New initiatives as NBF enters 2020

The National Bed Federation (NBF), which represents the interests of the UK bed industry, has unveiled a new look and vision for the new decade.

Following an in-depth journey into understanding its identity and perceptions across the industry, the National Bed Federation (NBF) has unveiled a new look and vision for the new decade, focused on ‘ensuring the industry always does the right thing’.

The association believes its role as the bed business’ conscience will be key to guiding members through the challenges ahead. As NBF president Tony Lisanti points out: “The future is about transformational rather than just transitional change.”

The NBF is no stranger to seizing the initiative. In the mid-1980s, it developed its own flammability test before the 1988 regulations were introduced, and this went on to become BS7177. Its Code of Practice (CoP), introduced in 2013, is the only scheme in the sector which independently audits its members, and is approved by Trading Standards.

With sustainability, end of life (EOL) considerations and extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes now at the forefront of industry concerns, the NBF is working on how best to support members. It recently announced a partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, and has been working with the Textile Recycling Association to establish RAMR – the Register of Approved Mattress Recyclers – which is due to launch soon.
Underpinning its progress comes a new-look website with a focus on consumer education and impartial advice around bed buying and reasons why they should look to buy products made by approved NBF members.

NBF executive director, Jessica Alexander, says: “Our role has changed significantly over the past five years, particularly since the introduction of the CoP which has thrown the spotlight onto compliance, transparency and honesty and been rigorously – and independently – monitored. In doing so, the intention has not been to make the jobs of our members more difficult but to simply ensure they are complying with all their legal obligations. This in turn offers reassurance to retailers and consumers that they can trust our members’ products.

“Sustainability is a key part of NBF strategy going forward and will impact on everything from mattress design to EOL handling, to resource efficiency and carbon reduction. It is already a direction of travel for the industry as a whole – as evidenced by all the new initiatives seen at the 2019 Bed Show. So, important to us will be working on how best to support members who are all at different stages of their own sustainability journeys, and helping them to be at the forefront of developments rather than just reactive to regulatory pressure

“Being a member of the NBF will be about declaring a commitment to high standards, ethical business practices, production efficiencies, compliance and sustainability.
“Increased credibility has always been a reason for companies to join the NBF. Now there is even more substance to membership – the NBF mark of approval really does mean something!”

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