New sustainable yoga mat made out of cork & natural rubber

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We have been avid yoga lovers for a long time now. Unfortunately, we have realised that even the yoga world is not free from the forces of consumerism and products around yoga are also having an impact on our environment. Plastic yoga mats as most yoga mats for example contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as they are cheap, keep the yoga mat flexible, and also help prevent yoga practitioners from sliding on the mat. However yoga mats made out of PVC are very harmful to the environment as they release dioxin and PCBs, both carcinogens which are especialy a problem in landfill. Also when burned in an incinerator PVC yoga mats emit toxic smoke.

Yoga mats containing PVC are also harmful to our health as other toxins such as endocrine-disrupting phthalates and heavy metals are being used to make the yoga mats more durable, robust, and non-slip. The most common heavy metal which can be found in yoga mats is lead which can enhance cancer, mental illness and headaches, among others, and research has shown that PVC can be linked to damage to the liver, reproductive system, central nervous system and respiratory system. 

That is why we recommend to buy yoga mats that are PVC­-free, or are made up of safer materials such as natural rubber or jute. You can buy these yoga mats at Barefoot Yoga’s Original Eco Yoga Mat, Manduka’s eKO Mat, or Jade’s Harmony Mat. Another option are yoga mats made out of cork like Cork Space. These yoga mats are 100% recyclable and made of recycled tree bark of Portuguese cork trees and also of natural sap of the rubber tree. Another advantage is that cork bark is sustainably harvested in Portugal without harming or cutting down any trees that can grow to the ripe old age of 300 years. Cork harvesting is not only safe, it helps the environment by reducing Greenhouse gas emissions. Cork trees also help to fight global warming as the cork tree is growing back its bark - it absorbs up to 3.5 times more C02 than it would otherwise. The natural rubber originates from the Hevea brasiliensis tree. Cork Space also do not use any glues plastics or any harmful chemicals.

To find out more about PVC yoga mats:

To order your Cork Space yoga mat: