"The story and the why behind a product really resonates from its creator in my eyes"
Our why stems from a place where I saw so many barriers into Yoga simply caused by the equipment I was using. Poor quality, slippery, and too small to get comfortable on all being huge contributing factors to the excuses I would give myself when I just wasn’t feeling it. Stride mats were designed to break down any barrier or excuse you could make to not get into your place of escape. I wanted to give people that accessibility that at the time of discovering yoga, I didn’t have. I tell you what, if I’d had these mats back when I first started, I would’ve been on that platform a hell of a lot more than I was.
Product sampling and designing is one of the single most frustrating but fulfilling things you’ll ever do, and it does all fall into place eventually, I promise. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we have the best all round yoga mat on the market, and it didn’t happen by accident. A lot goes into creating the perfect functional product. When I set off with designing the mats, I knew I was going to want to release a travel version shortly after the studio, so this dominated a huge amount of the material decisions I found myself making. It needed to be indestructible whether it was 2mm thick or 5mm thick. We did it, but there was a hell of a lot of back and forth before it got to that point.
"I’m crazy proud of the fact that we’re unmatched when it comes to quality as such a small brand."
The rubber from our mats is all sourced from a sustainable forest, meaning nothing is ever taken permanently from where it lies. All trees are farmed in cycles, meaning they’re given adequate time to regrow any part of them that is ‘tapped’ for rubber. To increase the sustainability of our mats, we’re exploring options currently that will give them a second life, a second use outside of yoga. There’s lots of ideas around this at the moment, all ready to action as soon as Stride is in a position where we can action it effectively. We never want to see one of our mats go into landfill at the end of its life, and we’ll do what we can to prevent that happening to help reduce our carbon footprint.
The story and the why behind a product really resonates from its creator in my eyes, and I’ve had such a better understanding of this over the last year and half. These badass bits of heaven exist and are the quality they are because other half arsed products annoyed me to the extent where I found myself making excuses not to do something that at the time was my only real point of expression and escape. I poured everything I’ve experienced as a newbie to the yoga world into the Stride mats our customers love, and the feedback has brought us to a place where we have a mat people will now never turn their backs on. We’ve got a few hundred customers at this point and we’ve not had a single mat returned or reported to be damaged. That speaks in droves to me, and I’m crazy proud of the fact that we’re unmatched when it comes to quality as such a small brand.
"This is your brand as much as it is mine, and who better to tell me how they perceive who we are and the direction we should go in than the people who truly believe in the brand, its products and its mantra."
The science of different materials continues to interest me and a lot of the work that I do at the moment is focused on the next steps the brand will be taking to keep bringing the best quality products to the loyal customer base whilst sticking to the original message of the brand. Our clothes and mats are not and never will be designed to be returned or thrown away after a short use. I’m dead set on that, and that’s the Stride promise you can always guarantee you’re getting whenever you checkout. We’re experimenting with all sorts of different options. Cork, rubber, bamboo, recycled materials, to name a few, these will all contribute in the future to the ever growing product range.
You, the community have now become the key part of that why. Without you this brand doesn’t tick and simply wouldn’t exist. We want your feedback, your contributions and your opinions on where we should take the brand and product range. This is your brand as much as it is mine, and who better to tell me how they perceive who we are and the direction we should go in than the people who truly believe in the brand, its products and its mantra.
Our why is to improve accessibility to a beautifully expressive practice to a wider world of people who otherwise wouldn’t consider it to be beneficial to them.
Our why is to be loud as f*ck in the way we do things moving forward. Remaining expressive through our products, Dedicated in our mantra, and most importantly, supportive of our community.