5 Special, Locally Made, Eco Friendly Yoga MatsOctober 15, 2020
It's a big decision to manufacture yoga mats in the United States. It's more expensive and more legally restrictive, so it's only appropriate when a company's primary goal is something other than profit maximization. Sometimes the purpose is to create the highest quality yoga mat possible, other times it's for ethical and environmental reasons.
Jade Yoga, for example, lists 4 reasons they choose to manufacture domestically:
(1) Environmental Laws, (2) US Consumer Safety Laws, (3) US Worker Safety Laws, and (4) US Wage and Hour Laws
Regardless of 'Why', the following 5 companies chose to do it the right way, not the easy way, and make their yoga mats in the United States.
Founded in 2000 and manufacturing in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, Jade Yoga mats are designed above all else to be grippy, which is particularly useful for Hatha yoga. Their mats are made from natural tree rubber, so they contain no toxic polymers. Jade Yoga is regarded as a top tier yoga mat manufacturer, and is the biggest company on this list.
In 2013, Yoloha Yoga began manufacturing cork yoga products out of Charleston, North Carolina. As the story goes, founder Chris Willey was making surfboards part time, and he discovered that if he used cork, the board didn't require any wax to stay grippy. If you're going to be doing yoga in wet situation, be it hot yoga, or yoga by water, this mat will provide superior grip.
Founded in 2016, Pravacana's actual factory is harder to locate, however the company readily asserts 'Made in the USA' (check back later for details, we're actively inquiring). Unlike the other mats on this list, Pravacana's specialty isn't in its materials, it's the fact that after you order a mat, you send them a picture and they'll print it directly on your mat. They also have the widest array of premade mat designs. If you are looking to create promotional material or merchandise for your yoga practice, check out Pravacana Mats.
Founded in 2014 and manufacturing out of New Jersey, Kiss The Sky's primary differentiator is their manufacturing process which has little to no burden on the environment. The textured surface creates a soft grippy texture that owners swear by (this mat has raving reviews). Interesting side note: they sell an oval shaped mat.
Finally we have Suga which was founded in 2016 out of Encinitas, California (we were unable to reach the owner for factory locations although they claim they are in the US, check back later). If you've ever been to Encinitas, surfing and yoga might be the first two things that come to mind, and these two activities have one thing in common: rubber. Suga recycles neoprene wetsuits, and repurposes the material into yoga mats. Praised for its grip and thickness (5mm), this is another mat with raving customer reviews.
All of the mats on this list are special for very different reasons, but one thing that they all have in common, is that they were made safely using safe materials. You cannot miss the irony of doing something as health conscious as yoga on an actual toxic surface which was manufactured in a way that's harmful to our planet. Let's embody the concept of yoga, and try to be more conscious of our actions. Namaste.