5 Sustainably-Harvested, Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Mats

 Photo by  Jen Armstrong  on  Unsplash

The average yoga mat is made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), commonly known as the ‘Poison Plastic’ and is derived from petroleum. PVC is toxic at every stage of its life cycle, from manufacture to disposal where harmful waste chemicals and gases enter the atmosphere, soil or water. PVC yoga mats are also considered to be potentially harmful to users in that you may be exposed to harmful gases and chemicals through inhalation and contact. Alternatives made from TPE or PER are also petroleum derived, and the relative safety implications, both of health and environment are disputable. So without further delay, let me introduce you to a wonderful alternative - Cork!!!

Cork Yoga Mats are Great for Yogis Because they are………..

Grippy - Unlike a synthetic yoga mat that can become slippery when wet, cork works just the opposite. Cork releases a waxy substance known as Suberin and the more you sweat the grippier cork becomes.

Self-cleansing - Synthetic yoga mats over time can become host to a myriad of bacteria, germs and odours, whereas cork is naturally antimicrobial: it contains substances which kill bacteria and fungus and also helps to keeps your mat clean and free from odour.


Below are 5 awesome companies who sell Cork Yoga Mats. Not only do these companies support the cork industry but they also donate a percentage of each sale to a cause that gives back to the planet or society.

CORK YOGIS

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Cork Yogis are based in the UK and were founded by Lara Sengupta. Cork Yogis combines selling eco-friendly yoga products in the West and empowering women in the East

  •  2 yoga mats £65 and £85. Ships internationally

  •  Cork topping with recycled rubber base. No adhesives used, bonded together using heat.

  •  They blog about important issues concerning female rights in developing countries.

  • They work with Destiny, a charity that helps rescue young girls and women from a life of sex slavery and human trafficking. Every mat they sell = One woman learns a life-changing skill. Every yoga mat bag they sell = One week’s wages for the women.

CORKSPACE

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Corkspace is a UK based company founded by Jyoti Naylor. He discovered Cork on his search for an alternative to leather. Combining his love for yoga and new found love for cork he created Corkspace.

  •  Have kept it simple by providing one style of mat which costs only £79.00.

  • Free black fabric carry strap included.

  • Ships internationally

  • Premium-grade sustainable cork & 3mm non-slip, flexible natural rubber base.

  •   No PVC, PER, TPE or adhesives. Surfaces are bonded through heat and pressure.

  •   Recyclable packaging.

  •   1 tree planted with every purchase

SCORIA

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Scoria is a Canadian based company founded by Yara Kamal. As a designer, Yara likes to interpret stories written by children into imaginative illustrations. The mats therefore are an expression of this childlike style of drawing, a style that she loves to embrace and share. Her focus is in merging creativity, mindfulness and fitness while staying as kind to the planet as possible.

  •      Range of child and adult mats ranging from 40.55 - 94.91Euros

  •      Ships internationally

  •      Range of wonderful designs.

  •      Free strap included

  •      Made with natural tree rubber backing

  •      No PVC, PER, TPE or chemicals. Surfaces bonded by eco-based adhesives and heat.

  •      Water-based, non-toxic inks

  •       In partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere, who distribute meals globally in the most needed communities. For every yoga mat sold 10 plant based meals are provided to children in need.

CORC YOGA

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Based in the US, Corc Yoga was founded by Christine Moghadam, inspired by a love for Portugal and the discovery of cork forests. In a quest to share the beauty of cork with others, she combined her personal experience of the healing powers of yoga with creating eco-friendly yoga mats from the wonderful cork that had resonated with her so deeply.

  •      Two styles of mat from $99 – $119.

  •      Ships internationally. Earth-friendly packaging, recycled cardboard boxes, no plastic.

  •       Made with cotton and cork.

  •       Free from pvc’s and harsh chemicals.

  •       Will personalize your mat with their Custom laser engraving service costing $119+ (mat and design).

  •       Portion of the proceeds go to Youth Mental Health Programs in Portugal

YOLOHA

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When you place an order with Yoloha, make sure to use the promo code - Ecopunk to receive your 10% discount.

Yoloha is based in the US and was founded by Chris Willey. He discovered the awesome qualities of cork during a search for more healthy, environmentally friendly and efficient materials for his surfboard building. Because of the wonderful properties of cork, Chris and his family then decided it would also be a great material for yoga mats.

  • 5 different styles of yoga mats each with their own spec. All have cork surfaces and are backed with different eco-friendly materials. Non-Toxic and free from any latex, PVC’s and plasticizers.

  • A variety of awesome designs. Prices range from $29 - $49 for a kid’s mat and $59 - $169 for adult mats. Also offers the choice of personalising your mat with laser-engraved text.

  • The mats are shipped in recycled cardboard boxes with minimum packaging materials. No plastic! Accessories are wrapped in recycled Kraft paper.

  • International shipping

  • They have partnered up with ReCork to recycle and repurpose natural wine corks. To date they have collected and recycled over 70 million corks.

  • Yoloha Yoga have donated thousands of yoga mats to non-profit organizations using yoga as a healing tool for others.

  • Also offer 15% discount to registered yoga teachers.


Cork is the natural, renewable bark of the Cork Oak. No tree is ever cut down or damaged in the harvesting process, and a harvested tree absorbs more CO2 than an unharvested one - Wow! Fancy that! Also cork forests are protected by law for as long as they are useful, so to help support the continued existence of the forests - Buy Cork!!! if you would like to know more please check out my post Why I Love Cork!! And Why you Should too!

Ethically produced, environmentally friendly and sustainable!!!


SUGGESTIONS:

. Precycle PVC by limiting your consumption of it in the first place. Avoid flexible plastics, stay away from products with plastic #3 symbols on them, and look for home renovation products that are vinyl-free.

·         Reuse any PVC products you may have - whether it’s an old faux leather handbag or vinyl flooring. Keep it in use as long as possible, and when you no longer have use for it, find someone else to sell it to or donate it to.

. Donate your old yoga mat to either a homeless shelter or a local homeless person so that it can be used to sleep on under their sleeping bags.     

Yoloha Yoga