Looking for “green” at next month’s ISPA in Orlando

Posted by The BiOH Team on February 14, 2013


Mattress industry executives and management will get to see and learn about the environmental, manufacturing and sleep comfort benefits of mattresses made with BiOH polyols when they visit the Latexco booth at the upcoming ISPA Industry Conference, to be held March 6-7 at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Florida.

Latexco will feature its BiOH Gel Latex, a non-toxic latex foam, which was introduced during last year’s ISPA EXPO. The Latexco product is available in a wave pattern to provide pressure-point relief and back support. The high density of the gel evenly distributes pressure, while pinholes in the surface allow balanced ventilation. Cooler sleep is an advantage of BiOH polyol technology.

“BiOH Gel Latex has clear benefits for the environment, but it also has other features, such zoning and load-spreading flexibilities,” comments Kevin Callinan, vice president of sales for Latexco, which has worldwide headquarters in Tielt, Belgium. “Since all of our bio gel toppers are open-cell products, we can adjust the zoning to maximize air flow and enhance thermal-regulation properties.”

Today’s environmentally conscious consumers are increasingly seeking green products for their homes. BiOH Gel is produced with BiOH polyols which completely replaces 100 percent of the petroleum based Polyols used in most urethane gels. Preliminary life cycle analysis indicated that manufacturing BiOH polyols requires 60 percent less non-renewable energy and results in less global warming emissions than manufacturing the petroleum polyols we replace.

For every one million pounds of BiOH polyols used, more than 2200 barrels of crude oil are saved. Considering that the industry uses billions of pounds of petroleum polyols, BiOH polyols can have an impact on using less petroleum.


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One Good Guide is One Great Idea for Las Vegas Market

Posted by The BiOH Team on January 24, 2013

Las Vegas Market for BiOH

We are very excited about the Sustainable Furnishings Council’s One Good World program, which includes its One Good Guide Winter 2013 for the Las Vegas Market, January 28-February 1 at the Las Vegas Design Center. This guide will make it easy for buyers to find eco-friendly products at the Market.

To participate in the One Good World program, exhibitors must have submitted an application which included providing documentation that at least two of their collections meet very stringent benchmark criteria as well as standards for low formaldehyde emissions.

The benchmark criteria for latex or bio hybrid foam products require that 100 percent of the foam used is latex or bio hybrid, which reduces petroleum use. Qualifying Las Vegas Market One Good World exhibitors displaying products made with soy-based BiOH Polyols will include G. Romano, Inc. (B-0701), Lazar Industries (B-0612) and Rowe Fine Furniture (C-1312).

We also encourage you to attend the Specialty Sleep Association’s panel presentation, What’s in YOUR mattress? on Monday from 4-5 p.m. Moderated by “eco-chick” designer Sarah Barnard, the panel will discuss growing sales with consumer disclosure labeling.

Interest in eco-friendly materials continues to flourish. We look forward to exploring the Las Vegas Market next week!


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Las Vegas Summer Market recap: Gel is even more mainstream

Posted by admin on September 14, 2012

Las Vegas Market

Last month’s Las Vegas Summer Market was one of the strongest ever! Dozens of mattress and bedding manufacturers debuted new products and innovations. Earth-friendly and consumer-friendly was a theme woven throughout the event, from re-usable mattress shipping cartons to products designed to dramatically enhance the sleep experience. Mattresses that conform to body contours, and new variations on sleep products made with gel, continued to be among the hottest trends. Manufacturers are clearly building on the momentum that we saw earlier this year at High Point Market.

Notable highlights

We scoured reports from several industry publications to uncover which manufacturers and products had the greatest impact on attendees. We weren’t surprised to discover that several of our customer partners made big impressions. Among them were:
Comfort Solutions: Emphasized gel, latex and toppers in its expanded features and price points. Its Natural Response collection now has four models, each containing Gel Response latex. The Natural Response Luxury bed features a reversible/removable topper made with gel foam and latex layers. Its iMattress beds feature iFusion gel foam and Gel Response latex.
Sealy: Introduced a premium pillowtop mattress to its gel memory foam line, the Posturepedic Optimum mattress collection. Sealy also announced the addition of gel foam to its more affordable Sealy Comfort Series Memory foam collection. In addition, you’ll want to watch for new poured gel technology products by Comfort Revolution, Sealy’s specialty sleep partner, to be introduced early next year.
Serta: Unveiled a new Trump Home mattress collection, which features its proprietary iSeries gel memory technology. It also revealed two new iSeries constructions, one with three layers of gel foams (KoolComfort Memory Foam, Cool Action Gel Energy Foam and Cool Action Gel Memory Foam) and the other with two layers of gel foam.
Spring Air: Made its World Market Center showroom debut by showcasing its newly acquired Natura World and NexGel product lines.

Consumer demand for better sleep is resulting in skyrocketing interest in gel/memory foam products. Bedding manufacturers are turning to soy-based BiOH polyols because they are made from renewable resources, reduce the need for petroleum-based chemicals, and help create “cool sleep products” that easily fill the needs in today’s bedding marketplace.


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Industry innovation – a look into the future of bedding products and manufacturing

Posted by Kelsey Ness on May 1, 2012


Last month’s High Point Market gave us an opportunity to see and experience trends in the bedding industry. It’s clear that consumers are becoming more discriminating both in terms of the environmental impact of their bedding products, as well as in how those products may improve their ability to consistently get a good night’s sleep.

Three trends worth noting:

Gel is the buzz word! At High Point Market, there were mattresses and pillows marketed using such phrases as “gel-infused”, “cool gel ventilated”, “swell gel” and “gel comfort”. It’s all about helping consumers achieve cooler, more restful sleep. Cargill is on point with our new BiOH® polyol, which can replace 100 percent of the petroleum polyols in gel products today, reducing the dependency on oil and increasing the renewable content in finished foam products. The urethane gel made from this new BiOH® polyol can be used in mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, upholstered furniture, carpet cushion, automotive seats & more.

Bedding accessories are still on the rise. Mattress protectors, toppers, and decorative pillows will remain popular, and remain excellent sources for add ons and impulse buys.

Organic/Eco-Friendly = growing demand. The focus on sustainability and the health of our planet continues to increase. Case in point was the debut of the Alexander Julian Couture line, a Made In America line featuring sustainably harvested hardwood frames. There were also numerous examples of natural décor and nature-inspired furniture on display. Watch for high profile designers including Kathy Ireland and Alexander Julian to participate in a consumer print campaign for green home furnishings.

Retailers: The future is where natural meets wired

When we saw that one major mattress manufacturer is actually debuting a mattress with a built-in iPad station, we wondered how adults ages 18-29 are changing our industry. Just in time for High Point Market, Furniture/Today released results of a survey conducted with Millennials: the generation born between 1981 and 2001. 100 percent of those responding said that they regularly shop for furniture at lifestyle furniture stores, such as Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. The report offers tips for attracting more of these young adults into traditional furniture retail stores, such as offering WiFi so shoppers can access in-store specials; battery charging stations perhaps in a coffee bar setting; and using end caps and front-of-store bins to encourage impulse buys.


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Making sense of “green” mattress claims

Posted by Kelsey Ness on March 15, 2012


It is getting easier for consumers to learn exactly what’s inside a natural or “green” mattress. The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), as part of its Environmental Program for Consumer Education, Retailer Training and Truth in “Green” Marketing, has created a mattress labeling program designed to help consumers make better informed mattress buying decisions.

The SSA is a non-profit advocacy and education association advocating and promoting the full spectrum of new technology bedding using both synthetic and green or sustainable solutions. Cargill Inc, producer of BiOH® polyols, is a full founding member of the SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program/Green Initiative Board of Governors.

Building the foundation for new industry standards

The SSA’s labeling program may one day result in more uniform labeling standards for green manufacturers, and more consistent, industry-wide definitions for what constitutes natural, green and sustainable.

The three-step seals and consumer discloser label tags appear on mattresses from manufacturers who join the program. They help consumers to understand the environmental and safety attributes of participating manufacturers’ products. Specifically, they make it easier for consumers to see at a glance:

• The minimum environmental and safety compliance levels that apply to that particular product.

• The material content by percentage for components in the mattress. Manufacturers certify what natural materials have been used and list those materials by weight. If the manufacturer claims any part of the mattress is organic, it has to substantiate that claim. Periodic product testing authorized by the SSA will help ensure compliance.

So far, products and manufacturers that have earned the SSA’s Environmental & Safety Program Seal of Approval are: Boyd Specialty Sleep, Natura World, Naturepedic and Spring Air International.

Program details

Manufacturers pay a fee to the SSA to use the label and seal. There are three different levels of seals that may be used.

To display the Level I seal, a manufacturer must:

• Disclose materials used in construction and percentages of natural/bio-based and/or pre-consumer recycled content if applicable

• Achieve a minimum of 20 percent of natural/biobased or pre-consumer recycled content in component categories of fabric and quilt

• Participate in an annual survey to identify carbon footprint issues and commit to continuous improvement

• Meet all federal safety flammability requirements

• Meet all safety requirements for children’s products if applicable

• Provide a warranty for the product

For the Level II seal, a manufacturer must meet all the requirements of the first threshold and in addition, the products must:

• Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 20 percent natural/biobased, pre-consumer recycled content material, and/or steel in component categories of fabric and quilt and 10 percent for core

• Certify the top fabric (closest to consumer during sleep) through either Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard

• Flexible polyurethane foam products must achieve CertiPUR-US certification

• Latex foam products must achieve Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification.

The Level III seal is the highest that can be achieved. To meet the Level III requirements, a manufacturer must comply with the previous two levels’ requirements and:

• Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 70 percent of natural/biobased and/or pre-consumer recycled content material in component categories of fabric and quilt

• Disclose materials used in construction and achieve a minimum of 50 percent natural/biobased, pre-consumer recycled and/or steel for core

• Certify the final mattress through Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or Global Organic Textile Standard

• Test the mattress for VOCs emissions

The SSA is currently considering proposals for a Level IV of the program. In addition, the SSA has developed an Environmental Glossary Marketing Guide, available on its website, explaining many definitions and regulations governing the “green” industry.

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ISPA Expo attendees: Check out the Latexco mattress made with BiOH® polyols

Posted by Kelsey Ness on March 5, 2012


If you plan to attend the ISPA Expo this month, be sure to stop by booth #733, where Latexco will feature its new mattress made with BiOH® polyols. You’ll definitely want to pick up a handout to share with co-workers and customers because better/cooler sleep and environmental sustainability are two of the hottest trends in today’s mattress industry. We expect this mattress to create quite a buzz at the show.

Cargill has developed a new BiOH® polyol, with greater than 90 percent renewable content, that can be formulated into urethane gel products. It is made from renewable raw materials and can be incorporated into foam. This new BiOH® polyol can replace 100 percent of the petroleum polyols in gel products today, reducing the dependency on oil and increasing the renewable content in finished foam products. The urethane gel made from this new BiOH® polyol can be used in mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, upholstered furniture, carpet cushion, automotive seats & more.

In addition to the expo, we’re also running a full-page ad in the March, April and May editions of Bed Times, which features both of our cool new products: our next generation “cool” memory foam and our renewable urethane gel. (Turn to page 67 in this month’s issue.)

About ISPA Expo

ISPA Expo is the world’s only trade show devoted exclusively to the mattress industry. This year’s event takes place March 14-17 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to previewing all of the newest products, you’ll have the opportunity to make valuable connections and learn profit-building sales techniques.

Members of the Cargill BiOH team will be there on opening day, and we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible!

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Cool and healthy sleep was a hot topic at the Las Vegas Market

Posted by Kelsey Ness on February 13, 2012


Tossing and turning, and hot uncomfortable sleep are outdated. They also are unhealthy. One of the most exciting trends discussed at last month’s Las Vegas Market was the public’s growing interest in gel beds and “cool and healthy sleep” bedding products that support a better night’s rest.

Both were heavily referenced during Furniture/Today Executive Editor Dave Perry’s State of the Bedding Industry presentation. Perry had previously predicted that, “Gel beds will be more common in Las Vegas than casino chips” – and he was right! We at BiOH® polyols also are predicting that this trend will take off at a remarkable speed within the specialty sleep category.

Two new BiOH® products for healthier sleep

There are now nearly a dozen gel bedding products on the market from such well-known names as Simmons, Sealy, Kingsdown and Serta. Most, if not all, combine memory foam with gel technology. Now BiOH® is debuting two new products to fill this growing demand: one is a memory foam and the other is a gel.

It’s an exciting new direction for the bedding industry because these products have the strong potential of giving consumers the best sleep of their lives. And just imagine the health and productivity benefits of having millions of well-rested Americans!

We make cool, healthy sleep plus environmental sustainability possible with two brand new products:

BiOH® polyols renewable urethane gel: Ideal for a host of cool sleep products, this new polyol can produce urethane gel with greater than 90 percent renewable content.

BiOH® polyols next generation “cool” memory foam: A breakthrough product with more than 50 percent renewable content. This new viscoelastic foam dissipates heat 25 percent faster than comparable memory foams.

Other experts and trend watchers agree that cool sleep technology is creating a new wave of excitement for the industry. To learn more, call 877-765-9246.

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Selling Sleep to the Sleep Deprived

Posted by Kelsey Ness on February 2, 2012


These days we are so used to being tired, that most of us hardly remember what it felt like be well rested! Demands on our time – from shift work and family obligations to jet lag and 24-hour business cycles – cut short our sleeping hours. And our stress levels prevent us from enjoying a good quality of sleep once we do finally crawl into bed. It’s no wonder that U.S. retail coffee sales rose 19 percent last year! We are all battling to stay awake.

Jessa Gamble, an award-winning writer and expert on our internal body clocks’ struggle against our urban schedules, describes an interesting study. When people lived without artificial light, they slept twice at night. They slept from 8 p.m. to midnight, had two hours of meditative quiet in bed during which their bodies produced abnormally high levels of prolactin*, then they slept again from 2 a.m. until sunrise.

The study participants reported that they felt they were experiencing true wakefulness for the first time in their lives.

Do your customers want to feel that wide awake tomorrow morning?

The statistics say it all: we’re tired! According to a Gallup poll, three in 10 Americans don’t feel well rested. A Harvard study found that 40 percent of college students feel well rested just two days per week. The most revealing of all: Only about four in 10 people responding to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation said they got a good night’s sleep every night, or almost every night, of the week.

Sell a better night’s sleep

People want better sleep. Their bedding is a means to that end. Your goal is to give them the confidence that what they are buying will help them wake up in the morning feeling more refreshed.

Become a better sleep expert. Earn their trust by giving them other ideas, in addition to their bedding, that might contribute to a better night’s rest. We will continue to provide information on this topic here.

When the conversation turns to bedding, point out that temperature regulation is important to sleep quality. Mattresses, mattress foam toppers and pillows made with the new BiOH® visco polyol provide a cooler, more comfortable sleep. Studies show memory foams produced with this new product dissipate heat more quickly, cooling off 15-40 percent faster than memory foams using infused gel technology. Foams made with BiOH® Polyols are also less sensitive to temperature overall, so they stay softer at cooler temperatures.

Many people overlook some of the most obvious components to a good night’s sleep simply because they don’t know about them. Let’s start a new trend in 2012 of better educated consumers who understand the value of great bedding!

*Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Prolactin levels fluctuate throughout the day, and are highest during sleep.

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What to expect at this year’s Las Vegas Market

Posted by Kelsey Ness on January 16, 2012

World Market Center in Las Vegas

We are so excited about attending this year’s Las Vegas Market, January 30-February 3 at the huge World Market Center. Each year, there are always plenty of new and exciting things to see and do, so even if you have attended in the past, you’ll want to spend time planning out this year’s adventure.

On opening day, make the First Look Exhibit in the Building B lobby one of your first stops. You will be able to pick up a copy of the First Look Book (limited quantities available) and see a showcase of the new product trends to be discovered at the show.

Speaking of trendy, we’re looking forward to the Food Truck Festival, to be held opening day at 6 p.m. in the Grand Plaza. The courtyard will be transformed into a four-wheeled, gourmet food fiesta. There will also be a DJ spinning favorites from the 50s and 60s. Should be a fun evening!

If you prefer something a little more low key, check out high tea, taking place Monday through Thursday in C512 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll enjoy complimentary tea sandwiches, cocktails and a selection of gourmet teas.

First Time Buyers Orientation

If you haven’t attended this event, this special orientation can be extremely helpful. It takes place from on January 30th from 10-11 a.m. in room C368, and is designed to help you maximize your buying time. You’ll get a rundown on all of the resources, destinations, seminars and events happening at the Las Vegas Market.

Seminars and Continuing Education Credits

There are a number of valuable seminars planned. One that sounds intriguing to us is LuxeEco and One Good World: Designing the Future, happening on January 30th from 11 a.m. to noon. This is a panel discussion among the Sustainable Furnishings Council’s distinguished DESIGNINGGreen Leaders, and should be quite informative. It’s also worth 0.1 CEU.

Verified Eco-Friendly Exhibitors

Perusing the list, we found many eco-friendly exhibitors including Artists Guild of America, Jordan Spence Design, Matt Downer Designs and a company called Groovystuff, based in Dallas, that features seven distinct one-of-a-kind collections. You’ll find everything from artwork to bedding and decorative accessories made with materials that are kind to Mother Nature. Of course, be sure to watch for products made with BiOH. Our partners who will be exhibiting at the show include: Broyhill (A1053), Harden (A901), Hickory Springs (B-0918), Klaussner (A847, A801), Comfort Solutions (A538, A542, A546) and Natura (A946).

Buyer Services

We love the Buyer Lounges, located in each building. They are a great place to rendezvous, relax and grab a snack. Each building also has a Business Center where you can connect with your home office via Internet, phone or fax. This is also where you can make copies or send mail. The Internet Lounges in Buildings A and B have WiFi and communications devices available.

Transportation and Concierge Services

The complimentary M Line shuttles run all day between the World Market Center and select host hotels. Once you arrive at the event, convenient skybridges connect all of the buildings. If you want to take in more of the sights and sounds of Las Vegas, there is a Vegas.com computer kiosk concierge in Building A where you can find dining options and even buy show tickets.

One last word of advice: wear comfortable shoes! The World Market Center is a five million square foot campus!

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Make zero-energy furniture one of your 2012 resolutions

Posted by Kelsey Ness on January 4, 2012

FSC stamped wood from sustainable logging. Amazon, Brazil

Companies are making it easier than ever for Americans to embrace the concept of sustainability and energy conservation. The selection of products and services has never been greater – and it just keeps expanding!

One of the newest initiatives is Zero Energy America, a project focused on using eco-friendly materials and new building techniques to design Zero Energy Homes. A Zero Energy Home is one in which the net average energy consumption, and carbon dioxide emission, are both zero over the course of a year.

In the U.S. and Europe, our homes account for about 40 percent of the total national energy consumption. But even if an entirely new, energy efficient home is not in your future this year, there’s another way you can become part of the solution. The next time you’re in the market for future, shop for pieces that contribute to a zero-energy lifestyle.

Here is a checklist to help you determine if that furniture you’ve been considering is also good for the environment:

1. Is it made of wood? Ask if the wood is sustainably harvested for domestic, replenished forests. Or, look for reclaimed wood, bamboo or other environmentally safe materials. Products made with Smart Wood certifies that you are supporting a global effort for responsible forest management.

2. Is it made with leather? Ask if the tanning chemicals used are either biodegradable or recycled?

3. Is the furniture upholstered or does it have foam cushions? Look for the green and white hang tag indicating that the foam is made with BiOH® polyols. Traditional foam and carpet cushion ingredients are made from petroleum-based chemicals. BiOH polyols are made from a renewable resource – soybean oil. Manufacturing BiOH polyols requires 60% less non-renewable energy and results in less global warming emissions than manufacturing the petroleum polyols we replace. Additionally, for every one million lbs of BiOH polyols used, over 2200 barrels of crude oil are saved.

4. Where is it made? Furniture made in America cuts energy consumption and emissions associated with transportation.

Start by shopping at retailers that carry products made with BiOH polyols. You can also find great furniture options by entering “green furniture” or “eco-friendly furniture” in your search engine.

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