25 February 2020 | NEWS
A veritable green wave has flooded the media landscape. At Elite, the environmental aspect was never just a fad: this issue has always been at the heart of our concerns. For 125 years we have been working for your well-being, based on local, responsible and rigorously controlled production. Our Ecolabel certified bedding is our commitment to your health as well as to tomorrow’s world.
« How sad to think that nature speaks and that mankind does not listen » – Victor Hugo.
Climate change, biodiversity loss, depleted natural resources; our environment is being consumed at an unprecedented pace on a planetary scale. The damage directly affects our health as well as our own lives however, an ecological conscience is gradually emerging in the minds of consumers, encouraging them to become aware of their own environmental impact and to adopt eco-responsible consumption. Anyone can decide to be part of the ecological transition and there is no need to adopt untenable and extreme resolutions. Caring about one’s water and electricity consumption, sorting waste: there are many simple, responsible and economic eco-aware citizen actions that contribute to the sustainable development of our modern societies. This eco-awareness also includes the elements of everyday living such as bedding.
The skin is the largest organ of the body. It absorbs everything that comes into contact with it through pores. In his two reference works, « Sleep Safe in a Toxic World » and « Toxic Bedrooms », the author Walter Bader suggests that the average conventional mattress contains more chemical and toxic products than a barrel of oil. Significant levels of invisible chemicals may thus be breathed and absorbed through the skin while we sleep. How is such a thing possible?
Currently, there are no official regulations requiring large mattress manufacturers to disclose their manufacturing secrets. Also, many mattresses sold around the world are veritable time bombs, made of toxic and highly flammable components. Beware of manufacturers adept at « greenwashing » who use ecology as a selling point in order to enhance their brand image. Respect for the environment is a real and substantial long term commitment. Simple sales arguments cannot erase the lack of transparency of large industrial groups regarding the composition of their products.
The bedroom in which we spend 1/3 of our life, should be a haven of peace and above all a non-toxic environment. For example, increasing numbers of consumers are avoiding exposure to chemicals by choosing organic, GMO-free foods. Our efforts must not neglect our bedding: investing in a certified mattress made of natural and durable materials is a direct investment for your health.
In recognition of our commitment to sustainable development, in 2011 and again in 2016, Elite earned the European Ecolabel certification for all our mattresses. This Ecolabel is based on a comprehensive approach that recognises products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution as well as recycling and final disposal after use. Confident of the quality of our products, our mattresses and boxsprings are guaranteed for life: sustainable development means above all manufacturing products that last a long time without losing their qualities.
Moreover, Elite also has the Swiss-Made label awarded for local production and a selection of high-grade natural and/or regional raw materials. This choice is part of a strategy of rigorous and total control of the value chain in order to guarantee standards and quality, limit transport and maintain excellent relationships with a small select group of suppliers. The partners and suppliers chosen by Elite are also highly involved in an ecological approach. Each follows strict recommendations and guarantees, in their field and via various industry labels, to ensure the quality and ecological footprint of their raw materials supplied to Elite.
In terms of recycling, Elite offers a second life to valid mattresses via charitable associations, and by using certain padding for the insulation materials, and finally by burning them to generate electricity. We also recycle new padding scraps to make new padding. We shred leftover foam to make cushion stuffing. Finally, we use wood scrap and sawdust to heat the cabinetmaking workshops.
Via our Smart Lease programme, Elite provides durable bedding to hoteliers so that we can maintain mattresses professionally, making them last. This approach helps to avoid massive production and consumption of mattresses, thereby reducing the environmental impact of every hotel. With the WoodenBoxspring, Elite developed the first wooden spring (spruce) on the world market. This spring is made with Swiss wood from low-intensity exploitation. It helps to reduce the ecological footprint considerably as it is 100% recyclable. These two innovations are just a part of the company’s responsible commitment.
As an economic player, today’s challenge is not to produce but to share. The question is not how to revive consumption but rather how to share for a better world. Bolstered by these values, Elite aims to grow healthily to become a responsible business model and to lead the mattress industry by demonstrating that sustainable economic models are also viable. Mattresses are currently considered to be a consumer good whereas at Elite, we consider it as a good investment.
According to the Sustainable Development Goals blueprint of the United Nations, adopted by all member states in 2015, Elite is part of a development approach aiming to balance social, economic and environmental sustainability. By combining age-old knowledge and new technologies to meet environmental challenges, Elite is positioning itself as an example for all Swiss industry and desires to inspire future generations by multiplying partnerships with Swiss universities and colleges, such as ETHZ and EPFL, to develop smart products.
Choosing Elite means engaging your consumer responsibility, by opting for sustainable quality products, designed to care for your health and well-being as well as being environmentally friendly.
Elite presented the Hotelite range and the ingenuity of Smart Lease at the SIA show which was held from 9 to 11 October in Rimini.