Yogis your consciousness is saved by hej-hej mats!



This August I was honored to meet such inspiring world making better two ladies and help them out on their journey! They are two women behind the project @hejhej_mats . It is one of the first sustainable and recycled yoga mats projects. As they said: project born in Sweden, Malmö, and is made in Germany.



We met for "fika" to meet and talk about project, but we ended up stepping into friend zone and talking without covers of reality. I loved when they explained how came to the idea out starting this project, in my words and memory: they both are yogis. And yoga lifestyle is basically like "better living, healthier, green friendly" and so. Some truth in stereotypes are there, but yoga  has also become just as exercise or a trend, not a lifestyle thinking. Anyway, they said meanwhile studying sustainability leadership, but they are almost as hypocrites using nature unfriendly yoga mats....So, why not they make one? And so it begun... When I asked them about their production journey, I was amazed how much attention they pay to details I wouldn't even think of, or how well-planned is the journey to the final designed mats.

And when they finished their story of "how it started...", I was bought, I knew I will join their journey and help them out. I share the same philosophy as them, in my private life I do the same, and my biggest hypocrite attitude ever had been "I LOVE animals, but then why I eat them?", I stopped eating meat. Then I continued my path on finding out how much animal parts we use in our everyday world not only in food! And then onto chemicals, if I say "I love nature", then why I use products which destroy it? Right? Anyway, each of us have our own little lies and contradictions we need to find out/learn about/conquer.

I share inbetween photos more information from their site about HEJ-HEJ-MATS project, but otherwise you can go straight to their CROWFUNDING site and give some karma support (just a fiver is enough to help to realize the project!). Support young people who are making the world better!

If you know a yoga friend, pass to them these news that hallelujah, yogis consciousness is saved by recycled yoga mats! One looks like a candy pop , and other is "dive into universe" colors. Spread the news!



On visual production note.
As they found me through our common ecoblogger and slowfashion ambassador Kim goes eco, in my feelings, a little bit late, that the whole process was a little bit rushed and unplanned (it was just my mixed feelings, even though we did manage to get out some really good useful photos for their project, but I felt that it is such important beginning of new project, that needed a bit more visual thoughtfulness in it. I repeat, it is my personal thoughts, as long as they are happy with outcome, I am satisfied, but my inner self-perfectionist was a bit worried if anything will even come out from this "lets try to do before you leave Malmö".

My imagined visualization was to have less as possible of busy backgrounds, and I still feel that the best have worked out plain walls and sea backgrounds. Also because I know that is my strength when "nature" is involved in creation of visual material. But since I take photos of and for Kim, I have begun learning process of using street views. (Thank you, Kim).

During day1 when we really first time hit the process together, it was a learning process from both sides, yet it was fun and everyone enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and sunshine that day.

At the end of all three photoshoots, we discussed the mistakes and the good parts of all three different locations/ideas as we couldn't control the weather, we adopted to what we got. If we wanted more sunshine on day 2, we got strong pouring rain before the shoot, that we got divided on the way to the beach (I was hiding under a roof by Malmö station, as I just had got out from summer-cold-virus and didn't want to get sick again. Meanwhile, waiting for the rain to stop, I got a phone call from a close friend who told me the news that she is getting married! What an amazing moment it was!). We didn't get many good photos from the pier at the evening photoshoot, as we were alone for a short time. The local Malmö swimmers were arriving really fast! :) But I am happy with the single yoga photos and Sophie&Anna portaits together. Some I could have done better, I know, but as long as the hej-hej-mats girls like them, its all good!

The last one was perhaps the most calm, relaxed and "slow living" style photoshoot - morning at the beach! The light was perfect, the atmosphere too, we all had morning faces, but I can't say that we got the best outcome. I am least satisfied with these photos, but I only like them because of the light&colors we had that morning. So, enjoy scrolling through and learning more about sustainable business idea!

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.

Why is hejhej-mats different from other sustainable yoga mats?

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.


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.
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.


 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. The name hejhej-mats represents our link to Sweden and the Swedish hejhej basically says hello to waste as a new product. So we want you to say hallo as well and give waste a chance. By supporting hejhej-mats you can play a huge role in the circular future.


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.



 


HEJ-HEJ MATS: website // CROWFUNDING

 social media: facebook // instagram

 Location: Malmö, Sweden




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