Countless attempts have been made to condemn PVC in yoga mats as harmful to humans and bad for the environment. Here is why the main anti-PVC arguments do not hold true for our yoga mats.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the world's most researched and thoroughly tested plastic polymer, and the polymer itself is non-toxic. Consequently, the quality of a PVC product highly depends on the quality of its additives, namely stabilizers and lubricants.
Our German-produced yoga mats are made from medical grade PVC compounds in a zero-waste, zero-emissions process according to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. Tested for more than 300 harmful substances, it is guaranteed that all yoga mats from our German factory are free of phthalates, heavy metals, AZO, DOP and latex.
Quality and progress made in Germany
Being easy to separate from the waste stream, our STANDARD 100 yoga mats can be recycled at the end of their "first lifes". The German PVC industry, including our manufacturer, has been making great progress in optimizing recycling technologies for high-quality PVC coated fabric, which is reused up to eight times within the existing range of PVC applications.
Moreover, our KURMA yoga mat range has actively contributed to a more sustainable yoga world since the 1990's. While typical use-and-throw arcticles made from cheap PVC will most certainly end up in a landmill site one day, our KURMA mats are made to last a lifetime. To minimize our ecological footprint, we have to minimize our consumption – and a KURMA mat is the only professional yoga mat you will ever need.
Natural rubber – a green alternative?
Many competitors have started to focus on yoga mats made of "gentle on the Earth" materials like natural rubber, and we actually toyed with the same idea for a while. However, we rejected the project after taking a closer look behind the scenes of the rubber business.
The world market prices for rubber have decreased drastically in recent years, sometimes even falling below the cost of production. Consequently, many smallholders and rubber tappers are driven into severe poverty, while the rubber processing industries make a fortune.
At the same time, two million hectares of rainforests worldwide have been transformed into rubber plantation in the past decade. This conversion results in decline in biodiversity, and on a natural global scale is known to cause the extinction of many species.