Ever wondered what substances actually are in your Yoga Mat? Environment First Yoga Mats? And how important are sustainable products for you and for your Yogies? When we scouted the market, most so-called chemical free yoga mat claims turned out to be false.
In the same way that web development should always be “mobile first,” we began our product development with “environment first” as the guiding principle. Environment First Yoga Mats.
Our sole goal was to find a manufacturing system and materials that were truly sustainable, so we quickly zeroed in on Natural Rubber.
When we first started looking for great Yoga Mats, we discovered that the vast majority of Yoga Mats are made of synthetic materials or variations of them. So we began looking for materials that had as little impact on the environment as possible. It’s a difficult task because there are so many factors to consider before calling something “sustainable.”
First and foremost, there is the issue of application. Being so close to your body and skin on the Yoga Mat, it’s reassuring to know that the chemicals you’re exposed to are as minimal as possible.
Second, consider the issue of longevity. When it comes to measuring sustainability indices on various products, the aspect of longevity usually outperforms all others that can be measured. The longer you can use a product, the better it is for our environment, and you probably want to make it the most important choice when considering the environment.
Our choice was natural rubber
As the materials for our Yuman Yoga Mat Original, we chose natural rubber with a vegan leather top. By themselves, these two materials have a very low environmental impact. But also with a manufacturing method in which the two parts are welded together using high pressure and heat in order to eliminate any glue or glue-like substances from the process.
Natural rubber is one of the most environmentally friendly materials on the earth. It is also one of the world’s most durable materials. Because of its capacity to survive severe temperatures, weathering, and oxidation, it develops stronger and better characteristics over time when exposed to these elements.
Rubber plants produce latex with only water and sunlight; processing and producing natural rubber products uses very little energy and resources. Rubber is also a waste-free product. So the choice came natural to us since it combined the two main aspects of what we were looking at from a sustainability point of view.
Not all is perfect
However, as with many other materials, it has a disadvantage. Natural rubber is extracted from trees that only grow in South America and Asia, necessitating long transports to Europe, and it is certainly not free of issues such as inhumane working conditions for those who work on plantations where natural rubber is harvested. Something we had to consider in our decision, both materially and in terms of where to produce. Our solution was to look for the best production facilities in the area (more on that in a coming blog).
A good overview can be found at https://fairrubber.org/about-rubber/.*
How we act as customers
As customers, we are prone to focusing on the immediate, material, and aesthetically pleasing aspects of the products we purchase. However, when we consider the environmental impact of the products we buy, it is clear that there is much more to sustainability than just the materials used to make our products. Natural rubber products that are designed to last are some of the most sustainable products on the market today. This is due to the fact that these products require less material, energy, and labor to manufacture and last much longer than their synthetic counterparts.
Wanting to know more about the materials and substances in your Yoga Mat? There are good tests made in both Sweden and Switzerland to watch and read.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMwETS7A-bE (in German) 🇩🇪
If interested of a comparison between natural and synthetic rubber products check out https://www.gmtrubber.com/natural-vs-synthetic-rubber/
*) Yuman Yoga is not yet a member of these types of organizations due to our size, but we have carefully monitored as much as we have capacity to do.
Environment first was the guiding principle for us when designing and producing the Yuman Yoga Origin Mat, considering materials, longevity, producers, and transport distance as decision factors. Making Environment First Yoga Mats. Not all is perfect, but we can always have a mindset to make things better over time.
When we as customers are to decide on different aspects of the products we buy we always need to consider important factors of sustainability, design and off course price.
Interested in the selling our products? Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information regarding partnerships.