Cradle to Cradle® – What is it and why is it so important?

The Cradle to Cradle philosophy means you can recycle everything completely. From `cradle to cradle`.

Cradle to Cradle® – What is it and why is it so important?

In 2002 the Cradle to Cradle book was published: Remaking the Way We Make Things. The book calls for a radical change in industry: a switch from a cradle-to-grave pattern to a cradle-to-cradle pattern. It’s about discouraging down cycling, but rather encouraging the manufacture of products with the goal of upcycling in mind. The book is written by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. This book created the framework for the Cradle to Cradle product certification program.

About Cradle to Cradle®

A long time ago a farmer could live with his animals and his crops he could reuse everything from his land where he took it from. In this story, there did not exist any waste.

Waste became compost and same time food for the new circle. The circle was never ending. Cradle to Cradle sometimes is referred to as `circular economy.'

The Cradle to Cradle Institute helps to design and develop products in a way that there is no waste, but just nutrients (a starting point) for something new. This is only possible if the product is completely safe, free of any toxic materials which can have the impact on the environment and on human health.

Even in the first phase of product development and design, the philosophy provides criteria and requirements for continuous improvement on new products - on how they are made and on what they are made of.

Product certification

The Cradle to Cradle principle is based on five quality categories – material health, material reutilization, renewable (green) energy, carbon management, water stewardship, and finally social responsibility. Designers and manufacturers are supported through the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard guidelines in their continual process of improvement within these five quality categories. A product will then receive an achievement level within each category, differentiating between Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. However, the lowest achievement level will be considered to be the overall grade of the product, even if only one is on a lower achievement level.

The assessments of each product will be performed by qualified independent organizations which have been trained by the Cradle to Cradle® institute. Once this has been done, an assessment summary report will be reviewed by the Cradle to Cradle Institute. This ensures that the products meet the standard requirements set by the Institute, as well as authorizes the using of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ word and design marks to the manufacturer of the assessed product. Furthermore, manufacturers are required to demonstrate efforts of good faith every two years, showing that they are aiming to improve their products for them to be recertified.


The 5 quality categories

Material Health

The first category entails the knowing of each chemical component of the product while ensuring the optimization towards safer components. In this stage, each component of the tested product will be categorized as being either a biological (can safely return to nature) or technical (can safely return to industry) nutrient. Also, this quality category cross references the effects of hazardous components with the likelihood of human exposure, determining the level of risk involved to human health and the environment. Our Natural Vita Talalay has been tested on off-gassing, and a 100% material assessment took place. The outcome was on Cradle to Cradle™ Gold level. Natural Vita Talalay proves to be the most healthy and pure natural comfort material in the world.

Reactive: Compliance to regulation –a selection of problematic substances is not used in the product. Passive: Compliance to hazardous chemicals list beyond legislation – a broader selection of problematic substances is not used in the product. Active approach: Actively defines to 100ppm what chemicals and materials are used in the product. Trustful: Actively defines and thoroughly assesses all of the chemicals and materials that are used in the product on their impact on human- and environmental health within the use- and end-of-use scenario. The Cradle to Cradle ABC-X assessment methodology is applied. (More information and definitions:

Material Reutilization

This category ensures that the materials used to design the product come from and are able to return to nature or industry. This allows manufacturers to focus on maximizing the percentage of recycled materials or content, as well as rapidly renewable materials used to manufacture the product. In turn, these materials should also be safely reusable, recyclable or compostable. Just as in the first step, the materials will also be categorized in either being technical (can safely return to industry) or biological (can safely return to nature).Our Natural Vita Talalay can be recycled into new materials, therefore our Natural Vita Talalay is 100% recyclable.

Renewable Energy and Carbon Management

This quality category directs manufacturers to plan ahead and envision a future where the whole manufacturing process will be powered by 100% clean and renewable energy. Natural Vita Talalay meets the Gold level requirements.

Water stewardship

Ensuring the management of clean water and not only seeing it as a precious resource, but also an essential human right – that is what this quality category is all about. Important here is identifying and addressing the impact of each manufacturing facility, not only on a local geographical level, but also on an industrial level. In addition, all industrial chemicals used in a facilities effluent should be identified, assessed and optimized. In 2015, Radium Foam has installed a completely new wasted water installation that filters the water that has been used during the production process. Again the product Natural Vita Talalay meets to Gold level requirement in the program category Water Stewardship.

Social Responsibility

The last quality category is made to ensure that all operational designs honor all people, as well as natural systems affected by the product, whether it be during the creation, use, disposal or even reuse. This means that manufacturers must conduct regular self-assessments based on globally recognized resources, as well as conduct third party audits to clear supply chain issues and assure optimal conditions. Radium Foam is sponsoring the Co2OL reforestation of mixed forest project.

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In total, there are six steps which you would have to follow to receive and maintain the Cradle to Cradle™ Certified rights. The Institute provides a unique and multi-attribute product certification program which will be conducted by a third party. Here are the six required steps in detail:

1. Determine whether your product is appropriate for certification 2. Select an accredited assessment body for the testing, analysis, and evaluation of your product 3. Work with your assessor to compile and evaluate the data and documentation 4. Receive certification of your product 5. Work with Institute and your marketing teams 6. Report your progress

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5 levels

A product will receive a so-called achievement level, either being Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. However, the category with the lowest achievement level will be used as the product’s overall mark. There are very little companies that have achieved the Gold level, and Natural Vita Talalay® is the only one in the entire bedding industry. Up to now there is no company that managed to get to Platinum. A nice challenge!

What makes this so special is also the fact that transition and human intent are recognized as a form of successful protocol for ongoing product improvement. That is why again we have a patent pending on our Natural Vita Talalay® .

Vita Talalay®

Vita Talalay has Cradle to Cradle® philosophy at its core for improvement of its products and processes. We want to maintain and improve our position as the safest, ecological and healthy comfort material in the world.

In April 2013 we first acquired the Silver certificate. The representation of our passion towards the Cradle to Cradle values has been successful after having received the gold certificate beginning of 2016. Radium Foam is the first company in the mattress industry who is Cradle to Cradle™ Gold certified for a product. In our case our Natural Vita Talalay latex.

This Certification provides our customers peace of mind. So-called organic latex does not assess the toxicity of the material like Natural Vita Talalay® has been assessed.

It shows and proves that Vita Talalay Latex is made of pure natural latex without any artificial additives (no odorizers, zero fillers) no harmful off-gassing and it contains zero petrochemicals, nor any other harmful substances.

Discover the benefits of Vita Talalay's natural latex and how it can help you get the rest that your body needs... Read More

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