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Proposed SSA Changes Open for Comment

By Home Furnishings Business in Bedding on May 1, 2013

The Specialty Sleep Assn. is taking public comment from mattress/bedding vendors, retailers and the public on revisions to its Environmental & Safety Program.

A comment form is available here, and comments are due by 5 p.m. (eastern time) on Friday, May 31.

The SSA€™s Environmental & Safety Program was created in 2010 to help manufacturers to offer transparency/truth in "green" marketing to consumers, and to comply with the Federal Trade Commission€™s requirements for environmental marketing as outlined in its €œGreen Guides.€

€œIn May 2009, we realized that we did not have a level playing field for manufacturers wishing to market products with well-researched environmental claims,€ said Dale Read, president of the SSA. €œMost 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.

€œThe SSA Green Initiative Board made a commitment to updating the program on a regular basis," said Vicki Worden, president of Worden Associates and sustainability consultant to SSA. "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. The Seals and Tags (the flip side) detail the compliance Levels and complement the Consumer Disclosure Label that is also required to provide greater transparency to consumers.€

€œOverall, the program provides transparency to consumers plus a format for manufacturers to follow to help ensure their claims are substantiated,€ Read added.

The proposed changes to the program can be reviewed here. Public comments can be submitted by completing this form.

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