John Lewis is selling the world’s first recyclable mattress – which is filled with hemp.
The UK-based department store giant debuted the surprising item by award-winning bedding maker Harrison Spinks.
The 180-year-old company uses hemp instead of foam to fill the mattress and uses wool from its own farm’s sheep in a bid to be more sustainable.
The super king-size mattress from John Lewis and partners’ Natural Collection costs £1,199, however, a double bed mattress will set you back £479, and a single costs £399.
Harrison Spinks, which featured in the BBC series Inside The Factory with Gregg Wallace, worked out a way of building the bedding without using glue after years of development by its engineers.
Simon Spinks, the company’s managing director, said: ‘A fully sustainable mattress is a world first.
‘It’s foam and glue-free and made entirely from biodegradable or recyclable materials.
‘In fact, it’s the world’s first circular mattress, meaning that at the end of its life, it can be deconstructed and recycled, or disassembled and made into an entirely new product.’
All of the mattress fillings are grown on the company’s 300 acre farm in Bolton Percy, North Yorkshire.
Simon explained: ‘We bought the farm so that we could grow our own natural mattress fillings, like wool and hemp, to reduce the volume of man-made materials that are usually found in mattresses, and that unfortunately mostly eventually end up in landfill.’
He decided to invest in hemp – an industrial strain of the sativa cannabis plant – after a conversation over a pint.
‘I wanted to start growing hemp on the farm after a conversation with a farmer I met in the pub, after I asked him what could be grown easily and quickly in the UK,’ Simon revealed.
‘After doing some research, I also found out about the sustainability credentials of the plant and how good growing it is for the environment.
‘I planted some at the farm and we began using it as a filling in our mattresses.’
And Simon swears it’s much better than cotton, because it can absorb far more moisture.
It also has environmental benefits, because for every acre of hemp grown for commercial use one tonne of carbon dioxide is absorbed.
Simon estimates the company saves 1,300 tonnes of CO2 every year.
Harrison Spinks further bolstered its green credential with its own sustainable forest for timber.
And Simon promises the sustainable mattress does not compromise comfort.
He said: ‘Believe it or not, the materials used actually make a more comfortable mattress.
‘We would never conduct any technical development that would compromise the comfort of our mattresses, in fact most of our developments have certainly improved the product quality.
‘As we were developing this mattress, we weren’t really sure what the end result would be in terms of comfort, but actually by removing the glue, we’ve significantly improved the spring unit, so you’ve got the best of both worlds.”
The mattress with the sustainable spring unit is already available, and the fully recyclable mattress will be on sale later this year.
And the company has been honoured by the Royal family for its ground breaking work.
It has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Sustainable Development in recognition of the recyclable mattress.