Last week, a class action lawsuit was filed against Avocado Mattress alleging that the company falsely advertised its latex mattresses, pillows and mattress toppers as free of synthetic and nontoxic chemicals.
The 57-page complaint says that nearly every step of the manufacturing process involves the use of synthetic chemicals, some of which are “known toxins.” Avocado products are “Made Safe Certified,” a designation that the company says means that items have been developed with “100% healthy ingredients.”
The case alleges otherwise, saying the “Made Safe Certified” designation, overseen by the group Nontoxic Certified, does not mean that a product is made with “100% healthy ingredients,” only that the product’s ingredients have been cross-referenced against a database of known and suspected toxins.
This truly is an interesting case in our industry, but I don’t think it will be the last.
Eco-friendly products were previously a luxury, but now sustainability has become more important than ever, especially to younger generations. It’s going to be important for mattress companies to market their products truthfully according to policy.
I would expect Avocado to know exactly what their eco-designations mean, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t wrong.
Regardless of who wins that case, I will say that anyone out there who’s stretching the truth even a little bit with their sustainability message may be in for a nasty surprise when adamant go-getters decide to file lawsuits challenging their claims.
Consumers have more information at their fingertips today than ever, so if you think they aren’t looking up what your eco-friendly designations actually mean, you’re fooling yourself.
The ad dollars that go into mattress marketing are nearly countless, but they won’t be worth anything to anyone if they tout false claims.
There likely aren’t many mattress manufacturers out there who are outright lying in their messaging, but in a dog-eat-dog world, you don’t want to exaggerate sustainability claims even a little bit — especially if you have the word “green” in your name.