How to Buy an Organic Mattress Online

Searching for the most comfortable mattress can be super challenging, whether you’re looking online or in stores or both. Make it an organic mattress search to avoid toxic chemicals like flame retardants and petrochemical foams, and you’ve got a multi-layered puzzle to solve.

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With so many companies advertising “natural” and “organic” mattresses, there’s the added challenge of sifting through false claims. Use the search terms “certified organic mattress” instead of “natural,” “green,” “eco-friendly,” or even “organic mattress.”

Since Lifekind mattresses hold third-party organic certifications – GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) for our natural rubber latex mattresses, and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for our innerspring mattresses – there’s no way toxic chemicals can be used in the growing or processing of the materials or be added to the finish product. So that makes them a natural choice for those seeking the purest mattresses available.

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Customers call us up and ask, “How can someone pick out a mattress over the phone?” The short answer is, “Have an in-depth consultation.” While there are a number of people who absolutely must try them in stores, most people feel very confident they’ve made the best choice after a 10-20 minute conversation with an organic-mattress product specialist. While we try our best to get it right the first time, we do offer a 90-night comfort exchange policy so you won’t end up stuck with a mattress that doesn’t fit your needs. Three months is a much better trial period than 5 or 10 minutes in a store!

Sylvia at Lifekind
Contact Lifekind

If you’re ready for a free, personal sleep consultation, or simply have questions, please call our friendly product specialists at 1-800-284-4983.

Gots Certified Products – Good News for Organic Shoppers

In the world we live in, sadly we can’t always take things at face value. Take, for example, the term “organic.” As you may have read in our recent blog about the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), technically only textiles that are certified organic can be called organic. But with the growing number of “natural” and “organic” products available, it is easy to become a little skeptical…after all, is anyone really holding all of these companies accountable?

It turns out, the answer is “yes.” A few months ago, in the US District Court of Virginia, GOTS won a civil action against a number of companies that were mislabeling and/or falsely advertising their products as “organic.” The case led to a permanent injunction that impedes the unauthorized use of the GOTS logo. Within a matter of weeks, GOTS had also filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to detail the prevalent misuse of the term “organic” in relation to textiles. You can read the full article here.

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This is good news, not only for manufacturers of truly organic products (like Lifekind), but also for consumers everywhere! As Herbert Ladwig, the GOTS Managing Director, put it: “The lawsuit and FTC complaint should send a clear message to the textile sector that unauthorized and unsubstantiated claims that textile products are ‘organic’ or GOTS-certified will not be tolerated.” This lack of tolerance for misleading claims means more transparency in textile marketing… and that should give consumers more confidence when shopping for things like organic clothing or bedding.

Of course, as a consumer, it is still a good idea to do your homework and to verify organic claims (especially with large purchases, like mattresses). Keep in mind that you can always search directly for producers and products in the public database on the GOTS website.

Happy organic shopping!

GOT GOTS? The Logo to Look For on Cotton Products

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By now it’s clear to most Americans that organic food is more healthful, and organic farming practices are safer for the Earth than conventional methods. When we shop organic it’s always comforting to see third-party organic certifications, because “natural” can mean whatever the manufacturer would like it to. If a food product is labeled “organic,” however, it must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.

Soft, breathable cotton — our favorite textile to wear and wrap up in bed with — has dirty secrets that have long gone unchecked, a fact about which most of America has no idea. Cotton is considered the world’s most toxic crop. (Check out the approximately 20 million results for “toxic cotton” on Google.)

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Organic cotton, like organic food, uses less water, doesn’t poison the soil and its farmers, and isn’t treated with toxic chemical finishing agents. In the U.S., the claim “organic” on textiles is protected by the government. Only textiles labeled with a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) logo can be claimed as organic.

Check out this simple GOTS video to learn more:

Below are some resources to help you learn about the toxic cotton industry.

Let’s start a clean cotton revolution!

How to get rid of chemicals in fabrics (Hint: trick question)

Chemical cotton 

Fact sheet on U.S. cotton subsidies and production

Lifekind Contest: July 4th Travel Pillow and Personal-Care Kit Giveaway

July 4th Travel Giveaway

It’s Giveaway Time! In the spirit of healthy things for all Americans, Lifekind is giving away a gift each month…for FREE! July’s giveaway includes one organic Travel Pillow, available in tan or sage, plus one Naturally Safer™ Personal-Care Travel Kit, available in lavender or unscented. Total retail value is $103.95!

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This patriotic, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)-certified organic cotton travel-size pillow is made right here in California, has a removable colorgrown organic cotton gingham cover, and is filled with Texas-grown, NOP (National Organic Program)-certified organic cotton. View full description here: https://goo.gl/l0qRDQ

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travelkit800_04 Skip the chemical laden hotel soap and hair care and wash up Naturally Safer™ with travel size shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, liquid soap, and bar soap – designed to meet airline restrictions on carry-on luggage. View our Personal-Care Travel Kit here: https://goo.gl/O2lSoF

 

Here’s to good health and safe travels, and thank you for participating!

 

Terms and Conditions: Giveaway ends July 16, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Open to residents of the U.S. only, age 18+. Products offered for the giveaway are free of charge,;no purchase is necessary to enter or win. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. The winner will be selected at random (by Random.org) and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+. Lifekind will use the information provided in this form only for the purpose of contacting the winner.
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Are there federal requirements for calling a mattress “organic”?

Answer: Yes. And verifying these requirements is the only way to make sure you’re not falling victim to fraudulent advertising claims when shopping for an organic mattress.

The government agency that controls use of the word “organic” is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Title XXI of the 1990 Farm Bill, otherwise known as The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.

This Act established national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products in order to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard and to facilitate fairness within interstate commerce.

USDA control over use of the word “organic” extends to non-edible agricultural crops such as cotton and rubber trees, and further extends to non-edible products derived from livestock, such as wool.

To call any of these raw materials “organic,” each producer must meet the requirements listed in the Act and subject its facility and products to annual audit by a USDA-approved “certifying agent.”

Furthermore, for a complex finished textile product, such as a mattress, to be called organic it must be composed of a minimum of 95% certified raw materials as listed above. Then independently, the company manufacturing the mattress must also meet the requirements as listed in the Act and to subject its facility and finished products to an independent annual textile audit to standards such as GOTS, by a USDA-approved certifying agent.

Therefore, to call a mattress “organic” or to sell it as such, the company producing the mattress must earn independent organic status and be awarded an organic certificate annually in their name. This means that a mattress cannot be called organic simply because it is made up of one, some, or even all organic raw materials. It is the “certifying agent” that substantiates that the organic claim being made is actually true. It must be a USDA-approved certifying agent, who through an audit process can give a company legitimate claim or right to use the term “organic.”

Legislation in the United States established the Federal Trade Commission Act in1914. Under this Act, the Commission is empowered to, among other things, prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive consumer acts or representations affecting commerce.

If a company calls its product “organic” and its facility, methods, and specific products have not been awarded organic status by a USDA-approved certifying agent, that claim is deceptive, and constitutes an unfair method of competition in the marketplace. Unfair marketing claims fall under the purview of the FTC.

Specific to environmental claims, the FTC has published the “Green Guide.” While the guide defines a number of environmental terms and correct use and association of logos and seals, the primary emphasis of the document is substantiation. Environmental marketing claims must be substantiated.

Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits deceptive acts and practices in or affecting commerce. A representation, omission, or practice is deceptive if it is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances and is material to consumers’ decisions. See FTC Policy Statement on Deception, 103 FTC 174 (1983). To determine if an advertisement is deceptive, marketers must identify all express and implied claims that the advertisement reasonably conveys. Marketers must ensure that all reasonable interpretations of their claims are truthful, not misleading, and supported by a reasonable basis before they make the claims. See FTC Policy Statement Regarding Advertising Substantiation, 104 FTC 839 (1984).

In the context of environmental marketing claims, a reasonable basis often requires competent and reliable scientific evidence. Such evidence consists of tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by qualified persons and are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results. Such evidence should be sufficient in quality and quantity based on standards generally accepted in the relevant scientific fields, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scientific evidence, to substantiate that each of the marketing claims is true.

James Kohm is the Associate Director for the Enforcement Division of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. In that capacity, he oversees enforcement of all consumer protection orders and the Commission’s Green Marketing program. When Mr. Kohm spoke on January 27, 2013 at the World Market Center, he made clear that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not define what is or can be called organic. The FTC can conduct investigations relating to the organization, business, practices, and management of entities engaged in commerce and seek monetary redress and other relief for conduct injurious to consumers and other businesses from unsubstantiated environmental claims. Review the following links that report FTC investigation of unsubstantiated claims:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2013/07/three-companies-barred-advertising-mattresses-free-volatile

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/01/ftc-settlement-ends-tested-green-certifications-were-neither

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2009/08/ftc-charges-companies-bamboo-zling-consumers-false-product-claims

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/01/ftc-approves-final-orders-settling-charges-three-companies-made

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/06/ftc-brings-second-case-year-against-plastic-lumber-products?utm_source=govdelivery

 

At Lifekind, we’ve worked hard to establish and maintain a comprehensive organic program. This ensures the creation and assurance of certified organic goods. Testing, quality assurance, lot tracking, purchasing organic raw materials (despite the higher cost), and spending thousands annually on auditing are just a few of the ways in which we keep our rigorous organic program in place. Third-party certification is the only thing protecting us from companies that do none of these things, but would try nevertheless to reap marketing dollars by fraudulently associating the term “organic” with their products.

It does not fall to the consumer or retailer to judge what is or is not organic. For a company to call its products “organic” it must have been granted organic status by a USDA-approved “certifying agent.” The consumer need only confirm a valid certificate with the company’s name and products listed, not a certification showing he name of a grower or producer. At Lifekind, we’ve covered all the bases, so you can “rest” assured you’re purchasing a TRULY organic mattress.

Lifekind Organic Mattress Profile: The Combo Natural Rubber Latex / Innerspring

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The Combo organic mattress is often the best choice for people who prefer the traditional “bouncy” feel of an innerspring mattress yet want the cushiony comfort of natural rubber latex. It’s also ideal for sleepers of different weights and statures who share a bed.

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Lifekind Combo Organic Mattress cutaway

Available in two versions, the one-sided, non-flippable Combo has a two-inch layer of natural rubber added to the top of the innerspring core, and the two-sided, flippable Combo has two inches of natural rubber added to both sides.
Either version of the Combo can be supported by a boxspring for added “give” and softness, or by a wood-slat foundation or platform- style bed for a firmer, more stable feel.

Click here to view more details and pricing: http://goo.gl/YmokOa

As always, Lifekind’s Product Specialists are happy to answer all your product questions or help you decipher which firmness or type of mattress is best for your personal needs, and can be reached between 7:30 and 5:00 Monday through Friday Pacific time at 800-284-4983. Give us a call!

Our independent third-party certifications are shown below:

GOLS •  Certified to the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)

 

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•  20-year limited warranty, and meets the GREENGUARD® product emission standard

 

 

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• GOTS prohibits the use of ingredients like formaldehyde, GMOs, heavy metals, copper, fumigants, fluorocarbons, aromatic solvents, and chlorophenols in any part of the production process. Raw materials known to be toxic (to the earth, the ozone layer, or any living organism) are also prohibited. Additionally, GOTS explicitly requires that organic materials do not come in contact with non–organic materials.

Best Organic Kids Mattress

Kids breathe and absorb toxic chemicals on an ordinary mattress!

A kids mattress SHOULD be nontoxic. Conventional mattresses are made from an array of petrochemicals, synthetic materials and chemical additives (flame retardant chemicals, mercury, boric acid, and formaldehyde).  Kids spend a lot of time on their mattresses especially when they are very young.  Sleep is important for healthy development, not to mention their mood. Do you spend the extra time to provide your kids with healthy food to put in their bodies?  Don’t you want your kids to spend the time that is supposed to rejuventate their minds and bodies in a clean, nontoxic environment?

The Shasta – Best Organic Kids Mattress

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Lifekind’s Hand-Tufted Natural Rubber certified organic twin mattress (The Shasta) is the best organic mattress for kids.  It is our most budget-friendly natural rubber latex organic mattress.

Fire Protection Done Wrong 

Conventional mattresses are drenched in toxic chemical flame retardants.  Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used in conventional mattresses to lower the risk and slow the spread of fire.  How many kids do you know who are smoking a cigar when they go to bed?   When kids sleep at night, they breathe in the PBDEs that offgas from the mattress. 2010 study found that “children with higher concentrations of PBDE congeners in their umbilical cord blood at birth scored lower on tests of mental and physical development between the ages of one and six. Developmental effects were particularly evident at four years of age, when verbal and full IQ scores were reduced 5.5 to 8.0 points for those with the highest prenatal exposures.”  There is a ton of information on the internet about the risks of exposer to PBDEs, so why not avoid the risk altogether?  

Other flame-retardant chemicals currently approved for use in mattresses include:

Antimony, a metal that may be more toxic than mercury
Boric acid, a toxic respiratory irritant used as an insecticide
Formaldehyde, which has been classified as a known human carcinogen

Fire Protection Done Right 

My favorite thing about Lifekind certified organic mattresses (that’s a mouthful!) is the absence of chemical flame retardants.  Not only are their organic mattresses made completely from certified organic materials, but they aren’t dipped in chemical flame retardants.  A lot of companies that, claim to be organic use kevlar as their flame retardant. Kevlar is a petrochemical material used in bullet-proof vests. Not Lifekind – we just use naturally safer Wool!  The Shasta organic kids mattress has passed the same flame retardant tests that chemical laden mattresses pass, so you are not risking any fire danger by choosing the organic option.  The secret? The Naturally Safer® pure wool under the cover is packed tightly.  I know, it seems so simple.

Lifekind’s Organic Mattress Factory’s Burn Test – OMI

Organic Certifications

GOLSThis organic kids mattress is filled with GOLS certified organic latex rubber and has layers of Naturally Safer® pure wool beneath the certified organic cotton surface of the mattress to create natural flame protection.  

 

GREENGUARD_Gold_RGB_GreenLifekind’s organic kids Shasta mattress is Greenguard Certified, which means that it has extremely low chemical emissions.  Why is that important?  It lets you know that you can trust Lifekind’s claim that this product is safe, that a third party has tested it.  Your child will be sleeping in a high-quality, nontoxic, organic natural mattress.  Reducing your child’s exposer to harmful chemicals at night.

 

gots-logo_cmyk_epsKOLifekind’s factory, located in Northern California, is the first and only large-scale 100%-organic mattress Eco-Factory™ in North America. Oregon Tilth has certified our entire facility to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). That means that every product that is made in this factory is organic.

 Provide your child with safe and healthy sleep.

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This is my son, Daniel, on a Lifekind organic mattress. Made in America!

Here are some of the features of the Shasta that make it such a great organic option for children:

•  Filled with 6” of pure shredded natural organic rubber

•  Layers of Naturally Safer® pure wool beneath the surface of the certified organic cotton cover, which provide extra cushioning and natural flammability protection

•  Medium-firm feel

•  Mold-, mildew-, and dust-mite resistant (reduces allergy exposure)

•  Metal-free

•  Available in twin and twin extra-long only

•  Depth: Approximately 7”

•  Handmade in the USA

•  90-Day Comfort Exchange

•  20-year limited warranty

Can you reduce your child’s chemical exposure at night while a chemical mattress is still in their bedroom?

An Organic Barrier Cover can help reduce your childs exposure to dust mites, but not to toxic outgassing.  You should not purchase a plastic cover because it will offgas on its own.

Use a HEPA filter to clean the air

Vacuum your child’s room option

Use a wet cloth to remove dust

Use organic pillows

 Lifekind’s other Organic Options

Lifekind also has several other organic mattress choices for kids that also ship free the month of May 2014.  My 3 boys spent their early years on a Lifekind Organic Natural Rubber Crib Mattress, which I am now handing down to my little brother.  This organic mattress was built to last.  I used organic flannel and moisture pads on it and it still looks brand new, 9 years later.  I am glad that I reduced my children’s exposure to chemicals.

Sources:

Sleep Safe in a Toxic World

Organic Mattresses, Inc. passes CPSC flammability audit

Dr Mercola article – Is your mattress making you sick

http://www.achildgrows.com/organic-twin-matresses-what-to-look-for-and-where-to-find-them/

http://livewholebefree.com/wordpress/how-to-avoid-harmful-toxins-in-mattresses/

http://productguide.ulenvironment.com/ProductDetail.aspx?productID=20871

Greenguard.org

Prenatal Exposure to PBDEs and Neurodevelopment

GOLS certification