Plain Tiger Spotlight: Mache

A weight off your shoulders

By Renee Fortune

Many of us do yoga – 300 million of us to be exact. That’s how many people practice yoga; in its many forms, all over the world. And whether you’re an expert at downward dog or you’re still figuring out how to get your body into the perfect ‘handstand scorpion,’ you need one quintessential piece of equipment – a yoga mat. 

If you have one, have you ever considered what it’s made of? And secondly, have you ever wished you had a more stylish, practical way of storing it other than in that long-forgotten corner in your house or the trunk of your car? Well, thanks to a brand called, Mache, both the answers to those questions will change the way you see yourself as a yogi and a global citizen. 

But first, a bit of history…

Brienne Derosier turned to yoga as a way of reconnecting with the things that really matter, after suffering the loss of her father. A few years later, when she enrolled at the University of Oregon, yoga provided a welcomed reprieve from the demands of tertiary education. It was in many ways, a source of sanity, but also a form of self-love. 

Brienne went on to graduate with a Master’s degree in Interior Architecture and promptly entered the working world, optimistic about the opportunities that lay ahead. Then – as Murphy’s Law dictates – life threw a spanner in the works. Brienne was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that made it difficult for her body to expel toxins, which lead to nutrient deficiencies and several dietary allergies. This renewed her focus and commitment to health and wellness.
In spite of her health issues, she joined her co-workers in maintaining 60-hour work weeks, mostly stooped over a computer screen in a dimly-lit basement. During this time, she also managed to become a certified yoga teacher. And so, with stars aligned and plans in place to charter the best way forward for her health, she instituted lunch-time yoga classes at the office. After work, she’d head out to her local yoga studio on her bicycle with her heavy Manduka Pro yoga mat in tow. This became her daily routine, until one morning, she had a Eureka moment – instead of needing to lug her yoga mat along with her wherever she went, what if her local yoga studio had a storage system that customers could pay a small monthly fee to use? The idea stuck. And grew. And materalised as her own company, integrating wellness and interior design. 

The company was called 2Yoke Design, and studio after studio, she was able to introduce custom storage systems into studios, eco- and health-conscious homes, health clinics, farm-to-table restaurants, ergonomic workplaces and co-housing communities. 

The rest, as Brienne explains, was all left to the power of invention. “It was designing in this capacity that truly opened my eyes to the critical lack of non-toxic materials and manufacturing processes in the architecture, furniture and home goods industries. On both a personal and professional level I could not find anything on the market that was aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly, and specifically designed to house fitness gear, yoga mat, blocks, foam rollers, straps, etc. So, I designed a totally tubular storage manufacturing company in order to satisfy this need, and Mache was born.”

A storage solution for the modern yogi

Introducing the Homi Tube, Mache’s flagship range of yoga mat holders, which doubles as functional decor and can be used to store your yoga mat or foam roller. The interior of the Homi Tube is moisture-resistant and the entire unit can be cleaned with a damp, lint-free cloth. The Homi is the kind of storage solution you won’t know you really needed until you have it and see just how much easier – and prettier, it can make your yoga practice. 

Having experienced how lacking the modern architectural sector’s philosophy is in terms of the importance of taking care of people and the planet, sustainability was at the top of the priority list for Brienne when she launched Mache. As she explains: 

“Sustainability is at the heart of Mache's mission, to get plastics out of the yoga and fitness industries. Here at Mache, green is more than a color. We are part of a movement that is sweeping the design world. A movement to bring a higher level of consciousness to consumption choices. Our design and manufacturing process of our yoga storage products promote wellness from a biological level, by eliminating the use of harmful Red list Materials (heavy metals and chemicals) commonly found in furniture and building materials.

As a sustainable brand that promotes healthy living (and working) on all levels, we believe it is time for our world to rethink how we manufacture and ship products. We aim to show that a planet-friendly, small company can remain viable and thrive in a world gone environmentally amok, by sourcing eco-friendly materials whenever possible, supporting local economies, lowering the collective carbon footprint and following green processes that can easily be adopted by future manufacturing entrepreneurs.”

Be inspired

By the way, if you’re wondering what inspired the name of the brand, the term mache is a French word for ‘chewed up.’ The name of the brand is therefore a poetic gesture to the recyclable, reusable, repurposed nature of everything that Mache creates. 

The design of the Homi Tube is deceptively simple. Its shape was inspired by the jumbo paper tubes that are typically used in construction for building architectural columns. As Brienne puts it: “we are proud to have successfully elevated this seemingly mundane material to a solution with luxury status.”
Brienne and her team are committed to bringing better consumption choices to the fitness market and promoting clean, global manufacturing processes. The end result? Healthier, happier people. And that’s something we can all work towards. 
$108.00 USD
$108.00 USD
$108.00 USD
$108.00 USD