"Take 5" | ISPA President Talks Sustainability

ISPA President Ryan Trainer shares why sustainability is such a hot topic for the bedding industry. He also recaps the recent ISPA Sustainability Conference and lends his key takeaways.


Waynette Goodson
It’s Waynette Goodson. I’m your managing editor of BedTimes and Sleep Savvy Magazines. Welcome to this edition of Take Five. And we have Ryan Trainer, our president of ISPA, here to talk about this year’s sustainability conference. Congratulations Ryan. This has been a huge event. We’ve had about 200 people or more here. So, start us off by just talking about, you know, why this is an important event for the industry.

Ryan Trainer
Sustainability is a pressing issue for the whole world, especially for the mattress industry. We’re providing a product that the consumer uses on a nightly basis. And so there’s real excitement within the industry looking at how do we improve the sustainability of our products, how do we improve the sustainability of our businesses, how do we make our products easier to recycle at the end of their useful life?

And I think we saw a lot of that here today, just this excitement, this buzz about how we do a better job, how can we learn from our peers, how can we learn from our colleagues in other countries.

Waynette Goodson
And on that note, talk a little bit about just who is here. This is an expanse of people from different countries and in different parts of the business.

Ryan Trainer
We have everybody from all stages of the value chain. We have people who are making the chemicals and raw materials that go into our products. We’ve got the component suppliers, the finished product, mattress assemblers, retailers, as well as recyclers. We have recyclers in part of the discussions to talk about how we build our products better so that we have a lower environmental impact at the end of the day.

And this was an important dimension we hadn’t had before at our sustainability conference.

Waynette Goodson
Right. Well, what’s nice about these events is you can do the first one, and now, with the second one, I felt like we expanded and built onto the first. We had so many interesting panel discussions today and speakers, and Ryan, this is your raison d’etre sustainability. So, what is your key takeaway? What did you hear today that you were like, ooh, that’s the sweet spot.

Waynette Goodson
That’s what I want folks to take from the conference with them.

Ryan Trainer
There are so many good nuggets to come out of this event. One is transparency, product transparency, and accountability. But we also had some fantastic discussions about what we do with the products at the end of their life. But we also talked about some surveys that the Better Sleep Council just released, talking about the knowledge gap between the manufacturers, the consumers and the retailers.

We need to do a better job of explaining, in accurate, honest terms, the sustainability features of our products. And I think if we do that, we will all be more successful when the consumer buys those products.

Waynette Goodson
Wow. Well, I can tell you that, Ryan, I know that there is another sustainability conference in the future, and you all, please keep tuning in because we are going to cover this topic in every single issue of BedTimes magazine. You can find it on the website in our videos because it is so important to the industry. So, Ryan, thank you so much.

Congratulations. Thank you all for tuning in. Ahead, as always, have a great night’s sleep.

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