To end bedlessness and provide sustainable and high-quality mattresses that will last for years.
At Lessa, "we make mattresses and products for good sleep & more good mornings."
The University of Toledo
When it comes to the innovation behind Leesa as a company, there are many aspects to consider. First, when Leesa started in 2015, buying mattresses online was a bizarre concept to most. This part of the brand is innovative in its own way because it provided convenience and prevented the awkward experience of laying on mattresses in stores. Along with this is the 100 nights trial period for the consumer to decide if they love the mattress or want to send it back. These returned mattresses are then donated or recycled. Jen-Ai Notman with Leesa’s Brand Activation and Mission division, notes that “sustainability in the mattress industry is difficult and there is a lot of greenwashing.”
In order for Leesa to combat the issues related to greenwashing in the mattress industry, they always maintain a high level of transparency and honesty. While they do use recycled materials whenever possible, they will also admit that they use foam in their products as well. Notman said that Leesa’s products are sourced from, “the best possible products, not only for the environment but also for the durability for the customer.” While not all mattress manufacturers use recycled materials, more have started to do so thanks to Leesa paving the way. Leesa has been an innovative company on the mattress scene since it was founded 5 years ago. The innovation that is Leesa is not only transforming the mattress industry, it is also transforming how consumers think about what goes into the products they buy. As more consumers start to value sustainable products and companies, brands like Leesa have a competitive advantage in the field.
When Leesa’s co-founders, David Wolfe and Jamie Diamonstein, created the company in 2015 they set out with one goal in mind. How could they build a company that wasn't just about selling products, but one that had products created for the betterment of the world? That is when the two launched the company on the premise of the One-Ten program. The One-Ten program donates one mattress to someone in need for every ten sold. “Find a mission that ties into your products and everything else will fall into place. Your mission should be something close to the founder’s heart. It will allow consumers to better connect”, Notman advocated. By launching this program from day one, Wolfe and Diamonstien had aligned their hearts with their mission statement. The One-Ten program is still the heart of Leesa Mattress but has evolved to have more of a focus so their goals could be better measured. Nowadays Leesa provides beds to those who need them but focuses on getting children the proper sleep they need to avoid serious long-term mental and physical health impacts.
“Beds donated was an action, not an impact”, Notman stated. Even though the founders of Leesa Mattress donate 1 mattress for every 10 they sell to children in need, they did not want to stop there. They wanted to expand and go above and beyond just donating mattresses. The overall impact they would like to create is to end child bedlessness in the USA. One of the ways they can do that is by not only donating beds but by making their beds recyclable. According to Notman, “20 million beds end up in the landfill each year.”
To make sure none of those beds are Leesa Mattresses, they make their beds recyclable by repurposing water bottles and merino wool, and they have some parts that are even made from recycled car parts. Overall they strive to make their beds environmentally friendly throughout their design process. Another aspect that helps them achieve their overall impact is that they are local to their desired market. All of the mattresses are made in California and the covers are made in North Carolina, so when shipping their products Leesa Mattresses does not have to make shipments using containers and import products from third world countries. When Leesa Mattress makes products locally they incorporate the idea of keeping more jobs available in their local community.
The benefit of their business is that since they are a true and authentic brand their customers choose to invest in a part of their company because they value the mission that they have held themselves to. This year alone Leesa Mattress has had 40,000 consumers invested in a part of their company. “We have been ranked one of the fastest-growing startups in 2016”, Notman stated. Leesa Mattress has proved that not only have they achieved great things but that if startups invest resources and have a mission, they can be a beneficial company. With the B-Corp certification report they receive, Leesa Mattress can do a self-assessment of their internal and external areas for improvement. Some things Leesa Mattress focuses on from the report include gender pay quality, researching how their suppliers and vendors package items by looking at the amount of plastic a product uses and understanding the life cycle of the products they receive, and by understanding how the company overall treats its employees. By keeping their mission to end child bedlessness in mind they can improve the quality and durability of their beds/cover tops to have an advantage over their 150 competitors.
Co-founder Jamie Diamonstien grew up with a family history in mattress sales. “If anyone can get you excited while talking about mattresses, it's Jamie. No one talks about mattresses like he does”, Notman emphasized. With a background in mattresses, Diamonstein set out to create a mattress not only with the highest quality materials but one that was green. Leesa Mattress uses numerous green processes in their mattresses. All of their mattresses use 10,000 springs all made from metal that is recycled from car parts. The cover on the mattress is made of up to 73 recycled water bottles. And to make the mattress even greener it uses 84.5% organic cotton. Organic cotton uses far less water than non-organic cotton and it doesn’t require pesticides and insecticides. Another 12% of the mattress comes from Merino wool. Merino wool comes from Merino sheep and is breathable, temperature adaptable, and 100% biodegradable. Once the mattress is made and shipped to consumers Leesa then gives customers a return policy of 100 free nights, no questions asked. On top of this, they will recycle or donate the returned mattress. Leesa also uses locally sourced processes in the making of the mattress, which avoids international shipping. The hours upon hours of research that Diamonstein put in designing their mattresses allowed him to create not only a durable mattress but one that lessens the waste dumped into landfills and pollutants that are released into the air from standard foam and international shipping.
Jen-Ai Notman, Brand Activation + Mission
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Virginia Beach, Virginia, US
Business Website: https://www.leesa.com/
Year Founded: 2014
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Leesa is a certified B corporation that makes its mattresses in the USA. They offer a range of mattresses to best fit the needs of any consumer and their products are created to offer the best night's sleep for everyone. Their mattresses are made from recycled and natural materials and Leesa headquarters runs on renewable energy. But, the environment and quality are not the only values embedded within the company. Leesa’s social impact is just as important. For every ten mattresses bought, one is donated to someone in need, specifically children. Currently, they have donated over 37,000 mattresses and are motivated to increase that number. It’s safe to say that investing in a Leesa mattress not only benefits yourself but also someone in need and the planet. It is truly a company that works every day to impact its community, rather than prioritizing profit.
Working towards the future, this year Leesa is on track to donate over 40,000 mattresses and has adopted the mission of ending child bedlessness. They believe the power of their company has the ability to make a difference in these children’s lives. In our interview, Jen-Ai Notman highlighted the impact of children receiving sleep is higher because children getting a good night's sleep doesn’t just affect their next day, but is also important to their long term mental and physical health.