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Organic Mattress Retailing Series – Part 5: Ancillary Certifications

Furniture World News Desk on 7/16/2023

by Barry A. Cik, Founder, Naturepedic

Previous installments in this series on organic mattress retailing, pointed out that the primary certification for organic mattresses is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). The GOTS certification program is endorsed by the USDA National Organic Program. GOTS certifies the entire finished product as “Organic” or as “Made With Organic,” depending on the percentages of certified organic fiber in a product. We will now review other main certification programs that are commonly associated with organic mattresses.

GOLS AND FSC LATEX: The filling material in organic mattresses cannot be polyurethane foam (which is explicitly prohibited by GOTS). As such, most organic mattresses are filled with latex—but not just any latex because most conventional latex is petroleum-based. The only latex permitted by GOTS is made from rubber tree sap—known as natural or organic latex. There are two latex certifications for organic mattresses; the GOLS certification (Global Organic Latex Standard) and FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council). For GOTS certified organic mattresses, the latex has must have either GOLS or FSC certification documentation.

ORGANIC CONTENT STANDARD (OCS): The OCS certification program is administered by Textile Exchange, “a global non-profit that describes itself as an organization that guides and supports “a growing community of brands, retailers, manufacturers, farmers, and others committed to climate action toward more purposeful production, right from the start of the supply chain. OCS certifies individual components, not finished mattresses. For example, the surface ticking mattress fabric can be OCS certified. Or, OCS certification can be expressed as a percentage of organic material in a product, for example, that a fabric contains 5% organic material. Textile Exchange has other certification programs that mattress retailers who sell organic mattresses may find useful including: the Content Claim Standard, the Recycled Claim Standard, the Responsible Wool Standard, the Responsible Down Standard, and more.

MADE SAFE: The MADE SAFE certification program  is not an organic certification per se. It can, however, be a valuable tool to demonstrate to customers that the materials used in mattresses labeled as organic are not likely to be questionable regarding toxicity. Basically, the MADE SAFE program reviews the ingredients used for all the components in a mattress then compares this list against known ingredients and chemicals considered to be toxic or questionable. If there are no conflicts, the mattress can be MADE SAFE certified.

GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD GOLD: GREENGUARD certification programs (which are part of Underwriter Laboratories – UL) test products for common emissions, such as volatile organic chemicals (VOC) and formaldehyde. GREENGUARD doesn’t focus on certifying materials. Instead, it focuses on chemical emissions, also known as “off-gassing,” released into the surrounding air. Organic mattresses easily pass. For example, certified organic and non-toxic mattresses (including Naturepedic’s) can have their measured VOC emissions multiplied by 25 or more, and still pass the GREENGUARD GOLD standard.

OTHER CERTIFICATIONS: Other certifications that can be helpful as well. These include, but are not limited to Certified Vegan, Oeko-Tex, Health Product Declaration, Green America, and more. Visit https://www.naturepedic.com/certifications for more information.


About Barry A. Cik: Barry A. Cik is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer and founder and technical director of Naturepedic Organic Mattresses & Bedding. Since 2003, Naturepedic has been on a mission to protect the lives of families through safer, healthier organic-based products that have a positive impact on the environment. A brand with purpose, transparency, and ethical practices, Naturepedic is the recipient of many certifications and is highly respected 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 nonprofits advocating for the “Right to Know” about what is in the products that people bring into their homes.

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