Cowhide Leather Yoga Mat Sparks Controversy for Louis Vuitton

It also costs just shy of $2,400

yoga mat
The expensive, controversial yoga mat.
Louis Vuitton

Yoga mats are a ubiquitous piece of fitness gear, and it isn’t hard to see why. They’re portable, versatile and — for the most part — not terribly expensive. One recent overview of the best yoga mats out there listed a variety of prices for their selections, but nothing that exceeded $100. Again, that’s understandable: a yoga mat is a pretty simple object, after all.

An then there’s a new new yoga mat from Louis Vuitton, which is so luxurious you might feel bad exercising on it. It’s made using cowhide leather — and it’s there that things get a bit contentious.

An article by Neha Tandon Sharma at explores the controversy that’s arisen around this particular yoga mat — which, the article notes, is priced at $2,390. If something about the idea of a yoga mat made with cowhide seems a little off to you, you’re not alone.

“Now anyone who knows anything about yoga knows it’s a serious concept of Hinduism just like cows are sacred,” Sharma writes. “An opulent yoga mat made of a dead cow clearly annihilates the very idea of yoga and its history.”

This yoga mat’s existence has prompted Rajan Zed of the Universal Society of Hinduism to call for an apology from the powers that be at Louis Vuitton and request that they remove the yoga mat from circulation. According to Sharma’s article, Louis Vuitton has yet to comment on the matter. Still, it’s surprising that seemingly no one considered the potential for controversy over this mat; it’s not difficult to see why some have found it objectionable.

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