Recycling, upcycling, downcycling and circularity. Many different definitions are being used when it comes to sustainable mattresses. So much that if you want to remember all of them, it could keep you up nights. Therefore a simple explanation of this matter.
Recycling is the umbrella that includes various forms of reuse. Upcycling is a form of recycling in which a high-quality material is made from low-grade material. Think of the plastic waste that sports brands use to manufacture sneakers or mattresses of which the cover is made of ocean plastic.
Downcycling is the form of recycling in which the material is used once or twice in a low-grade product. The foam from the comfort layer of mattresses is then reused to make a judo mat, underlay or sound insulation. It is positive that such a mattress does not end up directly in the garbage dump. However, after a new life as a mat, the ingredients of this mattress still end up in landfill. Such a shame.
Circularity is the highest form of recycling. All the materials in a product can then be reused endlessly. Time and time again they can be recycled at the same high-quality level. The loop is closed, no value is lost and there is no waste. That is circular. And that starts with the design of a product. And this is exactly what Auping does.
You have probably already seen a lonely, discarded mattress on a street corner or on the roadside. Perhaps you have even put one outside yourself before, for collection with the rubbish. It was probably no longer comfortable. Or perhaps your relationship caused you to outgrow it. So no wonder it was time for a new mattress. But did you know that, we all throw away a total of about one and a half million mattresses every year in the Netherlands? Many mattresses are burned or end up on the rubbish dump. We were keen to find a solution.
Our aim is for less mattresses to end up on the rubbish dump. That’s why we teamed up with Niaga® to create a circular mattress. This is a mattress made with decent and healthy materials, which can be infinitely recycled to make a new mattress. So forget the foam that is difficult to process, but found in just about every mattress. Instead, we turned to innovative alternatives made of ventilating and recyclable textiles. The special thing about this mattress is that we can easily separate the different components later on. This is normally very difficult, because everything is glued together. However, we use thread and a very special glue (wait for it: a ‘detachable adhesive’), which makes the impossible possible. This may sound insignificant, but in the world of beds it is a real revolution.
The fact we are doing all we can to put less pressure on the planet and give it a rest means we also think it is important for mattress production and recycling to be done as locally as possible. That’s why our partners and producers are located close (within a radius of 300 kilometres) to our green factory in Deventer, Holland.
Our circular mattress is not only good for the environment, it is also really good for a great night’s sleep. Indeed, we actually found out that the mattress remains nice and clean and provides extra ventilation, thanks to the refined materials. That is a bonus, because it means you will lie comfortably, perspire less and sleep more soundly. And so will your loved one.
We have been doing our best to improve the world’s rest for the last 130 years. For us, a well-rested world is one without strain, without waste and without over-consumption. A more beautiful world. We have taken a great step in the right direction with our circular mattress. And we are really rather proud of it.