atmat26 is the Italian community for sustainable yoga and an online store for specialized yoga and meditation products, dedicated to those who want to practice in a consciously sustainable way. We cater to modern yogis and yoginis who aspire to a yoga experience in harmony with Nature and the Environment. Our yoga mats, yoga blocks, meditation cushions are made from natural materials, or in other cases recycled and always with an aesthetic studied in detail. We are a reality in continuous evolution, always looking for unique products and solutions. We have invested in research and design of innovative articles.
YOGA MATS & GREENWASHING
It is nowadays a real challenge to buy a natural and eco-friendly yoga mat.
The current market offering presents us with PVC Yoga Mats, TPE Yoga Mats, Cork Yoga Mats, Latex Yoga Mats, among the most popular. Their common denominator is now being presented as ecological non-slip yoga mats. A careful analysis reveals extensive phenomena of greenwashing, i.e. a communication strategy that some companies adopt pretending to be "friendly" to the environment to improve their reputation.
THE REAL COST OF AN ECONOMIC YOGA MAT
Plastic is unfortunately still too present in yoga mats and and usually the lower the selling price the lower the quality that characterizes it. How do we dispose of a PVC yoga mat? What impact does it generate in the environment at the end of its life? These are the questions we should ask ourselves instead of paying attention only to the economic aspect of the purchase. If we really want to focus on the price, it is well known that a lower cost also corresponds to a shorter duration of the object. Thus a waste of money. On the other hand, a cheap yoga mat is not able to provide the right grip, which all yogis crave, and which allows us, among other things, to maintain the right balance in certain asanas. It doesn't even provide that comfort derived from the cushion effect that doesn't make us feel our knees in contact with the floor, another indispensable requirement for other positions.
In this regard we would like to quote Daniel Goleman in his "Ecological Intelligence" as he makes the point well:
"Our world of material abundance has a price tag that remains hidden from our eyes [....] ciscun object has its own history and future, its past and its end remain hidden from our sight.
Our intent is to provide a truly sustainable product without any compromise and absolutely Made in Italy
MEDITATION ZAFU CUSHIONS
We have designed all meditation cushions totally plastic free, using fibers such as hemp, organic cotton or reclaimed cotton not neglecting even the zippers and sewing thread both in certified organic cotton. The stuffing is in cork husk, spelt husk or wool.
Our yoga blocks are made of lightweight wood, made without the use of any artificial glue, a single block of solid wood that can also be used with the aromatherapy function, choose your favorite essential oil and pour a few drops on the yoga brick for a unique practice experience.
We guarantee that each Natmat26 product is designed and made entirely with care by hand in Italy. We select only environmentally sustainable raw materials, taking into account the entire life cycle of the article and making you participate in the details of the characteristics of each creation.
The cotton flower is our symbol, for us it represents the difference between uninformed sustainability and conscious sustainability. Cotton even though it is a natural fiber, undergoes GMO treatments, defoliation with chemicals, waste of water.
Farmers are also not protected and often ingest toxic substances derived from the extensive use of pesticides.
In contrast, organic cotton is environmentally friendly. No hazardous substances are used, workers are protected, and the soil benefits from 98% less water pollution than conventional cotton. Proposing generic cotton as sustainable is evidence of poor information.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
I practiced Iyengar Yoga for the first time in 2010 not knowing or imagining what kind of discipline I would experience. I was immediately passionate about Iyengar yoga because of the benefits I found in just a few lessons. Over the years I have experimented with other types of yoga including Hata, Asthanga and Vinyasa. In attending the different styles, but especially Iyengar, I have found that there are many supports to support the practice. These objects are truly beneficial in achieving the positions, but not all, I have found, are equally beneficial to our environment.
The PVC, a non-recyclable plastic is still the most widely used material to produce yoga mats, although it is by far the most polluting. There is the alternative of TPE, a mixture of plastic and rubber that is potentially recyclable but which I have ruled out a priori as I believe that alternatives must be sought to achieve a real improvement. The yoga mat, as we know it, was only invented in the 1980s. In addition, yoga blocks made from polyurethane, yoga straps made from cotton or synthetic fibres are also produced.
I wondered, "What is the difference between a yoga mat and a mat?
I asked myself, is all this in line with yoga thinking? Do we really need to pollute our planet in order to perform a discipline aimed at balancing our body, soul, spirit?
I decided to launch this project with the confidence that natural materials are far superior as well as being environmentally sustainable.
On top I wanted to add the tradition and value of Italian craftsmanship. In my journey I have met many skilled artisans who are passionate about their work. I have discovered raw materials produced in Italy with surprising characteristics and of which I was unaware. The result of our creations has far exceeded my expectations.
My main goal is to contribute to the elimination of non-sustainable materials from yoga, a habit now obsolete, not in line with the challenges we are facing in favor of our planet, with the knowledge that plastic has represented only a brief parenthesis in the millennial history of the discipline yoga and it is right that now a new page #freeyogafromplastic.