The eCommerce Mattress Revolution with Mark Tremlett, Founder of Naturalmat (episode 437)

Mark Tremlett is the founder and director of organic bed and mattress brand Naturalmat. Founded in 1999, they now generate over £6 million a year via their Shopify store and other channels. And they have recently gained their B Corp certification!

Mark Tremlett Naturalmat on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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The Start of Naturalmat

Naturalmat sprung from a marine industry idea. Having a father who was both a designer and boat builder, Mark left his day job at Thorntons to figure out how to make good mattresses for the marine industry. He focused on using natural fibers, which were better on every front than polyurethane foams and polyesters.

A year later, he worked on baby mattresses when he was about to become a father, and Naturalmat quickly became known as a nursery brand. Further down the road, he also developed hotel mattresses for Yotel founder Simon Woodroffe. 

Mark shares that marketing mattresses is not very exciting, and they began designing and manufacturing their own beds and headboards in 2015 to give customers the complete package.

All Natural Since Day One

Naturalmat has been using all natural materials since day one, and Mark admits it was hard in the beginning because no one had any idea what being eco-friendly and sustainable meant at the time. Being a small business with a new and different message, growth did not come easily.

However, sustainability has become an important topic in the last few years, and even consumer behavior has changed when it comes to making sustainable choices. This has helped Naturalmat amplify its message because people readily understand what they’ve been doing all this time.

Badges of Sustainability

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development has always been on their radar, and Mark says they finally applied for it in 2019. They eventually got their award during the early days of lockdown, which Mark says was a nice boost for them.

Getting B Corp certified was also a conscious decision for Naturalmat. For Mark, B Corp is the one that really goes into understanding your business and what you’re doing holistically.

Naturalmat’s strength is that they’ve been running a green and eco-friendly business since 1999, and they’re lucky to be in that position where they’ve always been focused on sustainability.

The Future of Naturalmat

Mark says there has been a huge revolution in mattresses in the last five years, and sleep is probably one of the three pillars of wellness today. But to have a successful business in the bed and mattress industry, you have to get people to try your mattress inside a store.

And in order to grow, you have to open new stores. Mark is looking forward to opening one in Manchester and expanding further north in the near future.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Invest in a wide variety of channels because, even though you may know who your customers are, you don’t know when they’re going to buy. And invest in your creatives as well.

Tool Top Tip

Carbon Footprint Top Tip

  • Create a carbon map of your business to know where your carbon footprint is. The other area is in packaging, because that’s the thing people see immediately upon receiving your product.

Interview Links

*Thank you to Sweet Analytics for introducing us to Mark!

Related episodes

  • Colin McIntosh explains how he took Sheets & Giggles to $1m in 12 months (episode 259)
  • Embarking on Sustainability and Reaping Rewards with Mirry Christie, Sustainability Consultant for OKA (episode 426)
  • Your B Corp Questions Answered with Hannah Cox (episode 430)

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