At the end of the day, a coffin can be made out of a huge variety of materials, here we list what else is available on the environmentally friendly coffin market.
Wicker is not a material in itself, but rather an overall classification of products woven from any one of a variety of materials. The word wicker is believed to be of Scandinavian origin: wika meaning “to bend” in Swedish.
So with that in mind, wicker coffins can be made from anything flexible, be that willow, bamboo, sea-grass, banana leaf or even water hyacinth. Some are made locally, others imported from overseas, some can be bought direct, others only via the funeral director – all are biodegradable, and can be used in cremation or burial. The choice and variety is large – have a look.
www.coffincompany.co.uk (all sorts and designs available)
www.daisycoffins.com (banana leaf, water hyacinth)
www.finetimberproducts.co.uk (willow, wood, seagrass, bamboo)
www.ecoffins.co.uk (willow, bamboo, wood)
The Leafcocoon – a softer coffin…
– A strong wooden frame is encased in wool and felt to form a thick mattress
– A woolen shroud is safely strapped in
– Two thick layers of felt toggle down over this to form a woolly cocoon with a smooth outline
– Six handles take all the weight and so the whole Leafcocoon is buried.
Great attention has been given to the choice of materials as well as practical considerations.
This is a new and gentler approach – an alternative to the Victorian funeral coffin – reflecting awareness of the environment, staying close to nature, intrinsically soft and comforting.
www.bellacouche.com (beautiful handmade felt ‘cocoons’ for adults or children)
Not a material that instantly springs to mind, these coffins are made in Yorkshire using pure new wool, supported on a strong recycled cardboard frame, lined with cotton and edged with jute. Wool is both sustainable and biodegradable, and is suitable for cremation and all types of burial.
Jute plant fibre can be used for hundreds of things, but only recently has a company from Dundee developed its Jute coffin, made from jute board.
By mixing the jute plant fibres with natural starch and then compressing it, they have produced a rigid board that looks like wood, and from which a coffin can be built. Each coffin can be personalised and painted in any colour to meet individual requirements, and as everything from the lining, to the rope handles are made from jute, they are 100% biodegradable, and suitable for cremation or burial.
www.jfunerals.co.uk (jute and Bamboo)