The Trick of the Track: Forest Stewardship Council® / Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance

Naturepedic seeks the best materials to create comfortable, healthy sleep products. To source such materials, we demand independent certifications: cotton filling certified organic by the USDA, latex certified organic to the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), natural wool certified to one or more organic standards. An entire Naturepedic mattress is then certified organic and non-toxic to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Certifications are one of the ways we find the good stuff. There is another important aspect to third-party certifications, though, which concerns what happens to the land and farmers. For example, GOTS and GOLS certifications don’t just mean certified organic. They also mean materials made and harvested responsibly considering worker welfare along the entire supply chain, from the first little spout of a cotton plant to the final manufacturing step in the mattress. In looking at the impact of materials way before they show up in a mattress, Naturepedic has earned Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain of Custody certification (FSC license code: FSC-C123979) for natural latex meeting FSC standards. FSC-certification ensures that forestry products meet rigorous environmental, social and economic criteria to protect lands, ecosystems and workers. To secure this tricky-to-get certification, we worked with Rainforest Alliance, a respected certifying body for FSC. Rainforest Alliance is known for their recognizable Rainforest Alliance Certified frog, found on certified products from chocolate to furniture to tourism lodges. If you see the frog certification on a product, you know the product originates on or contain ingredients sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms or forests. These farms and forests meet a wide range of conservation, worker welfare and sustainability criteria that are in place to take care of the planet and the people on that planet. In earning FSC/Rainforest Alliance certification, we designed an approved Chain of Custody system. In sourcing natural latex, especially since we also demand certified organic latex, we understood that our preference to source FSC-certified latex needed to be tempered with the realities of material availability. We understood that not all GOLS-certified latex would always be FSC-certified (even though we are working to find latex meeting both standards). By developing a robust Chain of Custody system, we put in place a system of checks and balances that identifies and labels FSC (and non-FSC) certified latex from the moment the material comes off the delivery truck. This system allows the FSC-certification status of the latex to be identified and verified at every single step of the manufacturing process. While we use a LOT of FSC-certified latex, we’ve chosen to not display the frog on mattresses just yet. While we could, we’re holding off until we can ensure every one of latex mattresses, and not just some, use FSC-certified latex. That’s how we do things – either we do it all the way, or we don’t do it. FSC/Rainforest Alliance certification is just one more added effort we make to locate materials both good for you and for the planet. We will continue these efforts. After all, we’re all on the same planet!