An exclusive interview with COMO, an exhibitor at Sleep Expo Europe’s first edition.

  • What inspired COMO to get into the bedding business?  

The tourism industry is one of the most important and dynamic branches of the Greek economy. The fact that it is constantly being upgraded and developed inevitably positively affects the demand for high-quality bedding, the industry in which our company operates. Our company’s focus in this area makes us develop and upgrade our products following the strict specifications and high-quality requirements of the tourism industry.

  • All your products at COMO are recyclable. Can you tell us whether this was a philosophy you started the company with? If so, why? 

From the very beginning we have always produced recycled products. Having been involved in the textile industry for many years in the past, Mr. Solon Chaniotis, owner of COMO, had the opportunity to immerse himself in the specifics of this product and learn how to transform it from waste into a useful product. At that time, recycled products were not so popular, since people were not so sensitive to pollution issues and were not aware of how polluting the textile industry is.

  • Can you throw light on the current status of mattress recycling/sustainability in Europe? How has this section of the industry advanced? 

Almost 92 million tons of textiles are thrown away worldwide annually, which is equivalent to one garbage truck every second. This huge amount is expected to increase further to 134 million tons by 2030 due to the effects of fast fashion. Only 10% of these are recycled. Not to mention the number of old mattresses thrown away each year. Mattress manufacturers should be obliged to replace some of the materials they use with recycled ones. To give you an example, 1 kg of recycled cotton saves 20,000 lt H2O. 

  •   Do you use any special machinery or technologies to create and produce your products? What are they? 

We produce our products using advanced European branded machinery, which is specially designed for the processing of textile post-industrial waste.

  • Tell us about your export division. What kind of bedding products are most in demand across Europe and the rest of the world?  

Our best seller product is the hard felt made from post-industrial fabric waste and used within the layer above the springs to isolate them from the rest of the layers below the fabric. It is a 100% recycled product, ideal for mattresses but also a product that contributes the most to a cleaner planet. In my opinion, people should ask the mattress producers to use this material inside the mattresses since in this way they are actively supporting eco-friendly thinking. 

Lately, there is a growing demand for natural felts such as wool felt or cotton felt. The sensation and energy that these materials offer during sleep is unique since they are 100% natural and eco-friendly as well.

  • What are the main challenges in bedding products? How do your products solve these issues? 

One of the major issues in bedding products is the use of synthetic or chemical products inside the mattresses which, by the way, also cost a lot. We, at COMO, recommend the use of 100% recycled products or 100% natural products. When it comes to recycled, the benefit to environmental decontamination is huge. 

We all are well-aware of the great environmental pollution of textile products, which is even more polluting than the airplane carbon emissions. We turn all this waste into useful products – 100% in the loop. All this waste otherwise – and we are talking about millions of tons – will end up in landfills. We contribute the best we can to this major problem. Our products are not just 100% recyclable, but they can be recycled again after their useful life.

  • A lot of R&D goes into the creation of sustainable and recycling products for mattresses. How do you recognise the problems and work on the solutions ?

Having been in this business since 1996, we strongly believe that using recycled or natural products is the only solution as far as sustainable and recycling products is concerned. About 1 million mattresses are produced in Greece alone, should all producers start to replace a part of the chemical materials with recycled ones just imagine what a huge benefit it would be for our planet. Recycling used mattresses is another solution. Most of the mattress components could be recycled and used by companies like ours. Old mattresses are a big pollution issue for most communities around the world which can be turned around to be a benefit by recycling.

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