Taking up yoga can be a rewarding way to exercise in or outdoors, but it’s important to consider the right equipment.
If you’re considering just how eco-friendly your yoga mat is in addition to its quality and durability, this guide considers all these factors.
Plastic yoga mats are often made with PVC, which can’t easily be recycled and can have major environmental impact, so what are the alternatives?
JadeYoga is a brand designed to be both environmentally friendly and well designed for purpose. Their Harmony brand is made using natural tree rubber tapped from renewable rubber trees and contains no PVCs.
It features fantastic grip and is also often praised for its texture, cushion, durability.
Planting a tree for every mat sold is also a nice touch.
JadeYoga Harmony, Priced between £69.95 and £75 according to size, YogaStudio
Benefits to the range include a stronger grip and naturally antibacterial properties. The product is solid and durable, while it only needs a simple wipe down to clean.
CorkYogis, Priced between £65 and £85, CorkYogis
Liforme’s Signature collection benefits from an innovative design that looks simply stylish. Plus the complimentary bag makes it easy to pick up and carry to your next yoga lesson.
The mat has several impressive features, including an alignment system marked into the mat to help you place body movements and ‘GripforMe’ material which stays grippy even when wet. The mats are free from PVC and use naturally sourced sustainable rubber.
Liforme Signature Collection, £100, Liforme Shop.
Maduka eko lite mat
If you typically practice yoga in a non-heated room, the Manduka eKO mat is both sturdy and soft enough for practice.
Made from biodegradable non-Amazon harvested rubber, the top layer of the mat is incredibly easy to clean. The mat can suffer a loss of traction once wet but is comfortable and stable when dry. It scores highly in durability if you’re looking for a long lasting eco-friendly yoga mat.
Manduka eKo Lite, £68, Yoga Studio.
If a yoga mat that is lightweight and portable is most important to you, PrAna E.C.O is tough yet thin enough to roll up and go. It’s thick enough to provide good comfort without affecting stability but can be a little slippery once sweat sets in.
The mats are made from Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) which could be worth taking into consideration if the eco aspect of a mat is essential to your choice.
PrAna E.C.O, £45, YogaStudio
Barefoot Original eco yoga mat
Composed exclusively of all-natural rubber and jute fibre, Barefoot Original provides a rougher texture than your typical yoga mat, all in the name of delivering good grip.
The fibres woven into this mat give it excellent friction and texture that prevents slipping and gives an all out earthy vibe to the design.
Barefoot Original Eco Mat, Amazon
Yoloha Native Cork
Yoloha Yoga are passionate about delivering quality sustainable yoga products. Native Cork combines recycled rubber and cork for a truly versatile mat that works particularly well for hot yoga. It’s lightweight and easy to clean while being completely durable.
Yoloha Native Cork, Amazon.
Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat
Gaiam produce a range of eco-friendly yoga mats meaning if you can’t decide between jute or cork, there’s plenty of choice.
Depending on your personal taste, cork can be considered plain in design so their jute offerings offer a little more colour and personality. It’s lightweight and portable, while the texture helps you stay put, but the material may prove a little tough for those who are used to a rubber equivalent so it may require a period of ease in.
Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat, £50.49, Amazon.
Jadeyoga Mysore Organic Cotton Rug
Organic cotton can be a brilliant way of embracing both the traditional roots of yoga and natural materials. Jade’s Mysore yoga rugs are made with organic cotton and all natural vegetable dyes made from herbs such as indigo, cumin and turmeric in India.
It’s a great pack in your bag for a spot of beach yoga and you won’t be disappointed with the grip. With the purchase of each rug, Jade provides a week’s of hot lunches to a child in need in India.
JadeYoga MySore Organic Cotton, £66.95, GreenYogaShop
EcoYoga jute mat
Made from 100% natural latex and jute, ecoYoga have an impressive range of mats available in different colours.
Hardworking and with great grip, it’s a great option for those looking for a non-slip mat that won’t budge on the floor. It’s also easy to clean and maintain and when you’ve worn it to a thread you can simply put it in the compost to break down naturally.
EcoYoga Jute Mat, For stockist information see here.
Sugamats is simply innovative for its use of materials. Seeking a solution to the problem of thousands of old wetsuits going to landfill, the mats are 100% recycled.
Accordingly, Sugamat features a chic speckled design and a unique pebbled surface that gives it good grip. Some users may find it a little on the heavy side, but eco enthusiasts will appreciate just how usable and aesthetically pleasing the mat looks, especially considering its source material.
Sugamats, Currently US only, SugaMats.com.