About 15 years ago, one of our founders left the corporate world to form a company to develop and produce engineered foams with unique properties. After a discussion in 2018 with a longtime friend, a serious yoga practitioner, he became interested in developing a yoga mat. This led to an evaluation of the market leading yoga mats. A conclusion was reached that convinced them that their engineered foam technology would produce a yoga mat with distinct points of difference that included superior grip, stability, and comfort. Surprisingly, they also realized that they were capable of producing a mat that was TRULY "eco-friendly".
We realized that not only did we have a proprietary yoga mat formula that would offer superior grip, stability, and comfort, but we would also significantly reduce the total yoga mat production CARBON FOOTPRINT by approximately 65-75% by not importing natural rubber raw materials.
It became our mission to produce a yoga mat with a long lifespan and with the smallest carbon footprint possible. From this, ASHTALUXE was born.
Does including plant-based materials in yoga mat production simply make it "eco-friendly"? That depends on how one defines "eco-friendly".
ASHTALUXE defines "eco-friendly" as the grade given for the TOTAL environmental impact realized to produce any manufactured item.
We believe that the TOTAL environmental impact includes not only the raw material components but also the TOTAL CARBON FOOTPRINT created to complete the yoga mat production process.
No one would disagree that utilizing plant-based materials such as natural rubber from a tree as part of yoga mat production appears to be a good thing. In fact, it is.
However, ASHTALUXE believes that the true measurement of eco-friendly must include the environmental impact to the air we breathe and the ozone layer that protects us.
What MUST be considered is the amount of CO2 emitted during the transportation of these plant-based materials from the point of harvest to the final location of yoga mat production.
What is "Eco-Friendly"?
The term "eco-friendly" is often used as a marketing tool. There is no denying that purchasing products that are labeled "eco-friendly" or "sustainable" or "recyclable" makes all of us feel better about the item we are buying. It seems these words are often used to persuade consumers into believing they are contributing to the preservation of our earth. However, simply purchasing a yoga mat produced in the USA that includes a natural rubber raw material alone does not make a yoga mat "eco-friendly" with respect to its TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. This is primarily due to the intercontinental transportation required via cargo ships for these natural products which generates a massive CARBON FOOTPRINT. This works to destroy our protective ozone layer which is not in dispute.
In addition, finished yoga mats, economy up to higher priced, produced on other continents and shipped to North America adds other very significant CARBON FOOTPRINTS attacking our protective ozone layer.
Cargo ships are among the worst CARBON FOOTPRINT environmental polluters. They are devastating to our fragile ozone layer. Cargo ships are the way natural rubber raw materials are transported, typically over 10,000 miles between continents, BEFORE yoga mat production. Whether produced in North American or outside of our continent, this applies to all yoga mats produced with "eco-friendly" natural rubber raw materials
Another important environmental consideration when choosing plant-based raw materials as a component for yoga mat production is that they may not provide the same level of longevity as non-toxic, synthetic raw materials that are chosen by ASHTALUXE. Please remember the conscience decision to use sythetic raw materials in our mats also results in our ability to produce a yoga mat with the least amount of TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.
NOTE: Recent reviews of yoga mats containing natural rubber cite occurrences of surface peeling, crumbling, and loss of grip and stability. This means more natural rubber or plant-based yoga mats could find their way to our landfills.
ASHTALUXE is dedicated to creating the highest-quality yoga mats with superior grip technology while leaving the smallest global carbon footprint. We believe minimizing the harmful impact to our air and ozone layer is paramount to achieving our goal toward environmental stewardship.