In the past 12 months, increased awareness of global environmental crises has nudged sustainability from a niche concern to a mainstream opportunity. Silentnight Group explores the response to sustainability, eco-friendly designs, and what the future has in store for sustainability in the Hospitality sector.
In response, we have seen a big shift in the way brands are responding to sustainability. Consumers are gaining a heightened awareness of the negative impact of throwaway consumption and have become experts in identifying the difference between essential and non-essential purchases. In 2018, Unilever announced that its most sustainable brands grew 46% faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70% of its turnover growth. Sustainability is now a mass-market concern and something all brands must respond to in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Developing a Sustainable Future?
Silentnight Group are a perfect example of how sustainability makes commercial sense. Producing over 15,000 mattresses a week, Silentnight are the UK market leaders for domestic-use mattresses and winners of ‘The Furniture Makers Sustainability Award’ for the second year running.
Through their eco-friendly product development, progressive work practices and their partnership with the Marine conservation Society, Silentnight are determined to make the world a greener place, maintaining their position as a trusted mainstream brand at the same time.
As a mass market manufacturer simply switching to ‘naturals’ like cotton or wool was not a commercial option for Silentnight.
Angela Moran Product Strategy Director at Silentnight explains; ‘Instead we took inspiration from the likes of Nike, Adidas and Patagonia and take single use plastics and turn them into new products. Whilst there is much media hype demonising plastic following Blue Planet, it’s not so much plastic per se, but the littering of plastic, particularly single use, that’s the problem.’
Taking inspiration from the principles of the circular economy, Silentnight’s innovative Eco Comfort mattresses contains smart fibres made from recycled plastic bottles. Not only does each mattress prevent 150 plastic bottles from entering the waste stream, but the high-tech design process offers greater breathability and is available at an affordable price point. Eco Comfort has been awarded a ‘Which? Best Buy’ 5 years running and is the brands best-selling mattress online, proving that sustainable design doesn’t always mean paying a premium for the consumer or sacrificing sales as a brand.
Thus far, Silentnight have prevented a staggering 105 million plastic bottles from entering landfill or the oceans.
“Circular economy thinking makes perfect sense for any business because ultimately it’s about being a resource efficient business. In nature there is no waste as everything is re-cycled. We’re taking another industry’s waste product and converting it into new comfort fibres, therefore adding value by making new consumer goods.” Angela Moran, Silentnight.
What’s next for Sustainability in hospitality?
David Lawrenson, Hospitality Sales Director at Silentnight believes that the shift towards sustainability in the hospitality industry is being driven by younger people harnessing their spending power. David comented:
“Millennials are gaining spending power and they are driving current trends towards sustainable practices. Becoming carbon neutral will soon be the minimum for hospitality suppliers, and there will be movement towards businesses becoming carbon negative. Sustainability promotes a healthier environment, both inside and outside of a hotel property, and given the recent pandemic, this has never been more relevant.”
As innovative consumer brands begin to find clever ways to incorporate sustainable solutions into their products without sacrificing performance, consumers will begin to expect this as standard and hold other brands and industries to account.
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