In honor of Indigenous People’s Day this year, we wanted to highlight a brand that’s making incredible strides to support and uplift the voices of indigenous change makers across the country — Scoria.
Who Is Scoria?
Ever since she was little, Yara Kamal was obsessed with the fashion industry which led to her eventual move to Canada from her home country of Jordan. There, she was able to study fashion as well as deepen her love of yoga. Years later, she successfully launched her Kickstarter campaign in 2017, which became Scoria!
“I’m an adventure seeker by day, creator by night, art techer by passion, and a yoga teacher by heart.”Yara Kamal, Scoria Founder
A functional and earthy company, Scoria encourages creativity on and off the mat, offering educational resources through their blog and on social media. They offer tips and advice on how to incorporate yoga into one’s everyday life as well as deepen one’s practice and take it to the next level. As such, they offer a slew of yoga-centric products like yoga mats, cork blocks, and yoga straps. Read on to see our favorite ones on EarthHero!
Why We Love Them
Down to their very core, Scoria cares about the impact its products have on surrounding communities and the environment. They do this by either ensuring end products are biodegradable, using recycled materials, or else enforcing minimalism in design and manufacturing. As such, their products employ sustainable materials like organic cotton, water-based adhesives, and responsibly sourced cork and natural rubber. This means customers can enjoy their modern and functional products without sacrificing their eco-friendly values.
For their mats and yoga blocks, Scoria sources its cork from Portugal, while its rubber is sustainably harvested in Vietnam. They also carefully monitor all steps of their products through their partnership with an SGS-certified factory in China, which refers to strict monitoring and occupational safety standards they follow.
Material Highlight: Cork
What’s so sustainable about cork, anyways? As of today, cork oak trees cover about 6 million acres of the planet, mostly in Spain and Portugal. In fact, Portugal has almost 34% of the world’s cork trees! It’s an incredible alternative to wood because it’s 100% renewable since the cork regenerates every decade or so for up to 300 years! They also store a lot of CO2, collectively holding millions of tonnes of carbon.
Did you know that cork trees are protected by law in Portugal, are heavily regulated, and individually tracked? In fact, it’s been illegal to cut down a cork oak tree there since 1209!
Plus, cork is naturally elastic and highly impermeable, making it ideal for use in yoga mats and blocks! Some people even like to use it as a wall cover or on their stairs! Cork is also 100% recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable.
Products We Can’t Get Enough Of
Travel Cork Yoga Mat
If you love being on the go, look no further than the Travel Cork Yoga Mat. The mat’s ultra-sweat grip activates with water and heat, making it the perfect addition to your hot yoga studio outing. It also comes with its own carrying strap, offering an alternative option to tossing it in your yoga bag after a sweaty session. Did we mention the underside of the yoga mat features natural rubber latex? No unsafe or harsh glues here!
Organic Cotton Yoga Strap
For extra support during your practice, use Scoria’s Organic Cotton Yoga Strap. Use it to enhance your Seated Forward Fold or to help you lengthen your Dancer’s Pose, with no itchiness other straps leave behind. Moreover, this 8-foot strap is made with 100% organic cotton, which uses much less water than conventional cotton so you get a softer feel and can know your practice isn’t harming the planet.
Moon Cork Yoga Block
The durable and sturdy design of Scoria’s Moon Cork Yoga Block makes for a high-quality addition to any yoga or meditation practice. Use it as a seat, to give you height in Triangle Pose, or to restore balance in Chair. These cork blocks are also naturally anti-microbial so they sanitize themselves naturally, unlike foam blocks which require regular cleaning.
Cork Trigger Point Massage Balls
To aid in your recovery or for gentle muscle massaging, use their Cork Trigger Point Massage Balls. Made from the same sustainably-harvested Portuguese cork as Scoria’s yoga mats and blocks, they’re also highly functional and easy to carry around with you. This set comes in 2 sizes, 2 medium-sized balls, and 1 large-sized ball so you can target different areas of the body better, from your hamstrings to your back muscles.
Give-Back Highlight: Indigenous Empowerment
From their inception, up until March 2021, Scoria partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere, a non-profit organization aimed to alleviate hunger around the world. Up until that point, they donated 151,880 meals to those in need — way to go!
Scoria now donates a portion of their proceeds to empower Indigenous youth in Canada through education programming to promote healthy living and life skills. Their collaboration with Right to Play supports the program Promoting Life-Skills In Aboriginal Youth (PLAY).
While Canada falls 10th on the United Nations Human Development Index, it’s 63rd when Indigenous folks are considered. That’s because of the inequities faced by Indigenous Canadians compared to non-Indigenous Canadians in terms of security, education, and standard of living. That compounded with the impact of COVID-19 has left many with even fewer opportunities and greater isolation. Up to August 2021, Scoria has helped raise $4,538 for PLAY, with a goal of reaching $25,000 by the end of 2021. Learn more about their program here!
Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with us on October 11 by supporting Scoria’s incredible efforts, learning more about Indigenous history in the Americas (and around the world), and calling on your friends and family to do the same.
Read Scoria’s brand page here and stay up-to-date with their product offerings on EarthHero here. Check them out on Instagram too, where they’ll be updating their progress towards their donation goals!