Hose off those worn and torn fishing bibs and recycle them into rugged sea bags and more!
A Maine fishing family needs more bibs for its Rugged Seas line that was launched at the popular Maine Fishermen’s Forum last March. Since then the bib gear call has taken off.
“We’ve had people send us their bibs from Canada from Rhode Island, up and down the East Coast. We’ve had some people from Washington State. So it’s been really good. It’s been really exciting. And, you know, even at a time where things are really challenging for people, I think people have liked the story and it’s been a good connection. So it’s really taken off.”
Nikki Strout co-owns Rugged Seas with her husband Taylor, a lifelong lobsterman who also has fished out of Dutch Harbor since 2012. Nikki says he was inspired by all the fishery-related hoodies and t-shirts he saw there and he started designing similar wear for Maine.
“And then in the last three or four years here in Portland, there have been a lot of struggles that the fishermen have been facing and working waterfront issues and development issues. So we really wanted to try to bring some more attention to the fishing industry and the lifestyle. And so we were trying to think of something that each fishery has that is very identifiable. And we thought of bibs. We thought what do guys do with their bibs when they just throw them away? Is there a way that we can repurpose these?
The Strouts also connected with well-known oilskin maker Guy Cotten to take all their remnants for Rugged Seas gear. A portion of all sales goes to local fishing groups and Nikki says it’s all about highlighting the lifestyle.
“I mean, it’s a hard lifestyle, the work they do and then being a family — we haven’t seen Taylor in eight weeks now. And it’s tough. So to kind of tell a story with every bag we make is the whole goal.”
Strout says another goal is to get bib drop barrels in Alaska fishing towns but for now, they will offer free gear to cover any costs for shipping them to Maine.
“ I have been giving away some free Rugged Seas gear because I know it takes some effort for people to actually ship things to us. But our big goal would be to have some sort of drop site up in Alaska in Dutch Harbor or wherever, and be able to get big batches of bibs and ship them back here so that it’s easier for people. But they can ship directly to us. And I would be very happy to send some free gear out to anybody who wants to donate their old bibs or jackets or whatever they have.”
Find out more at www.ruggedseas.com