Yoga is one of those incredible activities that make you want to do better, think better and take better care of your self and others. You show up, take a time out to focus and break a sweat. What would be better than combining this with a yoga mat that is also good for the planet? These girls are just geniuses and are definitely going to change the Scandinavian yoga scene towards sustainability!Get to know Anna and Sophie behind hejhej-mats, how their idea was born, their top three tips on how to live sustainably, as well as their favorite food. Also - go check out their crowdfunding campaign which ends this Sunday the 5th of November.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are Anna (25) and Sophie (24) and together we founded the sustainable start-up hejhej-mats. Both of us are passionate about yoga and sustainability. We came up with the idea for our start-up during our time in Sweden, where we both did our Master in Sustainability Management.Photo: Elina Nomad
What is unique about hejhej yoga mats?
Our hejhej-mats yoga mats are fully sustainable as they are made from recycled material and they are recyclable at the end of their lifespan. Most existing sustainable yoga mats are made from natural materials, such as kautschuk. We think, we already have enough resources on the planet and it is not necessary to take new ones to produce high-quality products.Photo: Elina Nomad
How did you come up with this idea and the name of the brand?
As already mentioned, both of us were lucky enough to live in Sweden for one year. During that time, we visited an art exhibition related to sustainability together. In this exhibition, the Turkish Artist Pinar Yolda accused yoga practitioners of acting hypocritically as they often think to live a sustainable lifestyle but practice yoga on a plastic mat which is harmful to the environment. Sophie and I felt touched, and right when we came home we started to look for sustainable yoga mats. Existing mats did not fulfill our sustainability expectations so we decided to create one on our own: a recycled closed-loop yoga mat.The name hejhej-mats shows our connection to Sweden as it is the Swedish way to say hello. We would like to welcome the new life and continuous life we are giving to the resources we use.Photo: Anthony Wagemann
What are your hopes and dreams for the company?
We are just in the last days of our Crowdfunding Campaign and we hope to finish this successfully. With the resources from the campaign, we will be able to put the finishing touches on our recycled yoga mats and to start the first production line. We hope that our hejhej-mats will give yoga practitioners a sustainable alternative when purchasing their yoga mats. With this, we hope to reduce the amount of plastic yoga mats on the market and reduce the amount of plastic trash on our planet in total. We also really hope that our closed-loop hejhej-mats will raise awareness on an individual level on how to deal with your own waste.Photo: Anthony Wagemann
What are your top three tips for living sustainably?
- Avoid single-use plastic, such as straws and coffee-to-go cups.
- Be aware of the origin of the products you buy and under what circumstances they got produced - as a consumer you can make powerful decisions with your wallet.
- Life consciously, take care of the planet, the people around you and yourself.
What is your favorite meal?
Right now it is probably sweetheart cabbage from the oven with eggplant-pesto, rocket salad, and parmesan! A friend introduced it to us in Sweden and we still can’t get enough of it.Photo: Elina Nomad