From cosmetics to food to cleaning supplies and beyond, people across the world are cleaning up their act and consuming more environmentally friendly goods. With the myriad of products we use every day, it might not register than even our yoga mats can be unsustainable and toxic for the environment and our bodies. It is time to say goodbye to mats that is free of toxic chemicals. The plus side is not only will the environment and your health thank you, so will your wallet. While sustainable mats may cost more on the first buy, they are built for superior wear and tear and save you repeat purchases in the future.
A quick internet search yields some great options for safe, environmentally friendly yoga mats. Before we get into what brands will satisfy our requirements, let’s break down what materials to look for on your hunt.
Try this Jute and PER yoga mat
Most eco-friendly yoga mats will contain some combination of the options above and provide a safe product without sacrificing quality, grip or feel. Be sure to always research the materials used- especially if you have an allergy. Many of the most popular brands, such as Lulu Lemon, contain Latex which can cause a lot of problems.
Just say no to PVC: Now that we know the materials that make a natural, sustainable yoga mat, let’s see why we shouldn’t use mats with PVC. PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride is inexpensive to produce and can also provide a non-slip characteristic to yoga mats. However, the chemicals that compose PVC have made it one of the most toxic plastics that humans are exposed to. Beware of mats that say they are ‘all natural’ and check to see if they contain PVC before purchasing.
Look Out For Latex
Even some of the most popular brands of yoga mats, such as Lulu Lemon, contain latex. Latex can cause bad reactions in some people, with symptoms ranging from itchy skin, blisters, watery eyes, and a runny nose, all the way to life-threatening shock. Best to steer clear I say!
Give Me The Green Light!
It's time to buy a yoga mat- which one will you choose? Read ahead to find out about some of the sustainable and safe mats on the market. There are pros and cons for each, and finding the best mat for you may come down to a matter of personal preference, but the following are my personal top five-
1. Jade Yoga Mats
Made from natural rubber, Jade yoga mats are highly durable and of course, sustainable They come in a variety of sizes, colour, and thicknesses. For me the 5mm mat is the minimum thickness to protect my knees, anything less is a bit too thin.
Jade yoga even donates 5 dollars for each mat sold to a variety of charities!
Buy Jade Yoga Mats Here
2. Ajna Wellbeing Organic Yoga Mats
An all-around favourite for many reasons, these mats are super stylish and feel AMAZING. They're made from organic jute fiber and PER, so there are no harmful substances in sight. What's more, they're 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable, so you can feel good about them.
These mats also come with high quality yoga strap that can be tied around the mat for easy transportation.
Buy Ajna Yoga Mats Here
3.Manduka eKO lite
With their motto "Made for Good" Manduka aims to create long lasting products. Check out their eKO lite mat for something that will suit many styles of yoga.
This mat is made from rubber, which can have a bit of a...well..rubbery smell, but it also lends itself well to highly sweaty practices because of its grip.
Buy Manduka eKO Here
4.Gaiam Printed Mats
If you're looking for a printed and eco friendly mat, then Gaiam has you covered. With a huge range of patterns available, there's one for every mood and taste. If you've got joints that need a little extra cushioning, make sure to go for the thicker options.
Buy Gaiam Printed Mats Here
5.WOD Fitters Cork Mat
Last, but by mo means least, is WOD Fitters Cork yoga mat. If you're a bikram junkie then this is the mat for you!
Like jute, cork is naturally antimicrobial, which makes for a more hygienic practise without the use of chemicals. It also means that your mat will last longer, because it prevents mould and bacteria from forming.
This mat's materials are all plant based, and will maintain grip even when wet.
Buy WODFitters Cork Yoga Mat Here