Those who practice yoga want to do something good for themselves and their body. This also includes the right equipment: We present fair-produced yoga mats made from natural or recycled materials. Yoga mats are often made of PVC and contain harmful plasticizers or even carcinogenic substances such as phthalates and azo dyes. But there are also sustainable yoga mats: They are made of natural rubber, organic cotton, flax and natural latex, virgin wool, Okotex 100 certified PVC or recycled material and are also produced under fair conditions. We present you a selection of sustainable labels for yoga mats. If you know of other recommended mats, feel free to write us in the comments. This list does not claim to be complete.
Yoga mats made of natural rubber from JadeYoga
The vegan yoga mats from the American label JadeYoga are made in the USA from natural rubber. The renewable raw material is biodegradable and free of PVC and toxic plasticizers. The open cell structure of the yoga mat should ensure sufficient slip resistance, despite sweat and even when it is warm. The label is based on the principle of reuse, reduction and recycling: Anyone who has an old JadeYoga mat can return it and receive a five euro discount when buying a new one. JadeYoga donates yoga mats that are still usable to non-profit organizations, for example. If the mats can no longer be used, they are recycled: The yoga mats from the Encore line have a recycling share of 20 percent.
In oko-Test, the mats from JadeYoga 2018 performed relatively poorly, and the consumer magazine found controversial nitrosamines, among other things. Several blogs refute this statement with statements from the manufacturer. Accordingly, there are various nitrosamines, not all of which are harmful to health and if so, then only when ingested. The measured values are only one fortieth of the amount permitted in pacifiers in Germany. Öko-Test even announced this to JadeYoga itself. As long as you don’t eat the yoga mats, we consider the statement to be credible and the mats to be recommended.
hejhej-mats: These yoga mats are made of trash
The Munich start-up hejhej-mats has developed a yoga mat that is made of recycled material and can be upcycled to a new yoga mat at the end of its useful life. This principle is called closed-loop, i.e. a closed material cycle. In this way, no new materials are used and there is no waste. Read more about hejhej-mats here . A structured surface provides support. We were allowed to try the mat in the office and can confirm that.
Thanks to successful crowdfunding, there will soon also be a bag to match the mat. The hejhej-bag is also made entirely from recycled materials and is completely recyclable. The shoulder strap can also be used for practicing.
Natural rubber yoga mats from Southern Shores
The Hamburg label Southern Shores was founded by the brothers Hannes and Lasse Homfeld. The idea: to tackle the pollution of the oceans with sustainable yoga mats. To this end, the label not only produces sustainable yoga products, but is also active itself: One of the two brothers lives in Barcelona and organizes beach clean-ups on the beaches of Barceloneta. The Ocean Mat by Southern Shores is made of FSC-certified natural rubber, recycled natural rubber , recycled plastic bottles and some cotton.
The Ocean Mats are produced in Taiwan under fair conditions. There is no rubbish, and the leftovers are used directly in production, explain the founders. Both the production and the logistics are CO2-neutral – to achieve this, Southern Shores supports tree-planting projects . The mats are also REACH certified and, according to the manufacturers, free of harmful substances.
Yoga mat from Manduka – for lifelong practice
The vegan yoga mats from Manduka are made of natural, recyclable, sustainable and organic materials. The American label strives for a high level of transparency in the production process: The mats in the Pro line are produced in Germany without emissions. They are Oeko Tex 100 certified, have a lifelong manufacturer’s guarantee, but are made of the plastic PVC , which contains plasticizers that are hazardous to health.
The yoga mats of the more environmentally friendly eKO line, on the other hand, are made from natural rubber. This is biodegradable and does not contain harmful plasticizers. Manduka emphasizes on his website that all mats are free from toxic chemicals, dyes and phthalates.
The production of the Manduka mats is based on the “zero waste” principle, so no waste should be created and no harmful substances should be released into the environment
Yoga mat made of cotton from Pranajaya
The Pranajaya yoga mat is made of pure organic cotton and is also Ökotex 100 certified. According to the manufacturer, the mat is non-slip and offers sufficient support – although it does not contain any rubber or PVC. Compared to rubber or PVC mats, it should also absorb and release moisture better and therefore be less susceptible to germs and bacteria. Further advantages: Thanks to the organic cotton, the mat can be easily folded up and transported more easily. And if the training was a bit more extensive, you can wash them at 60 degrees. According to the manufacturer, the mat is suitable for every yoga style, but especially for Bikram yoga and other sweaty yoga styles, as no additional towel is required.
Unfortunately, the yoga mat is not particularly dampening – the manufacturer has a charming justification ready: “Due to its nature, it does not exactly invite the yogi to laze around”, says the website. If you have sensitive knees, you should always have a blanket ready to put it under.
Cotton yoga mat from Green Earth
The cotton yoga mat from Grüne Erde is a lot thicker than the Pranajaya mat and therefore a bit more comfortable. It is made entirely of cotton and is also lined with it. This mat is less suitable for strenuous physical exercises, but all the better for meditative forms of yoga. With the help of straps on the head side of the mat you can easily close it and transport it without a bag. The yoga mat is made entirely of natural materials and is manufactured under fair conditions in Germany and Austria. We generally recommend the yoga products from Grüne Erde: They consist exclusively of natural materials and are chemically untreated. The yoga mats are not all vegan, however.