We know yoga’s is good for our bodies - now it can be good for the planet, too

We’re the first Australian company making natural yoga mats, made from natural and recycled cork backed with natural tree rubber. 

Our eco-friendly yoga mats are biodegradable and completely sustainable, meaning they can be safety returned to the earth after use – unlike conventional yoga mats, which are too often packed with synthetic plastics and chemicals.

We believe cork is the perfect yoga companion, as its antimicrobial properties resist mould and mildew and kill sweaty smells. Cork is beautifully smooth yet surprisingly grippy, too. And because we believe in giving back to the planet, we plant a tree for every mat you buy.

The story behind CORK LEAF: travel, love and an unexpected idea

I’m Christina Cavaco and CORK LEAF is the company I dreamed up while living abroad in Portugal. 

Photography: Amy Farrell Makeup: Tammi Hendricks

Photography: Amy Farrell
Makeup: Tammi Hendricks

It all began in 2014, when I decided to quit my passionless marketing job in Australia. I headed off overseas in search of something that truly set my heart alight – and ended up falling in love with a Portuguese man.

Beautiful town of Alte, Portugal

Beautiful town of Alte, Portugal

Together, Claudio and I lived for two years in the tiny rural town of Alte, in Portugal’s south. (It’s actually the village where my parents grew up, before they emigrated to Australia.) There, we lived an incredibly slow and simple life in a little house with a horse for a neighbour.

It was beautiful, yet I missed my family and friends terribly. I’d never been much of a yogi, but suddenly yoga became crucial to remaining sane and grounded. Jobs were hard to come by in Alte and so, during a total of 18 long months of unemployment, I poured hours into researching all kinds of things that tickled my fancy: simple living, environmental sustainability, the zero waste lifestyle. 

And I began to notice just how much cork was lying about. Portugal is among the world’s largest cork producers and roadsides there are littered with bark that locals pick up and use for all sorts of arts and crafts. Suddenly, in June 2015, it all clicked: I could use this awesome natural resource to create a sustainable mat for people who loved (and needed) yoga just as much as I do. I clearly remember taking my first prototype into yoga class – it was the first time my hands didn’t slip while in downward-facing dog. I knew I was on to something special.

Natural yoga mats that are good for you and the planet

Each CORK LEAF yoga mat is made from natural and recycled cork pieces mashed together into a smooth yet surprisingly grippy mat. 

Our mats are backed with natural tree rubber for strength, which is fastened to the cork without the need of toxic adhesives.

These mats are best used indoors and are thin enough to roll up and take to yoga class – we even send you a jute strap so you can easily sling it over your shoulder, all wrapped in recycled and/or recyclable packaging, of course.

Our mats are 100 per cent biodegradable, so they can be safely popped into the compost once they are worn out. Or better yet, check our list of ideas for avoiding landfill altogether by repurposing your old yoga mat into something entirely new.

Ready to make the change? Grab your all-natural cork yoga mat here.