SSA Opens Environmental & Safety Program to Public Comment

The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) seeks to notify mattress and bedding manufacturers and retailers that the association is accepting public comments on updates and revisions to the SSA Environmental & Safety Program, promoted through A comment form is provided at and comments are due by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 31.

The SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program was originally created in 2010 to help manufacturers to offer transparency in ‘green’ marketing to consumers, and to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements for environmental marketing as depicted in their “Green Guides.”

“In May 2009, we realized that we did not have a level playing field for manufacturers wishing to market products with well-researched environmental claims,” stated Dale Read, President of the SSA. “Most of the mistakes the industry makes when marketing environmental benefits are due to a lack of understanding of the true definitions of the environmental terminology, as well as a lack of knowledge of third-party certifications and regulations that exist to substantiate these claims.”

The SSA ‘s Green Initiative, launched in the summer of 2010, resulted in the creation of a Glossary of Terms Frequently Used in Environmental Marketing and the three-tiered Seal/Tag marketing program recognizing manufacturers that are taking steps to bring a more transparent product to consumers.

Vicki Worden, President of Worden Associates, Inc. and sustainability consultant to SSA, states that, “The SSA Green Initiative Board made a commitment to updating the program on a regular basis. The changes in this round of updates include the addition of a Level IV recognizing finished mattresses that are third-party certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard. Additional third-party certification programs have also been added to Levels II, III and IV.” She noted, “The Seals and Tags detail the compliance Levels and complement the Consumer Disclosure Label that is also required to provide greater transparency to consumers.”

Read concludes, “Overall, the program provides transparency to consumers plus a format for manufacturers to follow to help ensure their claims are substantiated.”

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About the Specialty Sleep Association: SSA is a national, not-for-profit organization created to facilitate the growth and positive awareness of the specialty sleep category. Its members develop or sell specialty sleep products including natural/bio-based and organic bedding, latex, memory foam, air, gel, water, adjustable, new spring technologies and related products. SSA membership includes more than 100 manufacturers and retailers ranging from small, family-owned businesses to large corporations.