As the move towards a greener planet intensifies, some adherents are taking their commitment to new heights with many Brits choosing planet-friendly coffins for their final resting place. The new coffins are made from wool fleeces and indicate a growing market for one local firm.
Hainsworth, among the leading UK textile manufacturers says demand had surged over 600% for woolen coffins. On top of disappointed customers of traditional funeral firms, environment-friendly funerals have doubled over the last five years.
These new style funerals aren’t just restricted to the type of coffin used however, and alternative sites for burials can now be approved and bio-degradable materials add to the deceased wishes to become as one with the planet. Some customers will even make cash payments to make up for the funeral’s carbon emissions.
Eco-friendly burial grounds are also on the rise, with a 20% increase over the last five years; there are now 270 such sites throughout the country. Typical sites include woodland areas and some private land has received Council approval for burials.
A seven generation family business, Hainsworth can claim nearly 230 years of service to families, but only began offering woolen coffin burials in 2009. Coffins are comprised of three different fleeces, and are made by hand in Pudsey. 12 months ago the firm was selling just 15 woolen coffins each month, and that figure has now skyrocketed to 120, with staff expecting the figure to each 200 per month by the end of the year.
The origins of woolen coffins have an old, yet modern history. A work experience employee discovered a long forgotten law called the Burial in Woolen Act, which made it mandatory the deceased would be buried in a woolen shroud, ostensibly to promote the local wool industry.