2016 was a huge year for us here at Essentia, and some of the biggest news actually came from our manufacturing department. Essentia’s factory has an ISO certification as well as being a GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic facility.
It took a lot of time and hard work from our very dedicated team member in production to make it happen and we couldn’t think of a better way to share the story with you than directly from the people that made it happen!
Hear how Essentia became a GOLS, GOTS, and ISO Certified Facility:
Project Leader – GOLS, GOTS, ISO, FDA
Becoming GOLS, GOTS, and ISO certified meant we would take our factory to the next level – introducing higher standards throughout our manufacturing processes and prove that we maintain the highest quality of our natural and organic products. Having regulatory bodies supporting us meant that we were doing it right.
Getting there was not as simple as buying into a membership. We’ve always sought out the best organic materials we could find, however now we were auditing their processes. Who would have thought that this journey would lead me to half-way across the globe into the depth of the South Indian jungles to see where organic latex forests are grown. The experience was exhilarating as I was personally witnessing the process of how this simple ingredient can grow out from a tree and how we transform it to become an amazing product. Seeing the harvesting process allowed me to have an inclination of appreciation for the meticulous care that goes into maintaining the organic nature of the latex we use.
All of this was complimented by sourcing better quality organic cotton fabrics that are used on our mattresses. I got to see the cotton delivered straight from the nearby farm get converted into our fabric. It was a highly technical process.
Getting our factory to meet the standards of GOLS, GOTS, and ISO took many weeks of work. It consisted of many late nights, setting up the factory and revising documentation to meet the standards of the regulatory board. This was even more strict with ISO 13485 as it meant we would need to meet the requirements for manufacturing medical devices – a quality system beyond what any retail mattress production company could equate to. At first, it made us think we were nuts for taking on so much work for something as simple as a few certifications. By the time we were nearing the finish line, we realized it was much more than the certifications. The whole factory worked like a complex timepiece. Every work station was autonomous, organized, and able to trace each organic component at each stage of manufacturing. Every fine defect was corrected and removed from the system. It had embedded strict quality standards for every process and piece of machinery. At first, we were bathing in a whirlpool of to-do’s, but once we got the hang of things, it allowed the production team to make decisions which lead to higher quality standards while improving the factory efficiency. The system worked!
Having these certifications means we can continue to do better. Just when we think we have reached the epitome of greatness, we can find a way to make it greater. It represents an accomplishment made by the whole company and not just production. To know our factory standards are valued and compared with some of the biggest medical device manufacturing facilities is something to smile about. We don’t just produce mattresses; we produce high quality certified organic medical devices that improve lives. That is something to be proud of. That is something worth bragging about!
Morena, Production Integration – GOLS, GOTS, ISO, FDA
As Anant outlined above, the steps to get our GOLS, GOTS, and ISO certifications were very time-consuming and meticulous. For me, it was like walking down memory lane, it felt like I was back in school taking a class for extra credits!
The importance of these certifications and the pride of our factory to have successfully met all standards has not been lost on me or my team. Working in a certified environment helps us build a solid foundation with guidelines, policies, procedures and everyone can follow in the same clear direction.
I’m extremely proud that we have proven that our product is organic and that all employees are working for the same goal. Ultimately our behavior changes- we don’t settle- we aim for continuous improvement.