Sustainable Yoga Gear
Traditional yoga mats are typically not sustainable, with chemicals and plastics that are both hazardous to you and the environment. Whether you’re a devoted yogi or simply just looking for something to stretch out on at home, if you’re interested in choosing a sustainable yoga mat and gear to match, then you’ve come to the right place. Below I’ve compiled a list of the best eco-friendly yoga mats out there, as well as ethically and sustainably made yoga gear and apparel.
These brands are changing the yoga industry by making mats from natural, eco-friendly materials, as well as ensuring a fair-paying, ethical supply chain. Supporting any of these brands is a great way to practice yoga with true peace of mind, on and off the mat.
Why Aren’t Traditional Yoga Mats Sustainable?
Yoga mats are typically made using PVC (polyvinyl chloride) to make them grippy and easy to clean. Unfortunately, PVC is an incredibly toxic type of plastic. Not only is this something we shouldn’t be inhaling during our daily yoga practice, but it’s also harmful to the environment. Since yoga mats are made from plastic, they aren’t biodegradable and take years to break down. This further contributes to pollution and makes it impossible to dispose of your yoga mat safely.
To make sure our mats are flexible, cushy, and suitable for yoga, most manufacturers add a variety of plasticizers whose toxins we then absorb during our practice. Additionally, leading brands may not produce their products ethically. There’s often a lack of transparency when it comes to where their materials are sourced and if their supply chain involves fair-wage employment and safe working conditions.
This is especially true when it comes to what we wear during our yoga practice. Many mainstream yoga apparel brands produce their clothes in sweatshops, using exploitative labor and synthetic materials. These materials break down into microplastics which are one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution in our oceans.
Choosing eco-friendly yoga mats, gear, and sustainably made yoga apparel is a great way to protect both the environment and your own health.
What Are Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats and Yoga Gear?
As sustainable fashion rises in popularity, many brands resort to greenwashing to appear sustainable when they are not. Many “eco-friendly” yoga mats are made from PER (polymer environmental resin) and TPE (thermoplastic elastomers). These materials should be avoided when possible.
PER is essentially a less toxic form of PVC and research is still needed to know how safe PER is. TPE on the other hand can be recycled but is made from a variety of synthetic materials that are often not listed by the manufacturer. Therefore, we don’t necessarily know what the mat is truly made of and can't verify its safety if the manufacturer isn’t fully transparent.
When searching for eco-friendly yoga mats and sustainable apparel, look for companies that clearly state what their mats are made from. It’s best to choose mats that are made from natural, biodegradable materials like GOTS certified cotton, cork, or grass fiber. If they are using recycled materials, check to see if their materials are certified.
Another thing to look for when deciding if a brand is sustainable is whether or not they are transparent about their supply chain practices. If they aren’t clear about where their products are made, who makes them, or if it’s fair-trade, this is usually a red flag and the brand is most likely not sustainable.
Now, Our 11 Favorite Brands Creating Affordable Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats & Gear:
Made In: USA, China
Product Range: Yoga Apparel
Wolven is an LA-Based, carbon-neutral company that makes some of the cutest, sustainable yoga apparel out there. Wolven makes their eco-friendly activewear from OEKO-TEX Certified recycled P.E.T. Each item is quick-drying and anti-bacterial so you can wear their designs as both yoga wear and swimwear.
I have so many pieces of theirs and can attest that they are of wonderful quality. Wolven also sells a microfiber washing bag so you can safely wash your apparel without further contributing to the microplastic pollution.Shop Wolven
2) Om Matters
Made In: USA
Product Range: Yoga Apparel, Yoga Accessories, Yoga App
OM Matters has a great selection of yoga gear and accessories including meditation candles, crystals, yoga cards, and even a yoga app.
They also have a small, affordable line of yoga apparel for women, made from sustainable cotton and biodegradable Lenzing Modal.
Based in the US, everything is produced locally. All of their products are created using eco-friendly and biodegradable, synthetic-free materials. They even use recycled materials to package and ship their products. Additionally, 10% of all sales goes to funding yoga for at-risk youth.Shop OM Matters
Made In: Germany, China
Product Range: Yoga Mats, Yoga Gear, Yoga Accessories, Yoga Apparel
Manduka is one of the most established yoga brands today.
They have extensive and high-quality options at a wide range of accessible prices.
They are, however, still growing when it comes to sustainability, and more transparency is needed.
Their traditional mats are made with OEKO-TEX certified “non-harmful” PVC and natural rubber, which can’t be considered sustainable. However, Manduka’s EKOseries line is fully sustainable. These mats are made from natural rubber, with no PVC, toxic dyes, or plasticizers. They are also fully biodegradable and 99% latex-free.
The majority of Manduka’s other products are eco-friendly like their cork and recycled foam yoga blocks, and their unisex yoga apparel line that is made primarily from recycled polyester and organic cotton.Shop Manduka
Made In: India
Product Range: Yoga Mats, Kids Mats, Yoga Props, Yoga Apparel
Based in India, Abhinehkrafts makes some of the most artisan, creative eco-friendly yoga mats and gear. Everything is handcrafted using natural fibers by women artisans.
Most of their products are made using GOTS certified organic cotton and natural dyes.
They have a variety of yoga mats to choose from, all from different materials. Abhinehkrafts mats use local, responsibly sourced natural or recycled cotton, grass fiber, jute fiber, and wool. Each mat is handwoven with traditional designs and varying degrees of thickness. They also have a wonderful, sustainable line of yoga gear and props, all affordably priced.Shop Abhinehkrafts
Made In: Lima, Bali, Milan
Product Range: Yoga Apparel, Yoga Mats
Inhala Soulwear is a Peruvian company committed to conscious production from the supply chain to the materials used. They produce a super cute line of sustainable women’s yoga apparel, with some options for men. They also have a small selection of non-toxic yoga mats made from vegan suede and recycled rubber.
Their apparel is made using eco-friendly supplies such as regenerated nylon and fair-trade organic cotton. Every item produced follows their zero-waste and plastic-free commitment, including their compostable garment bags. They also take measures to ensure they have a fully traceable, fair-paying supply chain.Shop Inhala Soulwear
Made In: India
Product Range: Yoga Mats
Yogasana makes beautiful, vibrant GOTS-certified cotton yoga mats in India.
The cotton is grown and harvested by fair-wage local farmers who are part of the Better Cotton Initiative and doesn’t involve any child labor.
Each mat is handmade by local weavers with a 15-year guarantee.
Their small collection is accessibly priced with a variety of colors and sizes to suit most needs. Additionally, $5 from each purchase goes to paying for school supplies for the children of the local farmers with the option to donate more.Shop Yogasana
Made In: Canada
Product Range: Yoga Mats, Yoga Accessories
Urbivore produces cute, vegan, non-toxic yoga mats made from cork.
Cork is naturally antimicrobial, non-slip, and self-cleaning. Urbivore doesn’t use any PVC or toxic chemicals in their products.
They sustainably harvest the cork from oak bark using fair-paying, local labor.
Urbivore sells a variety of mats, sustainable mat straps including an adorable macrame option, mala bracelets, cork massage balls, and mat cleaners. For every purchase you make they plant a tree around the world.Shop Urbivore
8) Jade Yoga
Made In: USA, India, Nepal
Product Range: Yoga Mats, Travel Mats, Yoga Props, Yoga Gear
Jade Yoga is incredibly established in the yoga community as they have been making eco-friendly yoga mats for over twenty years now. I bought my Jade mat almost ten years ago and still use it today. The majority of their yoga mats are sourced and produced in the United States and are made from natural rubber with no PVC or toxic chemicals.
They have a special organic cotton yoga mat line, handmade by artisans in India, as well as a recycled cotton line handmade by women in Nepal.
Jade sells a wide range of sustainable yoga gear such as organic cotton canvas mat bags, plant-based mat wash, and recycled cotton blankets. They guarantee fair-paying, ethical employment and distribute worldwide.Shop Jade Yoga
9) YOGA KONGA
Made In: India, Indonesia
Product Range: Yoga Apparel, Accessories, Yoga Mats
YOGA KONGA is a wonderful, BPoC, women-owned, sweat-shop-free yoga brand.
They produce a small line of eco-friendly yoga apparel using organic bamboo, and locally sourced, natural indigo dye. Their sportswear is hypoallergenic and antibacterial.
YOGA KONGA also produces beautiful, handwoven organic cotton yoga mats. Everything is made by GOTS-certified manufacturers in India and Indonesia. The textiles and symbols on each product represent Kemetic Yoga, African spiritualities, and sustainability.Shop YOGA KONGA
10) Create Flow
Made In: Taiwan, Australia
Product Range: Yoga Mats, Yoga Gear, Yoga Accessories
Create Flow is an Australian-based brand that creates beautiful eco-friendly yoga mats and accessories.
Their Mukti yoga mats are made from sustainably harvested natural tree rubber, jute fiber, GOTS certified cotton, and mineral-based dye.
Each mat is fully biodegradable with no PVC, toxic chemicals, or plasticizers. They also sell sustainable cork yoga blocks, foam rollers, and massage balls. Designed in Australia and produced locally when possible, Create Flow also works with a sweatshop-free, fair-wage manufacturer in Taiwan.Shop Create Flow
Made In: USA
Product Range: Yoga Mats, Yoga Gear, Yoga Accessories
If you’re curious about trying cork-based products, Yoloha should be your first stop. This brand uses sustainable cork in all of their handmade products. The cork is sustainably harvested from cork oak trees every 8-9 years and doesn’t require cutting down a single tree, since the bark is stripped by hand.
Their yoga mats are 100% vegan made from natural cork and recycled rubber with no PVCs or latex. Each mat is not only grippy, but anti-microbial, and quick drying. What makes Yoloha stand out is their beautiful, hand-painted artisan designs and the sheer quantity and range of yoga gear.Shop
12) 42 Birds
Made In: Spain, Portugal
Product Range: Yoga mats, Yoga Gear
Price Range: $32-$134
42 Birds is a brother and sister team that produces yoga mats and gear made from 100% cork in a zero-waste manufacturing process.
They’ve also partnered with 1% For the Planet and donate the proceeds to environmental organizations such as the Cork Forest Alliance and the National Audobon Society.
Their non-slip, eco-friendly yoga mats come with a complimentary cotton mat carrier strap. They also sell cork bundles that include a mat and yoga props at an affordable price.Shop 42 Birds
13) Bennd Yoga
Made In: India
Product Range: Yoga mats, Yoga Gear
Price Range: $160-$195
Bennd Yoga is an “Ayurvedic Yoga Mat Company” that produces medicinally dyed products. Everything is hand-made and hand-loomed by artisans in India. Their yoga mats and meditation cushions are made from 100% ethically sourced raw cotton which is then hand-dyed. Bennd’s dyes are made from specific natural Ayurvedic herbs.
Each yoga collection is then designed to assist a different ailment like digestion or circulation depending on the herb used to produce it. Each cotton mat also comes in a complimentary cotton travel bag with an eco-friendly mat cleaner.
Bennd’s products are natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable, including their packaging. Any leftover textiles are recycled and reused while the extra dyes and organic materials are composted in their gardens. Their products are colorful, beautiful and one of a kind.Shop Bennd Yoga
About the Author:
Alicia Briggs is a writer & editor specializing in slow travel & sustainable living. She has been a full-time traveler since 2018 and runs her own blog, Learning the Local Way, where she covers responsible travel tips and guides.
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