Strike a pose: eco friendly yoga mats

Forget pilates, yoga's the exercise of the moment. And it's all the better when performed on an environmentally friendly mat made from natural rubber and recycled plastic

Yoga Design Lab

No self-respecting yoga aficionado would be seen doing a downward dog on a plastic mat..heaven forfend! Bali studio Yoga Design Lab has developed a range of beautiful mats made from recycled plastic microfibre and natural rubber, as well as recycled plastic microfibre towels

The drive to leave plastic behind is gathering force and lots of areas of life we don't associate with plastic are keen to do their bit. Such as yoga, which does require a mat if you're doing it in a gym or hall with a hard floor.

Yoga Design Lab, based in Bali, launched in 2014 to produce beautiful designs that didn't cost the earth. The product range has grown and now includes towels. The brand's USP is the marrying of appealing design with eco friendliness - the eco credentials coming from its use of natural rubber and recycled plastic.

‘The goal was to create a beautiful, highly-functional product with the smallest eco footprint possible. Countless yoga mats end up in landfills because they’re made from non-recyclable, hazardous materials. While our overall goal is to limit plastics usage, at least we can start repurposing what’s already out there and keep it from our oceans,' says company founder and designer Chad Turner.

How is the Microfiber Made?

It is a closed-loop supply chain that makes yarn from bales of plastic bottle waste supplied by recycling collectors. The sorted PET bottles are sterilized, dried and crushed into small chips so they are completely free of harmful foaming agents and plasticizers. The chips go through a heating process that allows them to pass through a spinneret until they can be wound like yarn in spools.

The fibers are drawn into smooth strings and then go through a crimping machine which gives the polyester yarns its fluffy woolly texture. The crimped polyester yarns is dried, baled and passes quality control before they are considered fit for selling.