More than ten years ago, when I started practicing yoga, there wasn’t much in the way of ecologically friendly yoga gear. And, the one “green” yoga mat I tried left me with a lingering latex smell for days. But as my practice has changed and evolved so has the yoga industry. Now there are a plethora of environmentally driven companies, offering everything from bamboo clothing to renewable mats and accessories. Read on for our favorites:
Injinji yoga socks give you the stickyness- and then some- of a yoga mat, without any of the hassle. Perfect for travel, or for sweaty feet, one reviewer said that wearing these it was the first time she felt like she really found length in downward dog. Plus, they’re made of bamboo. ($16)
Wear your eco ethos with Be Present’s new line of bamboo and RPET (recycled plastic bottle) clothing. The bamboo line is incredibly “loungey”, yet, still fashionable enough to venture outside the yoga studio. ($69). Their new Renew Collection, including the Renew Raglan Sleeve Tunic, is made from RPET (recycled plastic bottles) and organic cotton, and diverts 3-5 plastic bottles from the landfill. ($39)
Yoga Mats & Accessories
Made from natural rubber, Jade Yoga mats provide both traction and cushion. Plus, Jade Yoga plants a tree for every yoga mat sold. ($59.95; kids sizes are also available)
Also made from natural rubber, Manduka’s eKo mat is available in two thicknesses, depending on your preference. Plus, Manduka is a favorite of teachers worldwide (including this one!)
Plank Mindful Mats are recyclable and free of PVC, rubber, and latex, plus they have a “mindful” photo ecologically printed on top to help inspire your practice.
Korqmats are made from cork- a sustainable material with a natural grip that absorbs pressure rather than displaces it. Cork is inherently mold, mildew, and bacteria-resistant.
You are head of design when it comes to Yogamatic.com’s biodegradable Thermo Plastic Elastima (TPE) mats made with hydrogen and oxygen, and without any toxic materials. A selection of original graphics and art are available on the website, plus space for 40 characters of text printed with water-soluble ink let you design your shrine.
Ditch the foam yoga blocks and lighten your practice with Cork Yoga Blocks, made from a sustainably harvested source. (available at Gaiam, $15.98-$27.98)
Manduka and Lululemon recently partnered on a new venture, bringing Manduka’s eco products into Lululemon’s stores. Be sure to look out for their 9″ round bolster. The filling is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, so it weighs less than many of its competitors, yet still holds its shape. ($70; available at Manduka or at Lululemon stores)
Give back to the world community and support reading awareness, as well as the artisans in Guatemala with a Buena Karma Yoga Bag. The bags are made from handwoven, naturally dyed wool, and come with a 1-inch “no worries” doll tucked inside. Plus, 100 percent of the profits fund Reading Village’s literacy work. ($39.95)
And, don’t forget.. Not sure what to do with your old, worn-out mat? Thankfully the brains behind Recycle Your Mat have come up with a great solution. They take old yoga mats and upcycle them into a variety of items, including yoga accessories. Once they receive your mat, you’ll receive a coupon for an eco-friendly item at Manduka, too!