Photo: Shashi Chaturvedula
Yoga is a physical discipline that goes hand in hand with a conscious lifestyle geared towards an awareness of the food we eat and how we interact with our environment.
While the practice may be focused on physical fitness, its principles extend beyond the realm of the body, teaching us to make conscious choices to better ourselves and the planet as a whole. One way to do that would be to minimize the toxic, non-biodegradable materials we consume by switching to vegan, eco-friendly yoga mats.
Regular yoga mats are made with foam, PVC, and other toxic materials that cannot be easily disposed of. As such, regular yoga mats often end up getting stuck in landfills, polluting the soil, and seeping toxic chemicals into the ground.
This International Yoga Day, make the switch to a yoga mat that’s better for you, and the planet. Here are 8 vegan yoga mats you need to check out.
Manduka’s grippy, supportive and durable Eko Lite mat is made in Taiwan from natural rubber. It took four years for yoga teachers to design this mat that’s 99 percent latex-free, zero waste, chemical-free, and doesn’t contain any PVC. Plus, Eko Lite is a versatile sealed-cell mat that doesn’t absorb moisture.
Manduka is earth-friendly as they donate 1 percent of global sales to empower communities through Project:OM. The brand also has an expansive mat recycling program, LiveOn. For $10, you can send in any threadbare yoga mat for recycling, irrespective of the brand.
Photo: Inhala Soulwear
Inhala Soulwear's yoga mats are made from recycled natural rubber, vegan eco-friendly suede, and other non-toxic materials. Their packaging is 100 percent recycled, and their yoga mat straps are upcycled too!
In addition to always seeking to innovate in their commitment to zero waste, Inhala Soulwear also provides a "sustainability report" on their Instagram profile to show transparency in their eco practices. When making any purchase, you have the option to plant a tree for $1 with One Tree Planted.
Yoloha carries a great selection of vegan and non-toxic eco-friendly yoga mats. Their mats are made from a harmonious blend of recycled cork and rubber made out of recycled tires.
They've also recently invented a plant foam made from 55 percent ethically sourced sugar cane. The cork used in their mats is extracted from the outer bark of the cork oak in the Mediterranean area. The best part? No trees are cut down as they debark the trees by hand every nine years.
The brand advocates zero waste, so any material leftover from the creation of their mats is used to make other cork products. Even cork dust can be used as fuel!
Photo: Yoga Design Lab
Yoga Design Lab was born in Bali, with the vision of creating sustainable and durable mats. Their mats are made of natural tree rubber and recycled microfiber from plastic bottles, and their cork mats are 100 percent biodegradable.
$1 of every purchase goes to support urban youth yoga programs in need. Their affiliation with Earth Child Project spreads the love of yoga to under-resourced schools in Canada, South Africa, and NYC. In 2019, they sponsored 500 children with this project.
Take note: The rubber base of their mats are biodegradable, but the microfiber is only recyclable.
Urbivore is a Canadian ethical and sustainable yoga mat brand that uses ethically sourced cork to create non-toxic yoga mats. Since cork is non-absorbent, non-slip, and eco-friendly, it’s the perfect material for all types of yoga mats.
More sweat, less problems – cork also contains a waxy substance that improves grip as you sweat, while ensuring that no unwanted dirt and hair sticks to your mat. This is possible as cork naturally inhibits bacteria, mold and fungal growth for continuous hygiene protection.
Photo: Jade Yoga
Jade Yoga’s sustainable yoga mats have more than 20 years of history behind them. The brand is known for creating affordable non-slip eco-friendly yoga mat options with extra grip and comfort. The mats are made from materials such as dharba grass, cotton, and natural rubber.
From mini mats with non-toxic materials to large Dharba grass and cotton eco yoga mat options, everything is made ethically in the US.
In addition, for every order, Jade Yoga plants one tree!
Photo: Pharamond Life
For budget eco-friendly yoga mat options that are colorful, biodegradable, and utterly unique, have a look at Pharamond Life’s non-toxic & odor-free options.
Their high-performing, recyclable and biodegradable collections are 100% free of PVC and packed with innovative softness and strength, for a strong anti-slip quality. Their mats are also anti-microbial, vegan-friendly and 100% biodegradable. Mats are made of organic rubber and eco-polyurethane.
Pharamond Life also plants a tree for every purchase.