‘Fusion’ is a new sustainably made ‘fashion x athleisure’ collection by Swedish bag brand Sandqvist, targeting the urban yogi. The purpose: ‘to simplify the transition from work to workout’.

The Yoga focused Fusion collection features a tote bag, gym bag, two-way backpack, wash bag and Yoga mat cover – all crafted from recycled nylon with leather details sourced from LWG tanneries. The new line also includes a (very affordable) Yoga mat, which is actually the main object of our curiosity, made from biodegradable cork and natural TPE (thermoplastic rubber). We asked Sandqvist designer Johanna Spansk to tell us everything and spare no details.   

Why did making a yoga mat seem like natural step for Sandqvist?

When it comes to designing our products, our mantra is always to focus on designs that adapt easily to modern lifestyles. We want our customers to feel that they can shift from work mode to adventure mode with ease, and we wanted our new sports line to do the same.

That said, making a Yoga bag, was an exciting venture for us and we wanted to get creative and offer a mat that adds to the design aesthetic of the bag itself. During the design process we got feedback that it would be great to have access to a muted, minimalist yoga mat that combines sleek Scandinavian design with quality materials, and that would blend with the bag itself. It was also an excuse to do some fun research and get our posing on.

Tell us about the process of researching and developing it.

Someone might look at a Yoga mat and think “that’s easy”, but looks can be deceiving. It was important for us to really understand the function of the product and how its simple form can make or break a session. Speaking to yoga enthusiasts we soon understood that there are many elements at play.

Most mats available at gyms are often too thin and have too little grip, making the whole process a bit uncomfortable, while others using natural latex are more eco-friendly but can be hard on those with allergies (not to mention: they’re very sticky!). We needed to think about thickness, grip, smell and accessibility, as well as aesthetics. It’s the first time our research included stretching out our backs on the floor.

“The result is a sweat-proof, life-proof, body-friendly mat that keeps up with even the most hardcore yoga session!”

What is the result? Tell us about its performance and properties!

The result is a sweat-proof, life-proof, body-friendly mat that keeps up with even the most hardcore yoga session! Except for being sleek, it has the cushion benefits of being thick without compromising on support. We went with a top layer material that is also naturally antimicrobial (meaning no fungus can grow) and has a soft grip that will keep your elbows in check doing your pose.

How have you sourced the materials?

The top side of the mat is made from cork – a lightweight and natural material that has the perfect combination of grip and firmness. Cork is also unique, as it can be harvested from the tree without damaging the tree itself. The result is a sweat-proof, naturally antimicrobial surface.

The padding is made from TPE – a material that has rubber-like qualities (without the risk of allergy reactions) and is also non-toxic and safe for skin contact, which is vital for a product like this. It is also easy to clean. We do our best to be mindful when sourcing manufacturers and working with the supply chain in order to keep our prices competitive.

Why is it eco-friendly?

Like all Sandqvist products, the mat is free from PVC, which is sadly still being used in many Yoga mats on the market. Using TPE means that it is easier to recycle and uses shorter material manufacturing times and lower energy consumption, which means less waste.

Recycling and extending life cycles is central to all our product lines, so if there is no recycling station nearby, make sure to drop off the mat at one of our stores and we’ll take it from there – perhaps by reusing it in our Recollection!


Visit Sandqvist here and follow here. The collection is in store now.

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