Do You Dream in Organic Luxury?
Oct 30, 2015 10:59PM
When Michael Penny’s gift of memory foam pillows to his wife caused her to develop intense headaches, he decided to conduct some research. What he found was a frighteningly long list of chemicals that are typically used in the creation of mattresses and pillows. Wanting to give his wife and others a healthier, potentially safer night’s sleep, Penny founded Savvy Rest.
Savvy Rest is a manufacturer and retailer of natural and organic mattresses, pillows and bedding. The manufacturer opened its first retail location in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2005. Since then, the company has opened Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom retail stores in Vienna, Virginia, Rockville, Maryland and Berkeley, California. In 2012, the company took an unprecedented step to become employee owned; Penny owns 51 percent and the employees own 49 percent. Currently, Savvy Rest products are also sold by more than 200 dealers in the United States and four in Canada.
The company is always looking for dealers with whom to partner, but operations manager Twila Ressler stresses they only choose companies who understand that Savvy Rest is “out to make an environment that is better and customers who are healthier and sleep better.” They also avoid dealers who use high-pressure sales tactics. “We really believe our products sell themselves,” Ressler states.
The products sell themselves, in part, because many can be individually customized for each customer. Most Savvy Rest pillows are made intentionally overstuffed so customers can remove precise amounts of fill to adjust the comfort for their shoulders and neck. The flagship mattress is designed with multiple, interchangeable layers of natural latex; each can be soft, medium or firm. Customers choose the layers’ order and can even rearrange them after delivery.
Savvy Rest offers a 20-year warranty on most of its products, but what truly sets the company apart is their 90-day latex exchange program. If a customer is unhappy with the feel of their mattress, they have up to 90 days to exchange any layer for a different firmness until they find their perfect configuration. The latex that is returned is recycled or shredded for pet beds. Additionally, the company offers free mattress recycling. They will pick up old mattresses upon request when delivering customers’ new mattresses, then send them to a recycling facility that reclaims up to 97 percent of the materials.
The company is currently focusing on broadening its product line. At the end of October they introduced a line of platform beds which are made from sustainably harvested Virginia maple. By the end of the year the company will also be selling natural sofas and chairs. Like other Savvy Rest products, these are made with organic textiles and natural latex foam, and without chemical flame retardants or toxic finishes.
Savvy Rest is both an environmentally- and community-driven business. The company holds multiple independent certifications as evidence of its health and environmental focus, including GreenGuard GOLD, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) seal and the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. Savvy Rest is also a certified B Corporation. They offset carbon emissions by donating to the nonprofit CarbonFund.org and so far have sponsored the planting of more than 5,000 trees through continual support of American Forests’ Global Releaf program. Community outreach includes their ongoing Safe Sleep Pillows program, which gifts new organic pillows to women and children arriving in domestic violence shelters. Savvy Rest has also donated mattresses to Beds for Kids and Joy of Life foster homes.