Sustainability is rooted in our lifestyles and influences our daily journey through life. In our Master of Leadership for Sustainability in Sweden, we met a lot of inspiring people that all helped us foster our understanding of sustainability. We feel that Brundtland’s definition describes this term best. “Sustainable development is development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need”. For some of you, this is already known and part of your life, for some, this might sound pretty new. We want to emphasize that this definition addresses all of you, regardless of your sustainable background or level of knowledge. We all started at one point – and now we started with hejhej-mats. From now on, we want to take you with us on our journey towards a closed-loop yoga mat and share with you insights on this exciting topic of sustainability. So why are we actually doing this? Why do we put so much time, money, effort and all our heart into this circular project?
“Because we have the privilege to know, we have the duty to act.”
This is a quote from Albert Einstein and we believe it is true. The deeper you dive into the topic, the more you learn about how bad the state of our planet actually is, the more responsible you become. With every lecture in our Master Course, with every article we read and with every interesting conversation we had, the urge in us to act and to actually change something grew bigger and bigger. In our opinion, we can make the biggest impact with the change of current consumerism and production patterns since they are developing more and more into massively harmful ways, both for the society and the environment. The United Nations set up sustainable development goals as part of a new development plan which is aimed to be reached by 2030. A more responsible production and consumption is part of it. These sustainable development goals include everyone and motivate all of us to reach a more sustainable development together. We have the power to make changes in our daily lives as citizens, consumers, neighbours, friends, employees… As consumers, for example, we make choices every day with our wallets. As the founders of hejhej-mats, we are confident that we also have the power to change something on the other side of the economy – the production side.
The three dimensions of sustainability
Bringing all three dimensions of sustainability into one start-up, our sustainable enterprise hejhej-mats results and integrates not only the economic perspective but the social and environmental. We see the problem of waste as a tremendous problem for society since health and daily life is influenced negatively. Also, we believe it is an environmental problem as ecological systems are destroyed and contaminated. Whole ecosystems vanish because of the waste we create. Every year, more than 10 million tons of waste end up in the oceans. About 75 percent of the 10 million tons is plastic waste. A huge range of products are plastic, and one example is yoga mats. Planetary boundaries have already been exceeded. We conclude that we already have enough resources on the planet and we do not have to take new ones, even if they are natural. So we are not going to take new resources from the planet for the production of hejhej-mats. That means that hejhej-mats does not use virgin materials but waste as a resource for creating new products.
In our vision, the future is circular.
The concept of the circular economy makes use of waste as a resource, without producing any new waste for the planet. In our opinion, this concept of the circular economy allows the most sustainable way of production. We are contributing to a circular economy where materials can flow in close- looped and continuous cycles so the vision of continuous growth for the whole economy results. Nature will be treated as a stakeholder of us as it profits the sustainable development of our planet. As sustainable entrepreneurs, we have the possibility to decide ourselves which stakeholders we rank as most important. Being self-employed for us means making decisions according to sustainability and not according to any corporate rules. The ability to establish a business align with the planet’s ecosystems motivates enormously.
On our blog, we will keep you updated about the circular economy, sustainable innovations and personal experiences of the development of hejhej-mats. We will fill this blog with our inspiration and hope to inspire you to act as well.