Got a reply from Yoga Rat...their mats are made in Taiwan. Boo. And they were a little snitty about it. The comment was something like, "Our mats are made in Taiwan, as that is where all the best eco-friendly mats are made. We don't divulge information about the specific factories." ALL the best? Hmmm....
So...I learned a few things about the best places of origin. Seems the pyramid goes something like this: China on the bottom, U.S. and Taiwan next....Germany, and Europe in general, on the top (since, apparently this is where the mat originated in the '70s - go figure).
Ta Da! Manduko's mats are German-made. Their "Black Mat Pro" seems to be the yoga industry standard...the go-to mat, considered to be the best in the world (by several review sites). They last "forever", so even though they are not biodegradable, they are sustainable b/c you will never need another mat in your life. And they are made in an environmentally friendly way (no toxins, etc.).
A great article on choosing the perfect mat...says that Manduko takes the cake in this market, and has for years. Their product life is 5-50 years (way more than any other company's product). The eco mats break down faster, so the thinner the mat, the quicker it will wear out.
Jade Yoga and Manduka consistently came up as the companies with the highest green standards. You can buy directly from their sites or from gogreenyogamats.com.
So there you have it...Manduka wins.
Can I just say...thank god I'm done with that? It did cost a bit more than I had originally intended, but, I figure if it will be a product I can use for years and years, it's worth spending $70 one time instead of $20 five times (better for the planet, too). Amazon has a deal on an eko mat + mat sak for $103.00. With shipping, it's just about the same price as buying direct, as Manduka is offering free shipping on orders over $100.
Phew. Time for a glass of wine.