Kati Kaia develops and manufactures modern and high performance yoga accessories. Signature to this promise, is our 100% natural rubber base, topped with a vegan soft recycled microfibre top. All are materials are sourced from sustainable, non-Amazon tapped trees. Our starting point to product sustainability is found in durability, by developing products that in the long run, have less impact on the planet.
We seek to use natural products alongside recycling as much as possible, working with recycled PET fabrics such as Repreve to take plastics from landfill and ocean waste and re-purpose it to fabric, which so far has saved over 25 billion plastic bottles from waste.
Our base is made from 100% natural tree rubber, sourced from Vietnam, which is currently the third biggest natural tree rubber exporter in the world.
The industry has a long history of development and is in the maturity stage of its life cycle, well established and well regulated. Realising the urgent need to promote a shift toward more sustainable industrial development pathways, Vietnam’s government has paid special attention to the promotion of green industry, pledging the ‘Vietnam Green Growth Strategy’ which identified natural tree rubber in the national sustainable development, especially in facilitating hunger elimination and poverty reduction in Vietnam.
Thanks to the larger Rubber players of the world, like Michelin refusing to work with unregulated groups, there has been huge change in the natural tree rubber industry over the last 8 years. We are happy to work with a supplier that works hard to bring sustainable development, has trace from tree to market and works with big rubber brands such as Michelin, ensuring a great foundation for our yoga mats.
Free-From PVC, Silicone, Chlorine and Phthalates.
A light woven polyester microfiber is used as the top absorbent layer. This is often called ‘Vegan Suede’ as it has many of the properties of suede, the soft touch and absorbency, though is made from recycled PET plastic bottles. Together, the RPET and the rubber represents a strong construction that protects the rubber base from wearing and becoming slippery. The top also acts as an extra grip layer, especially when wet and absorbs sweat so your mat becomes more grippy with wear and in sweaty sessions, adding to the product longevity. Which makes our product special, unlike mats of typical PU or plastics including foam polymers, which slip with age and release toxins in heated environments.
The vegan suede is fused to the natural rubber using heat alone, you can only do this with natural tree rubber, no glues are used.
The environmental benefit of recycled bottles polyester is that the synthetic material is also completely recyclable, we use NO virgin polyester, all the fiber we use is made of recycled RPET from a closed loop system.
REPREVE, is a market leader in recycled product and also offsets using new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process. That makes a big difference for our future.
You can read more about Repreve fabric here.
Each yoga mat and pad comes with it’s own cotton strap for easy transportation to classes and packing your mat for travels. Cotton in a widely available and natural resource, though it is mostly grown in mono culture and is a very pesticide-intensive crop. It is only grown on 2.5% of the world’s agricultural land, it consumes 16% of all the insecticides and 6,8% of all herbicides used worldwide. Organic cotton production does not simply mean replacing synthetic fertilizers and pesticides with organic ones. Organic cultivation methods are based more on knowledge of agronomic processes than input-based conventional production is. The strap is easy to use and doubles up as a yoga alignment strap when needed, then can simply be tied over the mat after class, is it quick to pack away, easy to clean.
Crafted at our yoga mat production facility in Hangzhou, China.
INKS & FINISHINGS
All our artworks are printed using ecological water-based inks. Water-based inks are, as you’d expect, made with water and unlike plastisol (oil based) inks, water-based inks don’t contain any hormone disrupting PVC. This means they work a bit differently than other inks. The machine print heads can also be clean with a little water, they don’t pollute the atmosphere with residue oils or require tons of water to flush through colours. They are significantly more eco-friendly and sustainable than their oil-based counterpart.
The top layer is then transposed to the 100% natural tree rubber base using HEAT ONLY. No glues, no hidden toxins are used in production. The technique is called heat sublimation.
Each mat is packed in our signature brushstrokes printed cardboard box that you can keep for easy storage or recycle with your paper recycling. We are committed to keeping our packaging beautiful, functional and not wasteful. There is a paper sheet and sticker sealing your mat to keep it fresh and clean, this is wrapped in a corn fibre bag which is also 100% biodegrable.
Our new packaging is 100% recycleable.
In some cases, to meet standards with some stockists warehouses, which we are working with to educate, there may also be a film around the mat instead, for extra protection and to fit legislation for their warehouse. We are working with our stock rooms and suppliers to eliminate this film and switch to our paper wrap system. The more we work together, the more they learn of the great alternatives and hope to change their standards for worldwide distribution. We are planning to eliminate this by end 2023.
Production Map for our Yoga Mats
Our art studio is an outbuilding, using very little energy even through the winter. We have little to no waste in the creation process, buying from local suppliers and using artist scanning beds also based in the Surrey Hills.
Our paints are oil-based for the saturation of the artworks and mixing pigments are from reputable suppliers in the UK including metal leafs. Art is such a passionate process, we work with quality paints and use oils such as Sesame or Poppy for mixing and thinning the paint.
We have a relationship of open conversation and collaboration to create the most innovative products whilst working to our standards policy and creating the most high-performance yoga accessories with an eco approach.
Using recycled materials and printing with water-based inks, which are easier to clean, using water alone and non toxic to handle. All our workers all have full rights in our standards policy, gender equality and good working conditions and have been independently inspected. Our manager has just had a baby!
In the studio we have full recycling capabilities and re-use as much as possible, ‘waste not - want not’. All our fixtures and fittings are made from FSC certified wood or recycled and up-cycled pieces from charity stores and we work with local carpenters for ‘in-store’ presentations, using locally sourced FSC certified wood or completely upcycled from landfill stores.
We use the term ‘Crafted in China’ as our yoga mat factory is inspiring and innovative, at the front of trends and applications. Crafting small production runs of unique and quality product. They are a smaller manufacturer that seeks to be better, using the newest finishes and techniques. Wonderful to work with and by having open and honest conversations, we are striving together to make the best yoga products on the market.