Stacey Sheppard speaks to Naturalmat’s Peter Tindall to find out why A-list celebrities are buying their mattresses from a factory in Devon
When two keen sailors became frustrated by the poor quality of synthetic mattresses found on boats, they decided there had to be an alternative that would allow them to get a better night's sleep. This mission to develop the perfect marine sleeping environment led Peter Tindall and Mark Tremlett to discover the benefits of using natural fibres in mattresses. Since nobody was making natural mattresses for the marine market at that time, Peter and Mark saw an opportunity to set up a business – so The Natural Mat Company was founded in 2000.
When Mark's first child was due, he started looking at the quality of mattresses that were available for babies and children, and it wasn't long before both Mark and Peter quickly identified a need for a natural product for babies, similar to the one they were making for boats. After nine months of research and development, Naturalmat launched its first range of natural baby mattresses. "One of the main reasons that parents like our range of children's mattresses is because small babies are very temperature sensitive and cannot easily regulate their body heat," says Peter. "They don't like to get too hot or too cold and need an even temperature to be comfortable."
Peter puts the success of their products down to the materials. "We use natural and organic materials to create much more functional as well as suitable products," he says. He goes on to explain that Naturalmat uses certified organic coir (coconut fibre) as the main component within the mattresses, which incidentally, comes from the only certified organic plantation in the world.
The organic cotton used for their sheets and bedding is certified in accordance with the Global Organic Textile Standard by the Soil Association, and the wool, which Peter says is an excellent insulator and ventilator, is also organic. "We buy our organic wool direct from certified organic British West Country farms and it is processed on the edge of Dartmoor, all within a 50-mile radius of the Naturalmat factory," he says. "This helps sustain local raw materials and craftsmanship and keeps the carbon footprint of our mattresses low."
For anyone buying a Naturalmat mattress there is extra reassurance with regard to the quality as each and every product that leaves the factory has been lovingly made by hand in Topsham. "We believe that people, not machines, will always make a superior, long-lasting product, so instead of having lots of mattress-making machinery, we have a team of craftsmen who are dedicated to making the world's best mattresses. Every stitch and every tufting button is created and checked so that when a Naturalmat mattress is complete, we know it will give years of long-lasting comfort," Peter explains.
The quality of the Naturalmat mattresses hasn't gone unnoticed and the company now has an impressive list of celebrity customers, including Sienna Miller, Halle Berry, Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow. Even Simon Woodroffe of Yo! Sushi fame bought a mattress for his Thames houseboat and was so impressed that he asked Naturalmat to help design the convertible beds for his unique cabin hotel business, YOTEL. Peter says, "A-listers adore the low carbon footprint element, the overall healthier sleeping environment, not to mention their children's mattresses providing excellent levels of both support and comfort. However, we think it's the renewable materials contained within Naturalmat mattresses that really makes them so appealing and makes them stand out from the crowd."
Furthermore, in November 2012, Naturalmat was honoured at the 20th Devon Environmental Business Initiative (DEBI) Awards Ceremony, where the company was selected as winner of the Environmental Goods and Services Large Business Category and 2012 Overall Winner. "We strive to be great ambassadors for Devon and were thrilled with this award," says Marie Taylor, Naturalmat's Online Marketing Manager. "We are very proud of our Devon roots and strive to promote this beautiful county to the best of our ability to our customers located all over the world."
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