Sustainable Living Starts At Your Front Door
Does this sound familiar? You bring home a colorful, statement-making doormat that you are sure will make the best first impression of your home — which it certainly does, for a few months.
Then, one day, you notice the design of your new(ish) mat has, not surprisingly, faded from wear & tear, and you’re left with a dirty-looking, nondescript mat you’ll be tossing in the trash as soon as a newer one catches your eye…
Here at Heymat we design for longevity using reusable materials. We believe every product should be — and can be — made without leaving behind a negative impact on the planet, so we set out to design a solution: a door mat to withstand the test of time, as beautiful as it is durable (read: kid- paw- family- and weather-proof). A door mat that will not only reduce the footprints insides your home, but the footprint you leave behind on the planet…
Read on for a Q&A with founders, Sonja Djønne and Thoralf Lian, to learn more.
What is Heymat made from, and why did you initially choose those materials?
Our mats are made from recycled PET, which comes from recycled plastic bottles. This was a very important environmental choice for us because we wanted to create a product that was better for the planet. With the growing awareness around the global plastic crisis, we saw an exciting opportunity to repurpose a material that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
PET is actually a very functional material to make doormats out of, as plastic textile easily emits moisture to the air and is highly durable, ensuring our mats have a long lifespan. And by designing a product meant to last, we can reduce the environmental impact from production and distribution because our customers don’t need to replace their mats for a long time.
That’s interesting because we live in an economy that prioritizes newer, better, more updated versions of things. Was this concept of “less is more” an intentional part of your business model?
Absolutely. We value quality over quantity, which we find leads to happier customers, more word-of-mouth recommendations, and more repeat business. We believe there is a better way of running a company than the status quo: by having our products last for a long time, less resources are consumed in the manufacturing process, and our customers feel really good with their purchase and their choice to lessen their own environmental impact.
Having a quality product that works the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t weaken over time has a beautiful domino effect on the products used around it. For instance, our mats are so durable and effective at absorbing moisture and grit that less damage is done to your floors, extending the quality and lifespan there, and with other surfaces in your home, as well.
That’s great. And what about your designers and suppliers? How do you choose the right partner?
We’ve created a pretty close-knit supply chain over the years, meaning we strive to work with fewer partners and factories, but form very close, long-lasting relationships with each one. We frequently visit our suppliers in the U.S. and Europe, where our mats are produced, both for audit purposes and the development of new products and solutions, and we invest a lot of time and energy into making sure we work with suppliers who are aligned with our sustainability initiatives. We hold each of them to the same standard as we hold to ourselves, ensuring that the social and environmental impact of doing business is just as important as making a profit.
And what about further along down the supply chain? Tell us how you are working to reduce your environmental impact with the distribution of your products.
Many of our customers are in the United States, so we decided to move production and warehousing there to reduce the environmental impact of transportation. This was a huge step for us. Not having to ship our products from Europe, even though the design is developed here, greatly reduces our emissions and carbon footprint.
We also focus on reducing packaging, so we use less material in general. Our mats are boxed simply using a rubber band to roll them up for shipment.
Ok, let’s talk waste. What initiatives does Heymat take to minimize the waste of materials in the design process?
An important element to all our designs is that they should stand the test of time and not be subject to ever-changing design trends. We create timeless motifs, making the mats just as relevant for the entrance in two years, or twelve years, as they are today.