Finding a durable, sustainable doormat can be, well, a pain. Some of the most durable outdoor mats come with a plastic coating on the bottom. As you probably already know, plastic isn’t great for the environment. At the end of a doormat’s life, whether due to being made of mixed material or being straight up plastic, doormats often can’t be recycled or composted. Instead, you have to send them off to a landfill and live with that little bit of extra environmental guilt. Yikes.
Other outdoor doormats that are more sustainable are often flimsy. They fall apart, they can’t stand up to the elements, and let's be honest… they don’t clean your shoes well. After a couple of shoe wipes during mud season, they lose their color and become washed out. Instead of a front doormat, you have a sad, washed out, frayed edged, anemic looking towel sagging at your front door. Double yikes.
We don’t blame you if you don’t want your home to leave that kind of impression. If you’re looking for a sustainable doormat that allows you to express yourself, gives a welcoming look to your front door, and is actually a good shoe cleaner, look no further than the lobster rope doormat.
The Fishing Industry’s Impact on the Ocean
The fishing industry plays a huge role in the ocean's ecosystem…including when they’re not catching creatures. The fishing industry, fish aside, creates waste that’s improperly disposed of. Basically, it never leaves the ocean. One example of this is 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is fishing nets.
It’s estimated that 80% of the debris in the ocean comes from land. The other 20% comes from, “abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear.” The nets and fishing lines in the ocean are called ghost nets. It’s estimated that the fishing industry loses .5% - 2% of all fishing equipment they use in the ocean each year.
At the end of its life, a product like lobster rope, if it makes it out of the ocean, ends up in landfills. Which, as we know, then ultimately ends up back in the ocean. It’s an unfortunate, vicious cycle, but there are solutions. One of these solutions is to repurpose lobster rope and fishing nets to make something new - a process otherwise known as upcycling. To learn more about this term, check out our blog on upcycling. One of the best, and frankly coolest, ways we’ve seen lobster rope repurposed/upcycled is by turning the used rope into lobster rope doormats.
Everything You Need to Know About Recycled Lobster Rope Doormats
Lochtree carries Sternlines lobster rope doormats for a couple of reasons. The owners of Sternline drive up the east coast of the United States and collect rope from 40 Maine lobstermen and women. Since its beginnings, Sternline has diverted 100,000 pounds of lobster rope from landfills. Given this collection method, we’re never quite sure which colors and styles we're going to get. Be sure to check back regularly if you don’t see a color you want!
These ropes can withstand salt, water, and all the other elements that come with the ocean. So, they’re pretty much indestructible. There’s no mildew, no odors, and no deterioration - just a vibrant doormat waiting to welcome you home.
And, lobster doormat care is a breeze. When your doormat is dirty, complete the following steps to get a like-new look from your sustainable doormat.
- Pick up the doormat.
- Hose off the doormat.
- Sweep underneath the doormat.
- Place back in front of your door.
It’s estimated this rug can last up to 10 years. Some have found that their rugs last even longer, especially in well sheltered doorways.
Lobster rope doormats may not be the best fit if you’re looking for an indoor rug, as they’re intended for outside. However, we’d love to see some of you prove us wrong! Share any photos of your indoor lobster rope doormats in the comments. They could make for a fun, nautical bathroom rug!
These doormats might not be a good fit if your door doesn’t have a high clearance and opens out instead of into your home. If you’re regularly snagging your door as you open it, or if you couldn’t slip your hand between your door and the ground when your door is open - this mat might not be the right fit for you. If your door opens into your home, then this won’t affect you.
Lobster ropes are extremely sturdy but that does mean that they require some clearance space.
Our Final Thoughts on Our Eco-Friendly Doormat
We recognize that there is an ideal world where pollution from lobster ropes and fishing nets doesn’t exist and these ropes did not end up in our landfills and oceans. And, it's important to mention that discussions around the fishing industry are complex with a myriad of social, cultural, and economic factors layered into any analysis of sustainability. It's equally important, though, to have these discussions and examine as we examine our impact on the environment and ways in which we can tread lighter.
Almost every product on our planet could be argued as unnecessary, sustainable or not. What we know to be true is that lobster ropes exist, whether we like it or not. At the end of the rope’s fishing lives, we have the opportunity to repurpose them or send them to landfills. Opting for the second option and hoping vegan and vegetarian lifestyles catch on quicker doesn’t feel like our best option.
Sustainable matters are complex, and often have many different solutions with their own pros and cons. At Lochtree, we choose to support those coming up with unique ways to repurpose landfill bound items. The lobster rope doormat is the perfect example of that.
Does this mean you should go out and buy 100 plastic bottles, because you know someone can make them into a phone case? No.
But if you want a new doormat that is as sustainable as it is sturdy, that will clean your shoes and allow you to express yourself, a lobster doormat is a great fit.
Lochtree’s mission is to reduce as much waste as we can, and repurpose when items are landfill bound. Our lobster rope doormats are a great example of this practice.