Yoga practitioners may find themselves in conflict with their practice due to the toll it can take on the environment, specifically through the production of yoga mats. One Hong Kong-based company has produced a mat that aims to keep yoga practitioners aligned both physically and with their environmental values.
The controversy surrounding the yoga mat is that many mats are made from bio-accumulative PVC. These materials are toxic before the mat manufacturing process and therefore a majority of yoga mats can be unhealthy, unhygienic and dangerous to the environment.
Clesign has developed alternative yoga mats created from sustainable materials such as natural rubber and cork and have no traces of PVC or PU. Mats range in price from $131 – $175 and lifestyle accessories, such as their signature Eco cork power bank, hover around $60.
The company’s commitment to eco-friendly values goes beyond the mat. For every 2 Clesign natural rubber mats sold, the company has declared it will plant a tree. It will also plant a palm tree in Morocco for every 10 Eco-polyurethane Clesign Professional Yoga mats sold. Since declaring this pledge the company has planted 20,708 trees, with the counter on their website home page rising nearly every day.
As reported by the Digital Journal, the founder of company was inspired to design the mat by his memories of visiting his grandparents in Taiwan. They had a backyard that the founder remembered being incomparable in beauty to any other home. Decades later, after building up his company, the founder decided to invest in researching how to make the design of the Clesign Yoga Mat a reality.
The company sourced materials internationally, from Portugal, Morocco and Southern Italy. Then rigorous testing was performed to make sure the materials could hold up to the wear and tear of stretching exercises. Professional yoga teachers were hired to try out the mats and give feedback on the endurance and support provided by the mat.
“We’re proud to say that the final result, has exceeded our expectations, and has gained a large following by yogis around the world.” the founder said.