Forward-looking change of direction: Circularity for mattresses
Challenges for the mattress industry
There’s another reason why sustainability is a hot topic for mattress manufacturers. To help stimulate a sustainable economy, the Council of the European Union passed a new directive at the end of 2022. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, or CSRD for short, will require companies to publish detailed information relating to sustainability, so that it will be easier to hold them to account.
Making use of recycled resources would have additional advantages for mattress manufacturers. Just like other areas of industry, the sector is currently experiencing severe supply shortages. In the case of certain basic materials, there are only a few producers worldwide – a problem that lies behind the current supply bottlenecks and price rises and comes on top of the increased material, gas and electricity costs that are already impacting manufacturers.
Recycling and the transition to a pose a challenge for the mattress industry. Mattress production uses a variety of materials that are combined in such a way that they are difficult to recycle. Producers therefore need to work together to develop new recycling solutions.
New recycling solutions
Groundbreaking innovations for circular production models already exist in the industry. As an alternative to processing and later disposing of valuable raw materials, manufacturers are adopting the closed-loop principle. With this approach, the quality of the raw materials used is retained so that they can be returned to the cycle at the end of the product’s life without losing any of their value. What’s more, the recyclability of the individual components is taken into account right at the start of the production process.
Bio-based raw materials, the shift towards monomaterials, modular products and the use of recycled materials – it’s on the basis of examples like these that experts have identified a change of direction in the mattress industry. Companies like AGRO are showing how this can be achieved by continuously improving their pocket springs in line with the cradle-to-cradle principle and adapting their portfolio accordingly. Another example is the digital platform developed by the Belgian company BekaertDeslee, which can be used to correctly sort and recycle mattresses and their components at the end of their life.
With the Odoretion project, BekaertDeslee aims to improve living comfort in a novel, sustainable way. (Photo: © BekaertDeslee)
Future-oriented trends and topics
The Textile & Machinery Trend Forum at the upcoming interzum will showcase more ways in which the industry is making the waste-free mattress a reality. In keeping with the slogan, “Mattress recycling – from linear to circular”, innovative companies and international industry associations will present ideas, products and initiatives relating to the development of circular mattresses. The special event area will give insights into the entire mattress production and life cycle, starting with resources and ending with the reuse of individual materials.
What will mattresses be made of in the future? What is the monetary potential of recovering raw materials? What role does legislation play? These are just some of the questions of concern to the industry that the Textile & Machinery Trend Forum aims to address. In cooperation with the möbelfertigung B2B network from the Vincentz Network, insights and selected best-practice examples from the furniture production industry will be presented so that they provide a clear overview. Not only will the special event area offer guidance in a dynamically growing market, but it will also help to stimulate greater sustainability in the mattress industry and in the sleep sector as a whole.
Auping Evolve is a fully circular mattress made without foam and glue. (Photo: © Auping Germany GmbH)