“E-1 classification”? “All-natural Latex”? Why natural and sustainable terms are important for your home
When you are buying items for your home, whether it’s furniture, or bedding, even flooring, you want them to be of the highest quality. You also want them to be safe and healthy for your family.
We talk about “organic” and “natural”, and even that products are classified by how healthy they are. But what do those terms and ideas really mean?
At their base elements, these ideas simply explain how items are manufactured, what materials they use, and what chemicals they might have inside. They are sometimes rated by various organizations, to their own specifications. Other terms are traditionally used for specific ideas, or methods and uses.
Here are some of the terms we use to explain our products, and hopefully it will be a good reference to use not only with our products, but with other natural and organic products as well.
- ITTO Certification
The ITTO Sustainable Forest Management Certificate certifies and verifies that production materials are from forests that are well-managed and legally harvested, as defined by their comprehensive list of written regulations and standards to ensure responsible management for sustainable forests. The real benefit is that it is now possible to purchase beautiful, high-quality furniture that really is good for the environment. Yours and the planet's.
- “E-1” classification
This rating system is based on ratings from E-1 (best) to E-5 (worst), created by the European Union in Brussels, and is the most stringent rating system for furniture products in the world. It means is that the item has been manufactured in a way that uses less toxic materials and does not off-gas any by-product gasses into the home environment. Many other furniture pieces found on the market today emit a whole range of chemical gasses, and many are known carcinogens. It is an important idea to keep in mind when shopping for new furniture, that you’ll be using for many years.
- All Natural Latex
“All-natural latex” is an all-natural form of foam rubber created from the sap of the Asian Rubber Tree. This natural material does not off-gas toxic gasses into the sleeping environment as do synthetic foams used in most futons. In addition, the latex core of a mattress or futon should be 100% latex, as opposed to a blended latex, whereby latex and synthetic polystyrene petrochemicals are blended together. Latex foam is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. In addition, Latex rubber is naturally dust mite resistant. For more about natural latex in mattresses, click here.
- Organic materials
You don’t want your furniture or bedding to include synthetic foam cores, pesticide-treated cotton batting or polyester shells. Many mattresses and futons today are made from cotton stuffing and synthetic, polyester-based foam cores. Petrochemical foams off-gas a whole list of toxins into the sleeping environment. In addition, although cotton is a natural material, standard cotton used in bedding is grown using tons of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. With organic wool interior layers, processed without the use of chemical cleansers or dyes and with no chemical flame retardant powders or sprays, mattresses can still meet all federal flammability standards. What that means to you is no dangerous chemical off gassing into your sleeping environment, resulting in healthier night's rest.
These are only a few of the important terms you might need when buying furniture. It is important to research the terms and ideas behind items that you will have in your home for many years, and each manufacturer has different terminology they use.
Furniture should last a lifetime, and should be safe and healthy for your home and family. By keeping in mind the health and sustainability of your furniture, you can enjoy your home for years to come.
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