What are Mukha mats made from?
Mukha mats are made from Brazilian rubber. The rubber is skillfully tapped from just below the bark of the tree, a watery substance is then released, this natural rubber is then heated to a high temperature with soda to formulate the recipe to produce the highest quality Mukha mats.
Where does the natural rubber come from?
Natural rubber comes from the rubber tree. Rubber is harvested from live trees in plantations in Brazil and Malaysia. The harvesting process is sustainable and the resource renewable. The end products are biodegradable and can be recycled and reused again and again. There is no toxic by-products from the manufacturing of natural rubber mats.
Why should I use natural rubber mats?
As the popularity of yoga has increased, so has the demand for yoga mats, resulting in millions of mats being produced, bought and disposed, with most of these being made from PVC. That’s a lot of mats in landfill! Our view is to encourage the use of natural yoga mats that are friendly to the earth through it’s entire life cycle from production to the end of it’s time when it can be recycled or biodegrade. This is mukha’s commitment towards the health and happiness of ourselves and the earth.
How are Mukha mats environmentally friendly?
Mukha mats are made entirely of natural plant base material. They are PVC free (PVC is a long term pollutant plastic) and at the end of the mats life they are 100% biodegradable.
What is PVC
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is an oil based plastic. A man made plastic product used in many applications such as flooring, pipes, food packaging and is very cheap to produce. Research into the product and its manufacturing found that PVC and the plasticizers used to soften the product are toxic and studies have linked these products with cancers, hormonal disruption and dioxin production. In addition PVCs are difficult to dispose of or recycle usually requiring incineration that releases toxins into the environment.
Can I use Mukha mats if I have a latex allergy?
Although mukha makes contain less than 1% natural occurring latex (from the rubber tree), it is recommended that people with latex allergies do not use natural rubber products. If you already have had a latex allergy we would advise you not to practice on a Mukha mat for precautionary measures.
What is latex?
Latex is the milky sap that comes from the rubber tree. After it has been collected, it goes through a complex manufacturing process that often involves the addition of chemicals and preservatives to make it more suitable for it’s intended use. People can often have sensitivities to the additives used. Mukha mats contain no harmful chemicals or preservatives and have no toxic by-products from the manufacturing.
I have also heard of PER and TPE yoga mats. What are these?
TPE (Thermoplastic elastomer) foam is a non-toxic plastic that can be melted down easily for reuse (unlike PVC). Commonly it is used as ear plugs, toothbrush handles and weather seals. Yoga mats are one of its recent applications. It is soft and less durable, though more favourable, than PVC. PER ( Polymer environmental resin) is a synthetic compound developed as an alternative to PVC. In the 1990s the popularity of PVC gave way to the consumer and processor awareness of its environmental implications. PER contains no phthalates or heavy metals and has food grade skin safety.
Do Mukha mats have a rubber smell and if so, will it go away?
Natural rubber emits a low non-toxic odour that will diminish with use. Based on customer reviews, the odour is low and non-offensive, some even report enjoying the smell. However if you would like to speed up the process of reducing it's natural smell, hang the mat in a well shaded area (avoid direct sunlight) for the first week or so.
How do I care for my mat?
To restore the colour and texture of the mat surface you can simply wipe down with a damp cloth. To protect and prolong the life of the mat it is recommended that the mat be used regularly and stored in a dry cool place when not in use. If you sweat a lot in your practice, you may like to wipe your mat down on a more regular basis to maintain freshness.
Will my mat shed little bits of rubber?
The Mukha mat may have some minimal shedding of rubber in the first few uses. This ‘shedding’ will lesson with regularly use and does not effect the quality and integrity of the mat.
Why do Mukha mats cost more than synthetic mats?
Natural rubber costs more money to buy and produce than the cheaply produced PVC. Our mats are made from the highest quality natural materials that are totally biodegradable, renewably harvested and recyclable. You are paying for the quality and integrity of the materials, ethical production and the superior final product.
How long will my Mukha mat last?
Mukha mats are durable and long lasting, however it really depends on your practice, your environment and how you look after it. The natural rubber is sensitive to sunlight, oils and extreme heat (e.g. sitting the mat near a heater) these all contribute to the wear of the material.
Is this rubber in my mat like the rubber in car tyres?
No, unlike the 100% natural mukha mats, tyres are made from synthetic rubber, that has various additions of additives or impurities depending on it’s intended purpose. Synthetic rubber is not considered environmentally friendly.
Do Mukha mats have good grip? Will my mat be slippery?
Mukha mats have excellent grip and traction, however your mat will need to be ‘broken in’ first to reach it’s optimum performance. So don’t be alarmed if you feel that it seems a little slippery on first use. The level of slip will also depend on each individuals amount of sweating on the mat. If you do sweat alot during your practice, you may require a towel to wipe up excess moisture.
For maximum benefits we recommend to spray your new mukha mat with water and wipe down with a clean cloth before the first use to remove any manufacturing residue. After this, we recommend wiping your mat down after each practice. Also give your mat some time to wear in, simply through frequent use.
If doing a hot yoga, or if you sweat alot, you could lay a strap across the top and bottom of your mat where the heels of your hands are and top of your toes go to provide a point of grip.
How Can I recycle my Yoga Mat?
Mukha mats are very long lasting and durable and will not need to be replaced often. However when your loved mat has finally come to the end of its life, there are many ways that you can recycle or reuse it at home in an ecologically conscious way, as an alternative option to landfill*.
Recycle at home in your garden!
As Mukha mats are made from plant materials, it will safely biodegrade in your soil. You can use it as you would a good mulch – to reduce the moisture loss for healthier soil. It will also work to prevent weeds in the garden by placing under/around your plants and seedlings.
The non-slip and cushioning qualities of Mukha mats, make them useful and versatile for re-purposing in many ways such as;
- Non-slip mat for fishing.
- Eco-bulletin board.
- Cut out squares to go under furniture to protect floor and stop sliding.
- Small square a gripping jar opener
- Non-slip mat in the back of your car for pets, groceries, kids toys etc.
- Mouse pad that also cushions your wrist.
Where are Mukha Mats Made?
We would love to produce our mats locally, however we haven't yet found an Australian source that can deliver a 100% sustainable product. The materials in Mukha Mats originate from sustainable rubber plantations in Brazil and are manufactured in a fair-trade workplace in Taiwan to create our 100% natural product that is both biodegradable and recyclable.
Environmental sustainability and social ethics are priorities in our core values and we only work with organisations that share those values.
*Mukha mats will completely biodegrade in landfill safely, however it is still more beneficial to reduce any landfill to begin with.