5 Reasons to Love Cork
THE MATS by MAATÏ MAATÏ are made from Natural Premium Cork – but what does that mean? Why is Natural Premium Cork so special?
The versatile material does not just create the unique MAATÏ MAATÏ aesthetic – it also has a huge amount of socioeconomic and ecological benefits. We are in love with this amazingly resilient, smart and luxurious material and we want to share that love with you.
Did you know that cork trees are protected by law in Portugal?
Portugal has the largest cork oak forest area in the world. Cork oaks have been protected there by law since the 13th century. In 2011, the amazing and generous cork tree was even declared Portugal’s National Tree!
Keeping the Balance between Sustainability and Socioeconomic Factors
Cork harvesting, one of the best paid agricultural jobs in the world, is a unique cultural heritage that is passed from one generation to the next. Cork trees are an important social and economic pillar, allowing people to live from the land (the WWF estimates that around 100 thousand people in Southern Europe and North Africa directly or indirectly depend on cork oak forests). A perfect example of the balance between preserving the environment and sustainable development.
The featured pictures were all taken at the family owned Portuguese cork farm where the magic of MAATÏ MAATÏ began. We make it a priority to visit the manufacture regularly, catch up with the amazing people we're working with and soak up the magical atmosphere of the region.
A Powerful Ally against Climate Change
Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak, a millenary tree that grows in the Mediterranean basin.
Harvested every nine years without ever harming the tree, cork is one of nature’s most extraordinary materials. Being a natural plant tissue, it's also biodegradable.
A cork oak tree lives for up to 200 years. In its lifetime, it becomes a massive storehouse of CO2 which makes it a champion of sustainability, a powerful ally against climate change – cork oaks are the lung of the whole region in a lot of ways.
Mind-blowing even on a Microscopic Level
Why exactly does cork have all these amazing attributes? Let's take a closer look to find out: Its unique chemical structure makes of cork one of the most mind-blowing materials on earth: a hive-like accumulation of millions of cells per cubic centimeter. On a microscopic level, you can imagine the structure like a combination of tiny pillows or ballons filled with gas.
This one-of-a-kind structure makes it incredibly light, but also elastic, durable and impermeable to gases and liquids (which is why our mats are so hygienic and easy to clean!). It’s also comfortable and has a luxuriously soft touch.
From this pure cork (we only use the highest champaign cork quality to keep the structure as natural as possible and support the traditional Cork harvesting by hand) to THE MAT. What remains? Cork granulate, which we use for our agglomerated cork Yoga Blocks afterwards. So that no gram of cork is wasted.
We are endlessly grateful for these cork oaks and our deep connection with this raw material, cherishing and honoring it every day - a gift from Mother Nature herself.