My New Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat, Handmade From Cork!
About Cork Bark.
Cork is the bark of the evergreen cork oak tree (Quercus Suber). When the tree reaches maturity the bark begins to separate naturally and can then be collected without harming the tree. Cork bark is harvested between May and August every year by hand. The cork tree then re-generates the bark over a period of 9-12 years, during this time the tree absorbs 5 x more C0² from the atmosphere.
Cork yoga mat?
This lovely handmade cork yoga mat is my latest sustainable find in Amsterdam. I had never seen a yoga mat made from cork before and was surprised by how flexible the material was. Also, it is100% natural and the cork is collected and used in an environmentally friendly way, reducing the need for plastic or artificially made mats and other items. The mat is so soft to lie on and is non-slip, without that feeling of being 'stuck' that some yoga mats have. You can also spray your mat with water for some extra grip during your workout.
But why is it so great?
The mat is waterproof yet breathable and dries in a few seconds after cleaning. The cork is anti-bacterial, non-allergenic and anti-fungal. It rolls up easily so you can carry it to your yoga or Pilates class. The size of this mat is 185cm x 60cm and it is 5mm thick. The cork for the mat is sourced in Portugal, where the mats and other cork products are also produced. Cork is a100% natural, sustainable and renewable product due to the fact that the cork tree does not need to be cut down in order to collect the cork material. The bark can be removed without harming the tree in the process. Cork trees can live up to 300 years naturally.
Cork fabric otherwise known as 'Suberis' is made by boiling the raw cork bark, and then shaving it into 3mm thin slices. The slices are then polished with Suberin, a waxy substance from the cork oak that is highly water resistant. This material is then glued to a textile background. The cork fabric is very durable and both water and stain resistant.
If you want to have one of these lovely mats of your own, they are sold locally in Amsterdam at iiwiiCork on Binnen Oranjestraat 11, just off the Haarlemmerdijk. Or you can check out their online store at www.iiwii-cork.nl. Also have a look at their other lovely cork products on their Instagram account @iiwii.cork.
Enjoy your yoga and Pilates practice this weekend! I'm off to a Reformer class at Pilates 13 later and I can't wait!