“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” There’s a funeral industry variant on this saying. Substitute ‘coffin’ for ‘mousetrap’.
Last week I went to see Sunset Coffins. Its development is the outcome of a partnership between an environmentally conscious funeral director and ironmonger, Jeremy Clutterbuck, and an engineer, Steve Ancrum. It meets the aspirations and standards of both. No ‘Yes, buts’ apply. It passes the fussiest funeral director’s leak-and-creak test.
It is made from board resourced locally, created from 100% recycled newsprint. It is robust, agreeably constructed with dovetail joints, it has a suedey-velvety feel, it comes in 8 pastel shades and every part of it is biodegradable. It’s as green as it gets. Those many funeral directors who can’t conquer their aversion to cardboard will find this one easy to love.
It is very soft and easy on the eye. It reflects no light – indeed, it almost seems to absorb it.
It is also very easily decorated. You can pin what you want on it. If it should pick up a scuff you can lightly sandpaper it off. It’s the same all the way through.
I liked what I saw very much. I also liked the ethical way the factory operates. And I am grateful for the welcome I received.
Will it catch on? Who knows. The last coffin I raved about was the Hainsworth woollen coffin. Very few have sold. It’s a very difficult market to call.
But I certainly wish it well.