A buyer’s guide for Yogis who build sustainability into their practice
There’s loads of information out there on eco friendly mats and accessories, and how to build sustainability into your yoga journey. And as your practice and your Yoga ethics deepen, it’s a natural progression to choose a more sustainable mat that’s better for the planet.
If you’ve read through our yoga mat buyers guide, you’ll know there’s a lot to think about when you’re buying a new mat. Especially for Yogis committed to lessening their yoga footprint.
Some yoga mats claim to be produced ethically but fall down by using toxins that are anything but natural and far from eco friendly. And other brands do the right thing in production, but send their mats in a plastic wrap. Eco warrior fail!
Here’s our guide to buying an eco friendly yoga mat to suit your practice and align with your eco ethics.
Your eco friendly yoga mat checklist
- natural materials
- sustainable and ethical production
- easy clean
- plastic-free packaging
- feels amazing!
Is the mat material sustainable?
Mats used to be made mainly from synthetic foam, rubber, thermoplastic or vinyl that will end up in landfill.
Eco friendly choices:
- natural rubber, cotton or hemp mats
- 100% certified non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber
- mats free from toxic chemicals and antibacterial substances (these can pop up even on natural mat surfaces)
- natural cottons or fibres - avoid synthetic stitching
You spend a lot of time up close and personal with your mat, so balance comfort and durability against environmentally-friendly features.
How and where is the mat made?
We all want to know we’re making green choices, so it should be simple to look into the sustainability credentials of eco friendly yoga mats.
Designed in Australia, our mats are made in Taiwan under ethical supply chain agreements that nurture people and the planet.
Look for transparency about your yoga mat - can you clearly see where it’s made? Is there any mention of ethical supply chains or sustainability?
Get curious about your yoga mat and ask:
- where are the mat materials sourced?
- where is the mat made?
- are you practicing ethical supply chain guidelines?
Is it mat biodegradable?
Mats don’t last forever (noooo!), so it’s good to have a plan for the end of its useful life. Those vinyl and plastic mats from the discount store? They’re like the cockroaches of the yoga mat world - they’ll be around long after greener choices have returned back to the Earth.
Eco friendly choices:
- biodegradable mat materials like natural tree rubber and cotton
- biodegradable organic fibres like cotton and jute
- repurpose or upcycle your yoga mat
Mukti tip: If there’s still some life in your mat, look for local yoga mat upcycling and recycling programs. The Mukti Yoga Mat Recycling Program operates from Sydney, Australia.
It’s eco friendly. But does it suit my type of yoga?
We love treading a little lighter on our Earth, but your mat can’t be just eco friendly. It needs to tick all the boxes for traction, texture and comfort and support your style of practice.
Eco friendly features for different types of yoga:
- Yin yoga - look for a mat with ample cushioning and shock absorbance for your joints
- Hot yoga - look for super-swift moisture absorption and grip that keeps you steady as you sweat
- Yin yoga - look for a super soft cotton or jute covering on at least one side of your mat
- Vinyasa yoga - look for a dense mat that is durable and supportive for standing balances and flowing transitions
Can I keep it clean without chemicals?
If you invest in an eco friendly mat, the last thing you want to do is ruin those natural materials with toxic cleaning mixes.
Natural tree rubber is an eco friendly choice - ours is 100% non-Amazon harvested. It doesn’t love the water, but you can keep it clean with a wipe down with a few drops of water and white vinegar and a quick dry out of the sun.
Can I choose plastic free packaging?
We care about people and the planet, so we’re committed to plastic-free packaging.
Mukti Mats are made from 100% natural tree rubber and cotton and jute fibres. But we don’t go to all that effort and then pop them into a nasty plastic bag. You get
your yoga mat wrapped in recyclable paper and cardboard, and our accessories are lovingly placed in a plastic-free compostable post bag. Yes, compostable!
Does it feel good?
Check the specs and features, don’t forget to ask yourself - does it feel good? This can be the least obvious, but most important sustainability question of all; if we don’t love the mat, we don’t use the mat.
- do I like the design or pattern?
- does it feel good against my skin?
- is it reversible for different sensations and types of yoga?
Does it have that something special to be your partner in practice? If you can picture yourself supported by the mat as you gaze down in cat-cow pose or kiss your forehead to the ground, you might have found your perfect mat!
Connect with your body without distraction
We get pretty intimate with our mats. We know every inch of them, and they know us.
The perfect eco friendly yoga mat must be:
- natural and biodegradable materials through production and packaging
- comfortable, supportive and durable
- improving every part of your practice from the quality of air you’ll breathe in upward dog to how supported your feet feel in trikonasana.