Are you sleeping sustainably?
Sustainability is rapidly becoming one of the key considerations for many homeowners who are looking to purchase new furniture, and no doubt one of the biggest items to consider within this area is the bed.
As a luxury British bed manufacturer which has always made its beds in Buckinghamshire, Hypnos is at the forefront of sustainability and is currently celebrating its seventh year as a carbon neutral company.
Here, Chris Ward, Group Marketing Director at Hypnos, is on hand to offer environmentally conscious consumers some advice on what to look out for when buying a new bed.
“At Hypnos we are fully committed to protecting and preserving our environment. We believe that TOGETHER we can make a difference, so ethical design and the sourcing of sustainable materials is at the heart of our philosophy and that of many of our customers.
“If you’re looking to purchase an environmentally-friendly bed for your home, then our first piece of advice would always be to research the bed manufacturer and look into what materials are being used in the product.
“For example, at Hypnos we only use natural and ethically sourced materials. There’s no foam or memory foam in our beds, as these are not only un-sustainable fabrics, they can also make you hot and clammy in the night, leading to a restless night’s sleep.
Instead we use natural materials in our mattresses by working with world leading groups to source the very best products. This includes obtaining the finest quality wool from Wools of New Zealand, whose wool provides supreme comfort and helps to regulate body temperature for a great night’s sleep. This wool also has an incredibly low environmental impact and a 30% lower carbon footprint than UK wool thanks to the fact it meets the highest standards for sustainable and efficient farming practice, has a lower wool yield and we can fully trace exactly where and how the wool has come about. The company has outstanding ethical levels when it comes to animal husbandry and welfare, as well as a responsible approach to land management in a unique environment. Add to this our special fibre made from recycled polymer-based bottles, which allows air to easily pass through it, and you have a cooler, breathable sleeping surface.
“It’s also important to consider the materials used in the divan base or headboard and that these can be tracked or traced back to green or ecologically sound sources. Look for FSC® or PEFC™ certified timbers, such as those used by Hypnos, as this means the wood has been sourced from managed forests in a responsible manner.
“Secondly, it’s important to consider the lifetime of the bed you’re purchasing. A new bed should come with a guarantee to last around 10 years. This means your bed won’t need replacing after a few years, all of which helps to conserve resources and lessen waste.
“Additionally, does the bed come from a carbon neutral company, meaning that the business takes great strides to offset its carbon footprint and puts the environment at its heart? Hypnos was the first carbon neutral bed maker in the world and the only bed company to have held the carbon neutral status since 2011, offsetting a total of 5,905 tonnes of CO2 since that time. In fact last year alone we planted 600 trees in schools in our community to help towards this.
“It’s also important to find out what happens to your old bed when it’s taken away. Traditionally old mattresses end up at landfill sites where they can take over 10 years to decompose. And with each double mattress taking up around 23 cubic feet of landfill space, that’s a lot of wastage impacting the environment for a long amount of time.
“With a clear focus on sustainable design, all Hypnos beds are 100% recyclable ensuring they never go to landfill. Indeed Hypnos has also developed a disposal and recycling service for old beds and mattresses which is available through the retailers we work with.
“If you want to be ethical on all fronts, then ask your retailer if it offers a service that involves the de-construction of your old bed or mattress, creating recycled raw materials for re-use in other industries. This will ensure your mattress doesn’t end up languishing in a landfill site.
“For a truly sustainable product, delve as deep as you can and take a look to see what else the company does from a social responsibility or ethical standpoint. Does it run its workshops or factories using sustainable energy or have any water saving measures in place perhaps? Our Castle Donington site runs on a biomass heating system, which was installed as part of our goal to protect the environment. This renewable heating source uses wood pellets, meaning no fossil fuels are burned.
“In addition to this we’re also involved in international sustainability projects including supporting the reduction of deforestation in Brazil and helping supply clean water in Uganda, reinforcing our commitment to creating a low carbon world.
“Finally, it might seem overwhelming when you first start looking for an eco-bed, but the key things are to ask yourself are does the company source their materials responsibly and does it operate in an ethical manner? And don’t forget about your old bed. Remember to think about how to get rid of it in a sustainable way and if the retailer will offer you a recycling service for this.
“Then, once you’ve found a few viable bed options, the next step is to make sure you go and test them out in person to ascertain if they offer the right level of comfort and support for you. After all, it’s not sustainable if you order a bed only to find it’s not right and needs to be returned, so make sure you allow enough time to test it out and are completely happy with it before purchasing.”