtags #GlobalSelfie, #NASA #EarthDay. The campaign is part of their Earth Right Now campaign. Visit the NASA website to learn about the campaign and download Global Selfie signs.

 Happy, Healthy Earth Day from Your Friends at Naturepedic!

 

And remember: Sleep on a Naturepedic Organic Mattress and you’ll get to celebrate Earth Night, too!

 

Making Decisions Monday: The Honest Company

Monday, April 21st, 2014

“Making Decisions Monday” is a blogging series by Naturepedic marketing director and mom of one, Heidi Baumgart, and her path to making better purchasing decisions for her family.

Anchors

Meet Momo.

When I first became a parent, there was a lot to research in general about baby “stuff.” Of course the one thing that all my parent-friends joked about needing the most was diapers. Which to choose? Ads, coupons, product packaging overwhelm you when you stand at the wall-o-boxes at any retail establishment. Marketing message inundate you: best wetness protection, best fit, cute designs… What diapers were really best!? Yes, you’re on the Naturepedic blog, so yes, I considered cloth. My husband just didn’t love the thought of it. My mom had visions of 1980′s “rubber pants” that were bulky and a mess. So with two votes against one, we went with disposable.

buybuybaby

Let’s try a few designs too…

I believe in “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” so I’m won’t mention the diaper brands I have tried. Bulky, smelly, instant diaper rash with one brand! etc. And what is in them? Moving on.

When I first started working for Naturepedic, I heard about The Honest Company. Sounded good. Looked great! So off I went to our brand new local buybuybaby to purchase some in person.

Our nursery is nautical themed, so of course I grabbed the adorable anchor pattern.

Before I continue, full disclosure of course: The Honest Company didn’t ask me to write this, they aren’t paying me to write this, and I actually forgot my buybuybaby coupons so I paid full price for the diapers. 

I’m obsessed with the diapers. Seriously. And for a few reasons.

Momo checks out her new diapers.

Momo likes ‘em.

First of all: I know I made a better decision. The Honest Company diapers are made with PLA which is a potato starch plant based fiber. I know the benefits of PLA! We use the fabric made of corn and potatoes in some of our organic mattresses!

Secondly: They are free of: chlorine processing, latex, lotions, fragrances, common allergens, phthalates, optical brighteners, PVC, heavy metals, organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT) & harsh petrochemical additives. Well I love that. I know that using latex – even organic latex is a no-no for baby products because babies can be highly allergic to it! And, just like our crib mattresses, there’s no need for PVC or petrochemicals.

Third: Okay, plain old mom love here. They fit amazing. They are designed wonderfully and have you SEEN the cute designs? I love coordinating baby outfits anyways and now cute flowers or fruit or animals show instead of some over-marketed cartoon character.

So a necessary commodity becomes a smile a half a dozen times as day. Try ‘em. You like em, too. Our friend Beau of #theoandbeau wears The Honest Company diapers, too, and has a coupon code for you.

The Honest Company Shampoo/Body Wash

When you are out right now, Honest is in stores too!

P.S. If you’re an in-person shopper too, I found our other The Honest Company favorite: body wash/shampoo at Costco in a two pack. :)

Opinions DO matter!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

When it comes to buying new and more expensive products, the internet has been a saving grace for me.  I scour various sites and blogs for any reviews I can find so that I can make the most informed decision possible based on my needs and the experiences of my peers with similar products.  Getting actual user feedback on various models and brands, I feel more confident when I finally lay down my hard earned money.

Don’t just take our word for it!  Naturepedic has been working with bloggers for several years and we thought you would love an easy place to see our reviews.  We live in such a fast paced world that anything we can do to save you time in researching our products would be of value to you.

StumbleUpon.com is the perfect venue to provide this service to you.  Each week, we add new product reviews and blogger giveaways to our StumbleUpon Likes page.  We are also adding in all of our past reviews so you can have as many reviews to look through as possible for the products you are interested in.  There will be other interesting articles and press releases about our company that you might enjoy as well.
StumbleUponWhat a great way to collect all of your favorite information and sites in one spot for reading at a later time or to share with your friends and family.  If you like what you read, give a thumbs up and add the link to your own StumbleUpon page.  Be sure to Follow us so you can see when new reviews and giveaways come in. Start Stumbling?