The Sunset coffin

Charles Cowling

“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.

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6 years ago

I was under the impression that Sunset coffins were no longer trading and haven’t been for over a year.

I called them Christmas 2014 to order a coffin from them and they were no longer making them.

Andrew Vaccari
Andrew Vaccari
6 years ago

Dear Good Funeral Guide, all I can say is I am dissapointed by the coffin manufactures as they claim this to be uniqiue. I have been manufacturing earthsleeper burial casket made form the exact same board since 1995 the same time I approached the board manufactures. I have much documentation to prove all of this. Unfortunatley for Sunset Coffins and more importantly for the funeral directors and families, they have overseen or have ignored a huge problem. A problem that I myself addressed before I sold any to the public. It goes to show that if you are not the… Read more »

6 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Vaccari

Hi Andrew, I can’t find either yours, or sunset coffins, on line. Do you sell direct to the public?

6 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Vaccari

Andrew, do you have a website other than


11 years ago

I’ve recently been in contact with Sunset who were kind enough to send me samples etc. A lovely product sold by lovely people.