Doormats that do a world of good

Each doormat is woven and braided by hand using the reclaimed fishing rope to create unique color patterns.

Getting the outside dirt off the soles of our shoes before we enter a home or business is a routine thing we don’t give much thought to. But “The Right Mat” from Maine is changing the way many people view the lowly, stomped-upon doormat.

These brawny, hand-woven mats don’t need to be imprinted or embossed with a “welcome” message to make a bold statement. Wherever they are placed, their colorful good looks are friendly and inviting. But there’s much more to these virtually indestructible, utilitarian doormats than meets the eye…

Northern Right Whales, often seen like this one on whale watch tours off the New England coast, are slowly making a comeback from near extinction.

It all started with the Northern Right Whale. The name “right whales” was coined by whalers in colonial times. For them, this species of whales were the “right” ones to hunt because these creatures generally swim within sight of shore, and they float when killed.

For those reasons, the Northern Right Whale was hunted to near extinction by the whaling industry. Today, instead of hunting this endangered species, people go on whale watch tours to enjoy viewing the natural acrobatic antics of these rare mammals at sea.

With an accelerating decrease in the population of Right Whales, it became necessary to take actions to save the whales. One of the man-made threats to the Northern Right was the float-rope used by lobsterman to tether their underwater traps together. The whales would often become entangled in the buoyant rope and eventually would die from being entrapped.

In an effort to protect these whales, government regulation was enacted requiring lobsterman to replace their float-rope with the type that sinks to the ocean floor. To help offset the cost of replacing the rope, the non-profit Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation received federal monies to buy back the float-rope from the fisherman. Consequently, millions of pounds of this perfectly good material started piling up by the docks in harbors along Maine’s coastline.

The good news was the marine environment was safer for the nearly extinct Northern Right Whales. (Though still on the endangered list, they’re beginning to repopulate). And the lobsterman did not have to shoulder all financial burden of switching to sink-rope. But what to do with the mountains of this multi-colored heavy duty cordage?

Never underestimate Yankee frugality (we hate to throw anything away) and ingenuity to solve the problem. What better material to use for making doormats than rope that can withstand the extreme conditions of the briny deep sea? With some clever handiwork “The Right Doormat” was created (named in honor of the Right Whale).

Over 100 feet of reclaimed float rope is woven by hand into each unique doormat.

Within a few short years, thousands of these mats have been made and sold all over the world, providing much needed employment for people with seasonal jobs on the Maine coast. At the same time, tons of non-biodegradable material is being made in to durable, useful products instead of being buried in landfills.

Some rope is one solid color while some has distiguishing flecks of color within the braids.

And if you’re wondering why the mats are woven in such a wide variety of color combinations, different colored rope is how lobsterman can readily identify their traps. Based on the reclaimed rope at hand, the weavers seldom create two mats that are identical, which makes them even more unique and intriguing.

So the next time you wipe your shoes off before going inside a building, look down to see if it’s The Right Mat. If it is, you’ll know it’s doing more than just keeping the dirt outside; it’s doing a world of good for the environment and the economy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Featured Product


Pure Maple Syrup

When we started New England Everyday Goods in 2010, we never would have guessed that Maple Syrup would become our top-selling product line. Although there are countless places in the Northeast to purchase pure maple products, people from near and far come to us for our sweet selection.

In New England maple sugaring season is limited to just a few weeks in late winter to early spring when temperatures begin to warm and the sap begins to flow in the sugar maple trees. On average, 40 gallons of clear, water-like sap are boiled down to produce one gallon of rich amber-colored maple syrup.

Packaged in a variety of glass bottles and traditional plastic jugs, we always stock the two most-popular grades of syrup: Grade A Medium Amber and Grade A Very Dark Amber (also known as Grade B). Whichever you choose, you’re assured of a 100% pure, naturally delicious treat.