Ethical Shopping

SUGA YOGA MAT REVIEW

A yoga mat made of recycled wetsuits, need I say more? This yoga mat might be one of my proudest purchases because it took me a long time to start researching the products I buy and this was one of the first feel-good products I put my dollars towards that I can truly stand behind. For anyone looking for an eco-friendly yoga mat, free of chemicals, made of recycled materials and can be recycled – please enjoy this Suga Yoga Mat Review.

When it comes to physical activity, I tend to go hard for a few months at a specific sport or class, until I get bored or seasons change, and a new hobby arises. For the past decade, I have been this way with yoga. Ten years ago, I was living in Boston, discovered Bikram yoga and couldn’t get enough. 30-day challenge? Definitely. If I missed a day, I would double up another day (that’s equivalent to 3 hours of yoga in a small, sweltering room of 95-108 degrees Fahrenheit). But eventually, something in my passion shifts, and I put away the yoga mat until a new studio or inspiration arises. Fast forward to this past summer: I was in between homes and dealing with a personal crisis when a new studio opened up in my current town of Whitefish, Montana. With an affordable introductory package, I started going every day. It was truly the only thing that kept me sane. There was only one thing missing. I needed a yoga mat. Again.

Over the years of my starting and stopping yoga, I have picked up a few mats, mostly at TJ Maxx, because they were cheap, and they always ended up falling apart. This time around, I vowed not to take the destructive route, regardless of the low-cost temptation. I can’t justify another yoga mat ending up in the landfill just because I want to save a few dollars.

The other massive deterrent from buying without doing any product research is that most yoga mats contain PCV (polyvinyl chloride), which is considered to be one of the most toxic plastics. Imagine inhaling toxic chemicals during one of your deep inhales in child’s pose. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you might be. For both environmental and health reasonings, PCV is not something I want in my yoga mat. I was on the hunt for an eco-friendly, high-quality mat that will last through the years.

Why SugaMat

I started looking into PVC-free mats, and thankfully there seem to be more coming to the market, but Suga offers something extra…the mat is made entirely of recycled wetsuits. Seriously. One wetsuit is equivalent to one yoga mat. According to their website, over 12,500 wetsuits have been recycled, diverting 32 tons of neoprene from landfills.

Do you have a wetsuit you need to replace? Send your old wetsuit to Suga or drop it off at one of their locations in California or Canada, and in exchange, they will hook you up with a 10% discount. They do ask that you make sure it is dry before sending or dropping off.

Another huge perk is that not only are these mats made of recycled materials, but you can recycle the SugaMat! Just send it back or drop it off at one of their locations. SugaMats are designed to last, but should you ever tire of it, at least you know it can be recycled because most yoga mats are not recyclable.

I purchased the regular-sized (72″ x 25″) basic Suga yoga mat for $79. They offer an XL (75″ x 26.5″) for $5 more. Both are 5mm thick, which meant nothing to me until I was on a rocky surface in the desert and was suddenly very grateful for its thickness. Another newer purchase option Suga offers is the SugaMat C2G (Cradle to Grave), which you can send back for a new one should anything happen to it. The regular-sized C2G is $99 and the XL is $104. This option wasn’t available when I purchased mine (which has a 30-day warranty), but thus far it has held up, and I don’t have any complaints.

The style of the mat is a great conversation starter. It has a unique pattern of colors on a charcoal background and I have received many inquiries at the studio regarding who makes it, etc. which always leads to discussing recycled wetsuits to some end. Also, SugaMats are coming out with new colors soon according to their website. To read more about Suga and how they started, visit their website.

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