July 16 2021 – Lydia Lassila
Yoga is a beautiful, non-harming, ancient practice that we respect deeply. We believe your equipment should also be non-harming to both people and planet which is what inspired us to use sustainable cork in our yoga range.
Cork is a natural, renewable and recyclable material. The benefits of cork and its variety of uses are vast, which is why we love creating products with this amazing material! Here are the reasons for why you should switch to sustainable cork for your yoga equipment!
No trees are cut to harvest cork
Cork, as we know it, comes from the bark of a cork tree or (Quercus suber). The cork tree is a type of oak and the only type of tree that can have its bark removed without damaging the tree. No trees are ever cut down to harvest cork, making it one of the most environmentally friendly harvesting methods in the world.
The cork bark is harvested every 7 to 10 years and by harvesting the bark, it actually makes the cork grow back stronger and thicker so that the tree is able to photosynthesise more carbon dioxide. Each year cork oak forests are estimated to retain around 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is a huge tick for the environment and is why cork is considered one of the most sustainable forestry production practices in the world.
Cork trees can also store a large amount of water in their root systems, which helps keep them hardy and prevents soil erosion where they are planted. This storage of water also means that they can absorb nutrients from deep in the earth and sustain themselves without human interaction, even in dry climates.
Recyclable & biodegradable
Cork is a 100% renewable, recyclable and a biodegradable material which is a big tick for us.
Antibacterial , non-allergenic and easy to clean
Yoga mats are a breeding ground (literally) for bacteria. Skin, dirt, sweat and fungi - you name it! Cork is naturally antimicrobial which means that it suppresses the growth of micro-organisms such as mould or bacteria. Because most allergies are caused by particles found in mould, dust and dirt, cork products are also naturally non-allergenic, because the microbes can’t enter the cells and it doesn’t absorb dust and dirt. That makes them easy to clean and another reason for why we have used cork in our cork yoga range.
Non toxic and odour free
Cork is a beautiful natural substance that is non-toxic and our yoga mats are PVC, latex and phthalate free. Once harvested, the cork bark is boiled, dried and made into granules to form cork agglomerate. These granules are mixed with a food-grade adhesive and then processed into cork leather which we use for our yoga mats and compressed cork products like our cork yoga blocks and cork massage balls. To make our cork yoga mats, the cork leather is heat laminated to natural rubber without the use of glues and adhesives. Cork has a natural, woody aroma which is a much nicer aroma than cheaper PVC products!
A non-slip high performer
Not only is cork a sustainable and eco-friendly material, it is also completely safe to practice on. Cork has a beautiful natural feel and has a unique cellular structure that allows it to easily compress and expand, which helps with shock absorption and comfort. It really is the perfect material for our yoga mats, blocks and massage balls. Normally PVC and TPE materials commonly found in yoga mats get quite slippery with sweat however, cork is the opposite. Cork contains a substance called suberin, which has a waxy, rubbery texture and is released with moisture. So, when moisture hits the cork (like sweaty hands in yoga) it actually creates extra grip when you need it most.
We recommend using our essential oil yoga mat sprays to lightly moisten your mat before practicing, to initiate the suberin for the ultimate non slip experience.
The wrap up
Cork products are perfect choice for the earth conscious yogi. They are sustainable, recyclable, soft to the touch, easily cleaned, durable, waterproof, stain and slip resistant as well as being anti-bacterial - naturally repelling dust, dirt, and grease. What more could you want from nature!
We believe your yoga mat should be a consistent safe place in this very noisy world. A place where you can go inwards, connect, focus and flow. A place where you can find your ZONE. We want you to feel connected to your yoga mat so that it becomes an extension of your body and practice. It’s texture, it's comfort, thickness and smell all become familiar. Soon enough, your yoga mat becomes your sanctuary and your sanity.
Our ZONE yoga mat has been designed in Australia by Olympic Champion, Lydia Lassila, and made from 100% sustainable cork leather and natural rubber. The cork used in our yoga range comes from Portugal, which is the world’s largest cork producer supplying 70% of the world’s cork products.
Our ZONE yoga mat is larger than your average yoga mat as well, measuring 183cm x 68cm x 3.5mm thickness. The cork surface has a smooth and natural feel with medium grip and guide lines for perfect alignment. You can also practice on the natural rubber surface which is perfect for those that love an extra grippy yoga mat or for those cold winter mornings when you want to leave your socks on!
Check our entire cork yoga range which includes yoga mats, yoga blocks, massage balls and our handy yoga mat tote bag.