New Company Turns Your Addiction to Yoga Gear Into a Good Thing 

Every yoga mat you buy supports three local charities.

PLUSgives yoga mat designed by Alloyius McIlwain | Photo courtesy PLUSgives.

PLUSgives yoga mat designed by Alloyius McIlwain | Photo courtesy PLUSgives

Confession: At this exact moment, I have not one but three yoga mats lying around my house. But each one has a purpose, I swear! (Is that what hoarders say?) One is my travel yoga mat, one is my at-home, super-plush yoga mat, and one is my for-when-friends-come-over-to-do-yoga mat. And I will probably be adding another to the collection very soon, but I won’t even feel bad about it: PLUSgives, a new Philly-based benefit corporation, has created eco-friendly yoga mats that turn your (and my) yoga-gear addiction into a good thing. Hallelujah!

Here’s the deal: PLUSgives, started by Perry O’Hearn of Rittenhouse’s Philly Phitness and Annika Tubito, collaborates with local artists to design yoga mats that double as vehicles for donation to local charities. The purchase of one mat ($100-plus) tackles three good deeds: It gives money to support one person in the Back on My Feet program for a day, to deliver one meal through MANNA, and to support one person in an abusive relationship through Women Against Abuse. Then, 10 percent of the proceeds go to the artist.

The company launched earlier this month, and O’Hearn says all of the causes the mats are supporting hit close to home for both him and Tubito. As he tells us, “My father was homeless for 20 years before he passed away. I did a boot camp to raise money for Back on My Feet last year, and we raised a little over $13,000. That really sparked a passion of mine to be able to give back. With PLUSgives, we want to provide something we think has value but also help people missing the bare essentials in life, like a meal, or a roof over their head.”

The duo has big goals when it comes to giving back, too. As their website states, “Were on a mission to empower, protect and feed 1 million people through the power of yoga.” On top of giving back, the mats are made with eco-friendly biodegradable materials.

The first series of mats, designed by local artist Alloyius McIlwaine — a series that incorporates the seven chakras — are available for pre-order now and will start shipping in September. (Psst: If you pre-order now, you get $50 off the mat.) Come September, along with slinging mats, PLUSgives will also be hosting tons of pop-up yoga classes around town — with their yoga mats on-deck and ready for you to test, of course. And these will be true pop-up yoga classes, O’Hearn tells us. Think: location and time announced on Twitter an hour before the classes go down.

Until then, you can keep up with PLUSgives on their website and on Facebook. Here’s to a shamelessly keeping up your yoga-mat collection!

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