The CHOOSE LIFE Mat Project

by The CHOOSE LIFE Mat Project in Manchester

We did it
On 27th September 2017 we successfully raised £6,345 with 116 supporters in 56 days

We are creating yoga mats with the aim to help to raise awareness of mental health & addiction...donating all profits to AOA & Mind.

by The CHOOSE LIFE Mat Project in Manchester

New stretch target

Any additional funds we receive that exceed our target will be equally distributed between Action On Addiction & MIND charities :)

Pledge Now!

We've received quite a bit of feedback from people who seem to be having trouble locating the rewards section on our page to pledge for their yoga mat! So, just to make it a bit clearer for all you technophobes out there...if you would like to order a yoga mat and mat bag for £59 please CLICK HERE :-)

The Story 

Hello, my name is Sadie Pickering. I am the founder of The CHOOSE LIFE Mat Project. Thank you for taking the time to visit our Crowdfunder page! 
A little about me...
I first discovered yoga and meditation as a child when I joined my Mother at a workshop at Triyoga London and at the Manchester Buddhist Centre. I’ve worked with many teachers and it’s truly been a grounding influence in my life growing up - particularly throughout my acting career and during my time helping to run my family business ‘The Yard’. My partner in life and business, Marcus, has supported me throughout some challenging times and can see how much this project means to me, and together we’re making it happen.
Why I'm doing this...
I have a close family member who has suffered with addiction and mental health issues for many years. It's been incredibly hard for my family, often leaving us feeling frustrated and helpless. Watching a loved one succumb to addiction can feel so much like a loss of life. There have been countless times when you think you're making progress then suddenly everything comes crashing back down. Many people living with addiction in their family don’t fully understand the disease of addiction and how it not only impacts the person suffering with substance abuse, but everyone else in their life. Substance addiction can be so blinding to a family impacted by it, that sometimes it seems they may never be able to see beyond their anger or their denial and reach a state of acceptance. It's a process that can take time.
Mental health and addiction often go hand in hand and it can be such a minefield due to every case differing from person to person. Getting your loved one to a point where they are able to begin the process to cut out drugs and alcohol completely is only the beginning. Each day can bring about different challenges and their realisation of the consequences of their actions can come over in waves. When drugs have taken precedence over everything else for such a long time, it's not as easy as just 'snapping out of it' in an instant. There has to be support there. Relationships need time to be rebuilt and the body needs time to self heal. Once an addict is clean there's still so much work to be done. To regain that self love that was once there and to integrate themselves back into society. It's an endless journey.
Why Yoga?
There are so many people suffering with these problems. As well as my family member (who is now 7 months sober) I also have a number of friends who have gone through incredibly hard times. I’ve seen the positive and healing influence yoga can have with these people and how it has helped them gain foundation they need in order to develop a healthier mind and body.
Yoga allows you to have a routine, a focus, a space. It's a positive way to generate a change in consciousness and instead of providing an escape, empowers people with the ability to access a peaceful and restorative inner state that integrates mind, body and spirit. Getting on a yoga mat is a commitment - a routine. It offers a place of solace, peace, reflection and stability. This is how the idea to create an eco and ethical yoga mat with a positive and powerful message came about, with the aim to help raise awareness of mental health and addiction, getting people on the mat and supporting two amazing charities. We need YOU to help make this happen!
“There is a strong, positive connection between recovering from addiction and yoga. In our treatment centres, Clouds House and Hope House, we use yoga as part of the therapy and many of our clients use and enjoy yoga as one method of focusing on staying clean and sober. We are delighted to be part of the Choose Life Mat Project, and are very grateful to Sadie for creating awareness and funds for the often taboo subject of addiction. We are sure this project will also inspire people affected by addiction to seek help and to choose life.”
Tristan Millington-Drake, Fundraising Director at Action on Addiction
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Choose Life team for deciding to support Mind’s work through their crowdfunding. Every penny raised for Mind will help us to provide vital support for people with mental health problems, including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.”
Karen Bolton, Head of Community & Events Fundraising at Mind

Action on Addiction has been helping people with addiction problems for over 30 years. The money we raise will contribute towards their training for addiction treatment practitioners and their ongoing research. Without the continued engagement of the individuals, families and organisations who donate to Action on Addiction, they would not be able to continue their life saving and life changing work.

Mind founded in 1967, believes in equality of opportunity for all. They are committed to challenging inequality, discrimination and stigma, particularly in relation to minority and socially excluded groups and on the grounds of mental health issues. They provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. The funds we raise will help them to expand the work they do and contribute to some exciting new projects in the future.


Pledge £15 and we'll send you a beautiful, hand-made Nepalese 'Shiva's Tears' Mala necklace made from Rudraksha seeds.

A Mala is a string of beads used to count mantras (Sanskrit prayers) in sets of 108 repetitions.

Only 30 available!

Pledge £20 and you'll receive a 100% organic cotton yoga mat bag with the CHOOSE LIFE logo on the pocket and a single strap for easy carrying. The bag is designed to fit the CHOOSE LIFE yoga mat perfectly, however it could also be used to carry other mats! The dimensions are: 66cm length and 16cm in diameter.

More Info

"It's an amazing project, led by incredible people for which all the profits go straight to Action on Addiction and Mind. It's the best mat I have ever used. It's 100% eco-friendly and effectively impossible to slip on - which is my sweaty palm reality/hell!"

Lily Silverton, Yoga Teacher (

The Mat:

We will work with EcoYoga who we believe are the only company out there making truly ‘eco’ mats. Many claim to be eco but still use PVC. With this in mind the mats are totally natural, and (with anything made by Mother Nature) they can vary slightly in texture / colour.

  • 100% Natural Rubber
  • Sustainable, Plant-Based Material & Biodegradable
  • Ethically Made
  • Excellent Grip
  • Suitable For All Styles Of Practice
  • Rubber Underside
  • Sticky Jute & Rubber Surface
  • Made In The UK


We will use Get A Grip Printers, a UK company who use 100% water-based and GOTS organic certified ink containing no PVC / Phthalates, free from nasties.

The Bag:

  • Made with Organic Cotton Canvas.
  • Made To Fit your Choose Life Mat Perfectly
  • Ink (Same As Mat)
  • Weight 10oz approx.

Dimensions & Weight:

  • 1828.8mm Length / 640mm Width / 4mm Thickness
  • 2kg Average Weight

Why Eco?

  • Millions of yoga mats are being bought and disposed of at a growing rate with the ever increasing popularity of practicing yoga. This has meant land fills are full of them. If you’re practicing yoga for your own mental and physical wellbeing this should also extend to the planet's wellbeing. Practicing on a non-eco plastic mat made as cheaply as possible for maximum profit is the antithesis of yoga. Where as practicing on something made with love for nature with 100% natural rubber, made ethically and sustainably in an aesthetic way, with a perfect grip seems more in-tune with conscious living. 
  • The cost of the mat is higher than cheaper plastic mats as they are made with the highest quality natural materials in the UK.

Caring for your Choose Life Mat:

  • Let your mat breathe as much as possible, especially if you work into a sweat. 
  • Mat cleaners and cleansers have been formulated with plastic mats in mind, or at least not with a 100% natural material in mind. Even natural cleaners with essential oils have been made with plastics in mind as they have no detrimental affect on it’s molecular structure. We would say avoid these. Even though the levels may be low they will not damage the mat, however they may contribute to the slow softening and degradation, much as your own body oils will. 
  • Wipe down gently with a damp cloth is good practice though not essential. Avoid rubbing, especially the logo. From time to time dap or gently wipe with just a dilute vinegar in warm water solution, this is great for removing excess build up of grime / oils.

Please be aware:

  • If subject to very heavy use it may degrade quicker than other non-eco mats.
  • The weave of the jute is such that some loose threads and nubs are normal.
  • There is a 10% allowance on the jute exposure, this is necessary due to the behaviour of the raw materials in production.
  • 100% natural raw materials will not always be 100% consistent.
  • It is normal for this mat to occasionally shed excess rubber. 
  • If you have a latex allergy we would not advise you to use the Choose Life mat as a precautionary measure. 
  • The mats are sensitive to sunlight, oils and extreme heat (i.e. draped over a radiator).


If you do not live in the UK but would still like to pledge please find your relevant territory in our rewards section where we have included the shipping fees in the amount.


1) Is the yoga mat eco-friendly and ethically made?

Yes, absolutely 100%. Even the ink that's used to print onto them is totally ethical, and the mat bag.

2) If I pledge now when will I receive my mat?

Our campaign will be live for 8 weeks. It will likely take approximately 6-9 weeks for the mats to be produced and printed ready for distribution. We'll send you an email once yours is ready for dispatch!

3) Do you have certification to prove that the mats are ethical and sustainable?

Yes we do indeed. You can request to see these, please email us.

4) Do you have certification to prove that the ink used in the printing process is organic?

Yes, we have that too! Please email us.

Special Thanks To:

The campaign video team: 

Martin Bilsborough (Director Of Photography)

Lily Silverton (Yoga Teacher, All Body Yoga)

Marcus Wheeldon (Editor)

Mary Kerr (Art Director)

James Fuller (Art Director)

Jamie Catto (Featured Song - 'Child Come Home')

Location: Chocolate Studios, London

This project also couldn't have been possible without Katharine Hamnett, The Yard Lifestyle, Stewart Pickering, Jeannie Pickering and Simon Pickering.


If you have any further questions feel free to drop us a line at: [email protected]


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£2 or more

£2 Reward

You'll receive an email with a link to download the beautiful song 'Child Come Home' by Jamie Catto which features in our campaign video!

£11 or more

1 of 50 claimed

£11 Reward

NOTEBOOK. A CHOOSE LIFE Mat Project notebook. Hand screen printed using 100% water based inks. NOTEPAD SIZE: approx 50 sheets 89x124mm (Approx. 3½x5"). NOTEPAD: White paper with thick greyboard backing. 100% recycled. COVER: Card 270g. 100% recycled

£15 or more

8 of 30 claimed

£15 Reward

A HUGE thank you from The CHOOSE LIFE Project for your kind donation and in return we'll send you a beautiful Nepalese shiva's tears mala beads necklace made from Rudraksha seeds.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

You'll receive a 100% organic cotton yoga mat bag with the CHOOSE LIFE logo on the pocket and a single strap for easy carrying. The bag is designed to fit the CHOOSE LIFE yoga mat perfectly, however it could also be used to carry other mats! The dimensions are: 66cm length and 16cm in diameter.

£20 or more

1 of 50 claimed

£20 Reward

TOTE BAG. A CHOOSE LIFE screen printed shopper tote bag - 36x40x6cm / natural un-dyed colour / woven twill 215g / 60% recycled pre-consumer cotton organically grown / 40% recycled post-consumer polyester

£25 or more

2 of 50 claimed

£25 Reward

T-SHIRT. A CHOOSE LIFE Mat Project white unisex t-shirt. 155gsm / 100% combed organic Fair-trade cotton For more info on the t-shirt supplier please visit:

£59 or more

75 of 500 claimed

£59 Reward

You'll receive a CHOOSE LIFE mat and a mat bag!

£69 or more

8 of 30 claimed

£69 Reward

***FOR RESIDENTS IN EUROPE ONLY! (NOT INCLUDING UK)*** You'll receive a CHOOSE LIFE mat and a mat bag. Shipping costs are included in the price.

£89 or more

2 of 30 claimed

£89 Reward

***FOR RESIDENTS IN THE U.S. ONLY!*** You'll receive a CHOOSE LIFE mat and a mat bag. Shipping costs are included in the price.

£89 or more

0 of 30 claimed

£89 Reward

***FOR RESIDENTS IN AUSTRALIA ONLY!*** You'll receive a CHOOSE LIFE mat and a mat bag. Shipping costs are included in the price.

£600 or more

£600 Reward

12 mats to supply a yoga studio for clients to use. How cool would a class look with all yogis using a CHOOSE LIFE mat?!! *Please note* the mats won't come with bags.

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Over £100 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.