What is this project all about?
The problem of plastic waste is a global climate problem - according to the "Naturschutzbund Deutschland", more than 10 million tons of waste is dumped in the oceans yearly. An alarming 75% of the 10 million tons of waste is plastic material. Yoga mats are one example of plastic products that often do not get recycled, thus, there is a need to rethink and redesign the materials of yoga mats which currently exist on the market. One way to address the rising amount of waste is through innovative design of products.
We at hejhej-mats provide a solution by creating closed-loop yoga mats. These yoga mats will be produced with production waste and only when no alternative, we use minimal virgin materials. This means that the whole foam of the yoga mat is out of recycled materials and solely the paper-thin top of our yoga mats is out of new material. While doing yoga, you have direct skin contact with the surface of your mat. People’s health is part of sustainability and this is why we use a material approved in the medical industry as our top layer for our yoga mats. We can guarantee you that your hejhej-mats yoga mat exclusively benefits your health and the environment in every way. Additionally, the design will enable the mats to be fully recyclable once it reaches its end of life. We will ensure that no waste will be produced and all materials can be channelled into production of new hejhej-mats. For hejhej-mats, waste is repositioned as a resource and all materials can flow in continuous product cycles. hejhej-mats, therefore, offers a sustainable solution in line with the circular economy.
Why is hejhej-mats different from other sustainable yoga
The yoga mat market already offers a range of sustainable yoga mats which is good to help our planet and to advance a change in existing consumption patterns which is definitely needed. Nevertheless, existing sustainable yoga mats are largely produced out of natural materials such as natural rubber like kautschuk. We think we already have enough resources on the planet and we do not have to take new ones, even if they are natural. Additionally, the growing demand for kautschuk, results in the cutting down of forests for kautschuk plantations. We do not want biodiversity and nature to be sacrificed in the process, therefore, we want to use what our planet already has an excess off: waste. The foam waste we use for our yoga mats occurs in the production of mattresses, furniture and many more. Therefore, it is existing in excess and is easily accessible worldwide.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
Our goals are
- Minimize the amount of waste on the planet by using waste as our resource
- Channel all hejhej-mats that have reached end-of-life into new production circles
- Zero-new-waste production for hejhej-mats
- Advocate the concept of circular economy within the yoga community
- Create a sustainable, non-slip yoga mat that comforts your yoga practice and your mind.
Who is the project for?
hejhej-mats is for anyone who care for the planet.
Why would you support this project?
Supporting hejhej-mats means supporting the planet. With each mat sold, we directly contribute to minimize the amount of waste on the planet and help to save natural resources. With hejhej-mats, we aim to provide a waste solution for producers that work within the foam industry. With your support, you enable a young and innovative sustainable enterprise to grow and make the big step towards market entry. The support of our crowdfunding campaign also comes with direct benefits for you. With the further development of our product, we will develop a sustainable, non-slip yoga mat that brings you comfort throughout your yoga practice. Additionally, our campaign gives you the possibility to reserve yourself our yoga mat at a special price. Once regular retail starts, the mat will be sold for 119€ plus shipping.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
- With the money from the crowdfunding campaign, we will be able to implement the finishing touches on our current prototype. The money would provide us with the possibility to continue our intensive research and development to achieve a high-quality product made of recycled material. (about 6,000€)
- We have tested the recyclability of hejhej-mats. To propel us further, additional research is needed to ensure that all components are 100% channelled into the production of new hejhej-mats and a fully functional return system. (about 4,000€)
- Additionally, we plan to use about 10,000€ as a deposit to produce our first collection of yoga mats for retail. As soon as we have finalised our prototype that our final product will be based upon, we want to be well-prepared with the necessary resources to advance directly to the first round of production.
Who are the people behind the project?
We are Sophie and Anna - two young female entrepreneurs who developed hejhej-mats on our own. The two of us are both passionate yoga practitioners who are highly motivated to solve the issue of increasing waste production.
We met in 2014 during our semester abroad at the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain. Both of us finished our B.A. in different cities in Germany. Due to our complementary expertise and experience, we are focused on different aspects of the business. Anna has experiences with working in an international Marketing agency in Barcelona and a Start-Up in Hamburg, thus focusing on marketing for sustainability. Sophie already started organising social projects during her Bachelor’s degree and worked for one of the leading sustainability consultancy agencies following graduation. Thus, Sophie’s focus is on social engagement and holistic sustainability management.
In 2016, we moved to Sweden for our Master Degree in Leadership for Sustainability. The rationale behind moving to Sweden was clear for the pursuit of our education in the area of sustainability, as Sweden is widely-regarded as one of the most sustainable and innovative countries in the world. During the visit of an art exhibition in Gothenburg, the idea for hejhej-mats was birthed. Throughout our Master’s education, we were able to incorporate hejhej-mats in various university courses, such as Social Entrepreneurship, as well as in our Master thesis and we have been supported by Malmö Högskola's start up hub Drivhuset. After successful completion of our M.A., we received a three-month Leapfrogs scholarship issued from LU Innovation, Lund University for our hejhej-mats project. LU Innovation is the hub for innovation and commercialisation at Lund University, a top-ranking university in Sweden. The scholarship enabled us to start working full-time on hejhej-mats for three months, after completing our M.A. After the scholarship we decided to both continue to work full time on hejhej-mats and to put all our time, motivation, financial resources and heart into our own sustainable enterprise.
If you want to know more about us, various articles were published about hejhej-mats already in the Süddeutschen Zeitung, Gründerszene, Fogs Magazine, Welt/N24 or the Swedish Sustainability Magazine Aktuell Hållbarhet or you can simply check our website.
We have a vision. In this vision, the future is circular and hejhej-mats is part of it.
A special thanks goes to the talented photographer Elina Nomad for the
wonderful photos and the two video sequences.
Also we want to thank for Royalty Free Music from Bensound for the music of our video.