Making Products Healthier for Consumers: Asthma & Allergy Friendly Edition

CEO Alli just returned from the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Association Client Council.
Check out her post on the experience below!

It’s National Lung Month! It’s fitting that I attended the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Association Client Council this week. If you remember correctly, in 2017 we became the world’s first performance knit to be Certified as Asthma & Allergy Friendly.

I had been studying this certification and mark for quite some time. I saw it first on a Stanley Steamer van driving through Louisville and then again while shopping for furnace filters at Home Depot. I knew that if we wanted to continue putting our customer’s health and wellness alongside of their sleep quality, we needed to apply for this extensive testing. If this “seal of approval” was what the big guys like 3M, Dyson, Mercedes, etc. were after, so was I.

There are 60 million people currently suffering from asthma and allergies. And wouldn’t you know it, the bedroom is one of the biggest problem areas for people with this condition. Dust mites are often hard to detect, as is pet dander. And let’s be honest, there are a lot of people who let Sparky or Poppy sneak into their bed at night and snuggle up.

Products like comforters, duvets, and pillows are naturally the common culprit simply because they are washed less frequently, have fillers that can trap allergens, and are not replaced annually. But, lots of families don’t know that your bed sheets and pillow cases also need to be considered when building a healthy bedroom. Buildup from dead skin cells, bodily fluids, and dyes found in some sheeting can have harmful chemicals that come into contact with your skin and even let off fumes — unless they’ve been washed numerous times.

It was with my commitment to provide functional bedding and my growing knowledge of this necessary health accommodation that we sought out the AAFA and began our 10-week testing in Ireland. And in case you hadn’t figured it out yet: we passed! Wicked Sheets is the world’s first performance knit to be certified as asthma & allergy friendly.

We know our products are better suited for people suffering from allergies and asthma. It was time to activate! This was a term that we used frequently on at the Client Council and Summit. “Let’s activate this mark and get the word out there about how even more amazing our sheets are and how we can help more people than just those who want to sleep cool and dry (we’ve known for 10 years that we do that 😉).

I’d just like to mention a few stand out moments from the event and then, of course, a key takeaway that’s important for bedding companies, like Wicked Sheets, but also for consumer products companies in general.

  • Bobby Jones – YOU are the new COOL. (And so are our sheets, ahem!) Your presentation was nails and I can’t wait to read Good is the New Cool.
  • LG & True Value – thank you for being great examples of (large) corporate leadership who care about your customers and your team understanding the value of taking care of your people (employees & customers).
  • Carolyn Forte, of Good Housekeeping and the teams at AAFA and AS – way to go on showing the world that certifying agencies can be friends and even work together to promote health & wellness and be examples of how marks build trust with their loyal followers.

Just like the bio-psycho-social approach in Psychology (treat the WHOLE patient medicinally, emotionally, and socially) which is proven to have the best treatment outcome, in the world of asthma & allergies you must treat the whole HOUSE. I’m talking from paint to flooring, filters to humidifiers, comforters to pillows, stuffed animals to (now) SHEETS! Being Asthma & Allergy Friendly is crucial.

This is a fantastic mark that not everyone can earn because of their stringent guidelines and rigorous testing, but if you have a product that might help one of the 60 million people struggling to catch their breath, take the next step…get Certified!