Green Lifestyle

Published on October 31st, 2016 | by Scott Cooney

Aloha to Yoloha Cork Yoga Mats

Cork Yoga Mats

We met Yoloha at Wanderlust Tahoe this year, and were immediately attracted to these unique and beautiful mats.

These are not your average PVC/chemical-laiden mats you might see for rent at the local yoga studio. Yoloha cork yoga mats are beautifully designed cork mats made with the environment in mind.

The company’s founder Chris Willey got his start with sustainable materials making cork surfboards and paddleboards. He also practiced yoga and was consistently dissatisfied by the slippery, plastic-y yoga mats on the market. It all clicked in his parent’s garage when they successfully made their first cork and recycled rubber yoga mat. Willey introduced the cork mats to local yoga studios and they were a hit!

Cork Yoga Mats

Yoloha now offers a variety of mats of varying thickness, with or without the stunning artists’ work, plus yoga accessories like mat bags, blocks, wheels, reusable water bottles, etc. – all featuring beautiful and renewable cork.

Why use Cork for a Yoga Mat?

Willey found in his research on sustainable materials that, “cork outlasted and outperformed any other natural material and, best of all, it provided a non-slip surface even when wet, eliminating the need for oil-based wax or synthetic EVA foams for traction.” Cork is also considered a renewable resource because cork trees don’t have to be cut down in order for the cork to be harvested.

Cork Yoga Mats

Ever-Evolving

The backsides of the mats were originally created with recycled tire rubber. While the grip and rigidity were unmatched, the top cork layer was at risk for cracking if the mat was folded, due to the stiffness of the tire rubber. Also, the tire rubber made the mats heavy, leading to more of a carbon footprint with shipping – not cool!

Eco-Foam for the Win!

Willey and his team went to work to create a “closed-cell, slip-resistant foam,” which is 100% recyclable, and free of PVC, plasticizers, and latex. Yoloha would like to eventually offer a recycling program for used mats once the company grows, though for now, the recyclable foam backing means scraps during manufacturing may be melted down and used again. Hurray for landfill waste avoided! 

 





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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai’i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai’i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott’s current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world’s biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride.

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