If we spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping, then we want to carefully consider the mattress where we pass these precious years. Sadly, research reveals that the bedroom may be one of the most toxic places in the home. Between polyurethane foam, flame retardants and formaldehyde, the average conventional mattress contains a considerable amount of toxic chemicals and our skin, the largest organ of the body, is the most porous entry point. Do you know what your mattress is made of? Modern Home spoke to the team from Fawcett Mattress, Victoria’s leading manufacturer of organic and sustainable mattresses in Victoria, to explore the benefits of buying a custom, handmade mattress. Here are 5 reasons to choose an organic mattress by Fawcett:
1. Health Benefits:
What makes a Fawcett mattress a health conscious choice for sleep? All of our mattresses are constructed using the most earth friendly, natural components available. These materials are free from VOC’s, formaldehyde, fire retardants and other nasty chemicals and therefore, safer to bring into your home.
Can you describe the materials used as well as the construction process? Fawcett uses 100% natural Talalay latex rubber foam tapped (the same way maple syrup is sourced) from rubber trees, organic wool padding, organic cotton fabrics and in some cases, individual pocket coil springs. We lay up our foundations in our small factory and then tape-edge bind them and tuft them right before your eyes in our open concept workshop in Rock Bay area of Victoria.
How can a healthy mattress increase your chances of a good sleep? Our credo is to create a ‘no compromise mattress’ for our clients. We work with clients to customize a mattress according to the manner in which they sleep — side, back or front. We also work to help alleviate any personal health challenges a client may have, such as injuries or sensitivities which may be uncomfortable on a standard off-the-shelf mattress.
2. Local and Sustainable:
What does sustainable mean to Fawcett? Sustainability involves using the most natural, sustainable materials available and incorporating those products into our mattresses. But sustainability also refers to our business model that translates to manufacturing products locally, offering a great work environment with jobs our staff can be proud of and wages they can feel good about. It also means we need to be competitive in the market. It isn’t enough to just say ‘buy from us because we’re local,’ we offer a natural product at a price point that makes sense.
Are there any sustainable manufacturing practices built into a Fawcett product? The sustainability we are known for is reflected in the materials that we use and the fact that we manufacture right here in Victoria by people who work and live here. As a company, we make every effort to carry that forward into our manufacturing. We recycle whenever we can, we send all used mattresses that we pick up to be recycled for their inner components and we group deliveries where we can for efficiency. Even our delivery bags are made by us and reusable.
What sustainable products are in a Fawcett mattresses? Fawcett uses 100% natural Talalay latex rubber tapped from rubber trees generally found in Brazil or Indonesia, organic wool padding and organic cotton fabrics which are the components closest to your skin. When required, we use a water based, solvent free adhesive by Simalfa to adhere the natural foam, wool and cotton together, which happens to be GREENGUARD gold-certified.
At the end of its life, can a Fawcett Mattress be recycled? Definitely. Depending on which model you purchase, there are different options for recycling. Any mattress with an individual pocket coil spring unit can go to Ellice recycle for the metal. Latex rubber is picked up weekly and sent back to be used in the manufacture of products such as carpet underlay. In cases where the products are very old and actually starting to decompose, unlike petroleum based foams and padding, they can be safely disposed of and will naturally biodegrade in a relatively short time.
What are the benefits of buying a mattress locally? You get the opportunity to see and feel the actual raw materials used in the making of your mattress. Customers can watch us making mattresses while trying our available models. When necessary, and at a reasonable cost, several of our models can be ‘edited’ to make them softer or firmer if you find that you didn’t order quite right.
3. Customer Service and Expertise:
When we talk about customer service in retail, it usually applies to the experience a consumer is having in your store. Does this experience go beyond that typical model at Fawcett? We are proud of the experience we offer customers at Fawcett — it’s one of the ways we distinguish ourselves from the competition. Our sales people are not compensated on commission. It may sound cliche, but their objective is to meet the client’s needs without a commission influencing their guidance. Pricing is set and we generally reserve special offers and promotions for our existing client base. We provide complimentary delivery anywhere in Greater Victoria.
Why go above and beyond with your ‘comfort exchange’ policy? Our comfort exchange policy is designed to give purchase confidence and create a high degree of client satisfaction. Sometimes a client will find their mattress too firm or too soft after sleeping on it for 30 days or so. Rather than having to endure an improper fit or buy a new mattress, the client can opt to edit the mattress for a small fee and we’ll change the density/firmness of the natural latex inside their mattress.
There is a deep level of knowledge and expertise within the walls of Fawcett when it comes to mattress design and construction. Can you elaborate on that? Founders, Ross Taylor and Duane Franklin, have 60+ years of combined experience manufacturing furniture and mattresses. When they founded Fawcett, they set out by asking the question, what would we make for ourselves? What would we want to sleep on? What kind of experience do we like in a retail environment? This is where the core values of sustainability, value, transparency and utilization of natural products originate.
4. Bespoke Tailoring and Mattress Edits:
Can you elaborate on the opportunity to customize each individual side of your mattress? This feature is especially appealing to couples who are either different in height and/or weight. Or couples that have a different sleep style preference — such as a side, back or front sleeper. Generally speaking, about 90% of couples have either size or sleep-style differences. Accordingly, they have different requirements for firmness in a mattress. We call these our ‘zero compromise’ mattresses. These choices are most impactful on our M1, M9 and M7 models due to the greater quantities of natural Talalay latex.
What is a mattress edit? An edit is part of our comfort exchange policy where we are able to actually open the mattress up and replace the natural Talalay latex foam components with softer or firmer latex, depending on the client’s desire. We think of our edit service a bit like insurance. But you only pay a small fee when you actually need to have a change in your mattress. Of course, our goal is to get it right the first time and we encourage people to lay on the mattresses in our showroom as long as they can. Some clients have actually fallen asleep.
Is this a typical offering in the mattress world? No, iIt’s not common to be able to openly edit your mattress. Some companies offer warranties where you can return the mattress but then you have the hassle of trying to find a new one that may or may not actually be the right fit for you. Our record for recommending the correct firmness is very good. Our mattress sales consultants are highly trained to ask the right questions to help ensure a good fit for firmness.
Why not just sell the current mattress models and not go so far with the bespoke options? Isn’t it just additional work without the added revenue? Customizing the mattress is part of the core value proposition we offer at Fawcett. It’s not a lot of extra work for us because we make each mattress after we receive the order from the client. In some cases, where we may be creating a mattress for an RV or boat, and it needs to be ‘round’ or another custom shape, then we may charge for the added complexity. However, most clients are pleasantly surprised by how competitive our prices are given the customization of their mattress.
5. Cost Analysis and Comparisons
Are Fawcett mattresses a lot more expensive than a regular mattress? Our mattresses cost about the same as a brand name mattress but we feel the consumer is getting more value at Fawcett. Customization, ability to edit and most importantly, the natural materials and construction components are the main drivers that contribute to an uncompromising sleep. We keep our costs competitive with our unique selling model. Basically, our clients are buying ‘factory direct’ with no intermediary or distribution costs.