ecoYoga mat faqs
Please follow this link to view our full Yoga Mat Range
Why should I use an environmentally friendly ecoYoga mat?
Yoga mats have become the major accessory for yoga practitioners and with the ever increasing trend it means millions and millions of mats are out there being bought, used and disposed of. These mats can eventually find their way to the landfill sites. ecoYoga say that "the postures on your yoga mat are the beginning of a journey to protect and promote the health and well-being of your body and mind. If this inner awareness is awakened, one hopes it finds reflection in the external world. It is therefore a simple gesture to practice on a mat created with the environment in mind from renewable resources. We thought it would be lovely to be able to practice on something a bit closer to nature, something aesthetically considered but still with great grip!"
Why are ecoYoga mats environmental?
The mats are made from entirely natural plant based material. They are PVC free (PVC is a long term pollutant plastic). The rubber compound is environmentally neutral so, at the end of the yoga mat's life, it can be composted and or safely used in the garden - making them completely ecofriendly.
How do I care for my ecoyoga mat?
It is important to let your ecoyoga mat breathe as much as possible, especially if you work up a sweat on it. Wiping down with a damp cloth before and after class is good practice. The mats wash well in the washing machine through a cool cycle using a small amount of detergent if really dirty. They will retain a lot of water so remove excess amounts by rolling up with a dry towel - the old traditional woolens method! Dry flat to avoid creasing (though these will eventually smooth out). Do not attempt to use a tumble dryer to dry your mat. Avoid contact with oils and store out of direct sunlight as both these will increase degradation of the rubber.
The jute on my mat is not perfect. Is this a fault?
The weave of jute chosen for the design of mats is quite loose and soft. Inherent in this weave are random anomalies of loose threads and nubs. Whilst ecoYoga discard the more extreme cases, generally, the milder cases are not considered to be faults or defects: We feel that these characteristics actually give the mats a more individual nature, and as a result every mat is different.
What about fair trade or child labour?
ecoYoga mats are made in the UK. They deliberately chose not to make the mats in China or Taiwan which would have been cheaper. Fair Trade standards within the jute or rubber industry are slowly emerging but are currently limited. ecoYoga's Scottish jute supplier has long family business relationships in India and Bangladesh and works only with government factories (all ISO-9001 certified) where standards can be monitored. They already have their own standards in practice.
My ecoYoga mat has an odour. Why is this ?
The base material for ecoyoga mats is natural rubber baked in an oven during the curing process of manufacture. The natural mats therefore have an odour of latex when new. This wears off after some time and a good bit of airing after use.
Do you have different colours of mats?
There is currently a core group of 5 colours that will satisfy a broad spectrum of tastes.
I was sold an "eco" yoga mat by another supplier. Is it really "eco"?
The chances are that your mat may still contains PVC, a potentially environmentally damaging plastic. There is however much change afoot in the yoga mat world with increased demand for non-plastic goods. We have not yet found any supplier of yoga mats that conform to our strict standards of ecology.
How long will my ecoYoga mat last?
It really depends on your practice, your environment and how you look after it. The natural rubber is sensitive to sunlight, oils and extreme heat (e.g. sitting on top a radiator). These will all contribute to the degradation of the material.
My mat sheds little pieces and sticks to my clothes. Is this normal?
From time to time this has caused concern for some practitioners. Initial shedding has occurred with some mats then stops until much later into the use of the mat. Lycra clothes seem to attract the little rubber particles more than cotton. ecoYoga say ''...your expectation maybe challenged. These mats will show the tracks of your practice which we view as an integral part of doing yoga.''
Other suppliers sell Eco-tex Yoga mats. What is this?
Eco-tex (or Oeko-tex) is a private European testing laboratory that asses materials for harmfulness to human skin contact. These yoga mats are not strictly "environmental" or "ecological". ecoYoga does not sell any yoga mats with the Eco-tex certificate.
What is PVC?
PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) is an oil based plastic. It is used in many applications such as wiring, flooring, pipes, wallpaper, window frames, doors and food packaging and is very cheap.
What is rubber or latex?
Rubber and Latex is the substance, a lectin, skillfully tapped from just below the bark of the tree Hevea Brasiliensis. Natural rubber latex, as it is tapped, is a watery substance, suspended in which is a mixture of non-rubber particles like proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and minerals.
I have heard about Latex allergies?
Some people have a skin reaction to the rubber proteins in Latex. The mats are specially formulated to minimise the dispersion of rubber proteins and therefore shouldn't cause a problem to the vast majority of users. If you suspect an irritation you can give the mat a cycle in the washing machine. If you know that you suffer from a latex allergy ecoYoga recommend that you do not use the mat, just as a precautionary measure.
I have heard of PER and TPE yoga mats. What are these?
TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) foam is a non-toxic plastic that can be melted down easily for reuse (unlike PVC). Commonly it is used as ear plugs, toothbrush handles and weather seals. Yoga mats are a recent application for TPE. It is soft and less durable, though more favourable, than PVC. PER (polymer environment resin) is a synthetic compound developed as an alternative to PVC. In the 1990s the popularity of PVC gave way to consumer and processor awareness of its environmental implications. PER contains no phthalates or heavy metals and has food grade skin safety.
Rubber Tyres…are they not natural rubber?
Tyres are made from synthetic rubber. There are many classes of synthetic rubber but all are made from a raw material derived from petroleum, coal, oil, natural gas and acetylene.
Please follow this link to view our Yoga Mat Range