The goal of Yogamatata is, since the beginning of its creation, to create more eco-responsible yoga accessories. Natural, recycled, certified materials, and local productions as much as possible for each category of product proposed.
Our yoga mats are made from plant materials from renewable sources, natural rubber and cork. The harvesting of these raw materials does not involve the felling of any trees. Cork comes from forests in Portugal (Europe). Natural rubber comes from Vietnam. Our next evolutionary goal is to succeed in replacing this Vietnamese natural rubber with that of a fair trade community of sustainably managed rubber plantations in Sri Lanka.
Our manufacturer is certified:
- ISO14001 (environment)
- ISO9001 (quality management)
- Ethical (see our page Transparency)
Non-toxic yoga mats
Yogamatata yoga mats are non-toxic and certified to comply with European regulations (REACH) by laboratory analysis. The inks used to print the designs on Yogamatata yoga mats are water-based. Yogamatata yoga mats are produced from vegetable raw materials because we refuse to produce PVC mats, one of the most polluting and toxic synthetic materials according to the GreenPeace report on PVC (unfortunately the majority of yoga mats on the market are in PVC because it is a very inexpensive material, or are made with 100% plastic materials such as TPE or NBR). The two layers of natural rubber and cork are heat-sticked by a fine polyester lace which represents less than 0.5% of the mat’s weight. It is not much, but we are however looking for a vegetable alternative to assemble the layer of natural rubber and cork while keeping the flexibility of the mat and its durability.
Cork yoga mats from sustainably managed forests
The cork of the Yogamatata mats comes from Portugal and comes from sustainably managed forests. It comes from the cork oak, which only grows in the Mediterranean, and its harvest does not involve the felling of trees. Cork is the bark of the tree, harvested regularly as it replenishes it. Portugal is the world’s leading cork producer! The cork oak is a real CO2 trap: it captures twice as much CO2 as any other tree. Portuguese cork oaks thus absorb 4.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
In addition, cork is naturally anti-bacterial and prevents the formation of bad odors on your mat. It also has the particularity of making the mat non slippy when you sweat!
The production of Yogamatata yoga mats
Yogamatata’s basic project was to have natural rubber and cork yoga mats manufactured in France or if not possible, at least in Europe. After endless research, we had to face the facts: when we launched Yogamatata, only China had the machinery necessary to manufacture these precise products. Unless creating a Yogamatata factory, which is currently unthinkable in terms of financial resources (it involves an investment of hundreds thousand euros), a decision had to be made: abandon the project or well have it manufactured in China if it cannot be done in France or in Europe as initially desired.
Finally, we said to ourselves that if the vast majority of global brands have their mats produced in China without anyone blaming them, it’s because we shouldn’t abandon the Yogamatata project because of that. But approaching things differently, yes! Indeed, it is not because we produce in a country like China that we necessarily do it anyhow. There are ways to control the ethics of production, wherever it is.
Since then, we have succeeded in creating a production line in Portugal, for our range of recycled yoga mats! These mats made in Portugal are different from our mats made in China, because we had to adapt to the absence of certain machines and know-how, especially in the work of natural rubber, but we managed to turn these problems into a strength: the range of recycled yoga mats is a great success and a great commercial success!
We have decided to continue the production of our other range of yoga mats, our historical range, in full transparency in China, by having it ethically supervised by an independent ethical auditing company (as it was the case since our very beginning), specially commissioned at Yogamatata’s expense to monitor the working conditions of the selected factory. We recognize that the work of ethical audit is a full profession by itself, and we have the humility to consider that going on site, even regularly, is not enough to have correct visibility of production conditions. We therefore prefer to work with professionals in this field !
More information on our ethics inspection report on our Transparency page !
The factory that produces Yogamatata mats is located near a port, thus limiting land transport. Now that we have together succeeded in producing a mat that fully complies with European regulations, we still have to adapt this fair rubber formula. This is our next development goal.
We are also working hand in hand with them to develop future improvements to Yogamatata yoga mats. However, the medium or long term objective remains to produce in Europe, North America or ideally in France to reduce distances since Yogamatata’s customers are located in these regions.
If you are or know a French or European company considering the acquisition of machines to manufacture Yogamatata yoga mats, contact us!
If we had to do our self-criticism, it would probably be about the distances covered during the manufacturing process of the mats that are made in China. Cork only grows in the Mediterranean, rubber only grows in South America, sub-Saharan Africa or Asia (ours comes from Vietnam, because closer to our place of manufacture), factories only exist in China and the project is French… in short, no choice, distance is mandatory! But fortunately, long distances are made by boat, a mode of transport much slower than the plane but less polluting.
The yoga mat that grows flowers
For each Yogamatata mat purchased, 2€ are donated to Mécènes et Parrains d’Abeilles, a French environmental NGO. This sum will be used to plant melliferous flowers in French agricultural wastelands. These flowers attract and feed pollinating insects. 2€ allows to sow an average of 3 to 4m2 of melliferous flowers !
The yoga mat committed into waste reduction
The logistics have been designed to limit waste. The plastic packaging that usually surrounds commercial yoga mats has been replaced by upcycled textile ties, as well as paper sown with field flower seeds. Put it in the ground, water it, field flowers will grow!
We make sure to reuse logistics boxes for our own shipments. Apart from the tape that closes your package, no plastic in Yogamatata’s logistics!
Fair trade organic cotton yoga mat bags
Since December 2019, we have launched our range of organic yoga mat bags (GOTS label) and made in India in fair trade (WFTO label). Strong, durable, ethical and ecological bags that will be used to transport your yoga mat, whatever the brand (up to 63cm wide)!
Recycled yoga mats
We are proud to be at the origin of the recycled yoga mat made in Portugal, based on recycled cork from the cork industry, and recycled natural rubber from the shoe industry in northern Portugal! 1 year and a half of development with our partner manufacturer in Portugal have allowed us to create, prototype after prototype, a yoga mat based on natural and recycled materials, entirely made in Portugal! A soft and light mat, always anti-slip!
Next step: Yoga mats made from fair trade rubber
To develop prototypes made of natural and fair-trade rubber, Yogamatata has been working since early 2017 in partnership with the Fair Rubber Association, a fair-trade rubber association that works only with cooperatives and producers who sustainably manage rubber plantations. Membership fees to this association are paid back to the member producers, and member companies buy rubber from it at a price higher than market prices, allowing rubber-producing families to get a decent remuneration from their work. That’s why Yogamatata wants to be able to offer this ethical alternative as soon as possible.