Green beyond the grave: demand for eco-coffins soars

Eco-friendly Britons are ramping up their commitment to a green lifestyle by making environmentally-conscious decisions for their final hurrahs.

Leading textile mill Hainsworth has reported a 700 percent increase in sales of its woollen coffins in the past year. Wool is a natural, sustainable and biodegradable material that can be cremated, or will simply rot away in the earth, and offers the added bonus of supporting British farming.

The company began making woollen coffins in 2009 when a work experience student happened upon the 1668 Burial in Woollen Act, which stipulated that people had to be buried in a woollen shroud to help boost England’s wool industry.

Increasing numbers of Brits are shying away from traditional funeral services, with the number of eco-funerals reaching more than 50,000 a year – 100 percent more than five years ago.

‘Alternative’ coffins now account for around ten percent of all coffins used in the UK, with wicker and cardboard proving the most popular. Other materials include willow, bamboo, banana leaf, felt and of course, wool.

Spokesman for the National Association of Funeral Directors Dominic Maguire told Funeral Service Times: “People are concerned that, when they day, they don’t leave much of a carbon footprint. Thier feeling is that they want to leave a legacy, a sense that they didn’t use up natural resources.”

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