Sustainable mattresses maker Carles Casas: ‘many natural fibers and materials around us may help us to sleep well’

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In due time Carles Casas decided to put together his training as a designer and his experience in bed accessories to achieve his own project: making mattresses and bed accessories to get an ecological, truly recyclable, sustainable, economically affordable, comfortable and adaptable sleep. So, he learned the traditional skills and techniques and started making use of raw materials and natural fibers like wool from Pyrenees, seaweeds from the river Ebro delta, lavender and cereal husks from Berguedà. Today he adds art to intelligence and craft to design and create handmade mattresses that ensure restorative sleep while respecting the environment.
 
What does an ‘eco-matress maker’ do?
I reclaim an old trade which has endured for centuries just to update it with the aesthetics and the needs of the 21st century. Sustainability and environment do matter to me, thus I use natural raw materials and fibers.

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You had trained and worked in professional design field before. How did you become a sustainable mattresses maker?
I worked for nine years in a bed company, where I got fascinated by beds and accessories. I could not think of anything but making handmade and higher quality beds and developing new bed accessories as well.
 
At some point you had to learn the skills and techniques to make mattresses, hadn’t you?
By that time I was dealing with country handmade mattresses makers. I learned everything from the answers they gave to my questions, from their demonstrations and practices. They taught me the trade. It took me four years to learn the techniques and this is just in the beginning!
 
Do you design the mattresses and all the products you make by yourself?
Yes, of course. We find too many middlemen attached to products nowadays. a product we usually find many intermediaries. The problem with bed accessories (mattresses, pillows, etc.) is standardization. Everyone sleeps its own way. To be productive one has to be excited and eager to work. By designing my mattresses on my own the time devoted to each piece gets reinforced, and that is a pretty long time, by the way.
 
What are the raw materials you use, and how do you get them?
Many natural fibers and materials around us may help us to sleep well but they have often been rejected because industry and economic power seem not to be interested in them. I work with wool, cereal husks, aromatic herbs, etc.
 
How important is sleeping well to our health?
Our health depends on so many things (nutrition, exercise, etc.), but restorative sleep improves our well-being and quality of life.
 
What about synthetic mattresses? What should we do with them?
We need to evolve in order to use less chemical and petroleum by-products, because nowadays many companies place their profits in front of people’s health.
 
How much time do your mattresses last?
A wool mattress can last more than one hundred years.
 
Besides mattresses, which other products do you make?
I make bed pads, pillows and cushions, duvets, mattress covers, etc.
 
So, would you say that sustainability starts in bed?
This is what people slowly start to think and to believe due to we tend to watch our world closer lately, which has effects on the way we consume.
 
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