Good news for those who seek to arrive in the afterlife well-insulated and incredibly itchy: the Hainsworth wool mill in West Yorkshire, England has a coffin just for you.
Looking to stay relevant in Britain’s struggling textile industry, Hainsworth has branched out into developing creative products from wool, the most unique of which being the completely biodegradable woolen coffin. The development of the cushy coffin dovetails quite nicely with the growing British trend of green funerals, and coffin sales for Hainsworth are on the rise with positive projections for the future. Inspired bya 17th century British law demanding that all corpses be buried in a woolen shroud (a law that was coincidentally passed to boost the textile industry of the time), a marketing student interning with Hainsworth came up with the woolen coffin idea, and the project took off from there. A prototype was built using recycled cardboard for reinforcement, and BOOM! Sweater coffin, courtesy of your friendly ovine community.
Careful counting these guys. You may go to sleep…forever.
1. I think this is a fantastic idea from an environmental perspective. Yay, Earth! (Although I’m not sure about the ramifications about all those embalming chemicals leeching so freely into the soil. That has to be…bad, right?)
2. Unless you specifically purchase this coffin before your death and tell your loved ones OVER AND OVER AGAIN that you want a damn woolen coffin, no one is going to bury your ass in a woolen coffin. Until this idea really catches on (and I hope it does), everyone who shows up to a woolen coffin funeral is going to think the deceased’s family is a bunch of tasteless cheapskates. I mean, WOOL?! That’s, like, five steps below pine box, right? We need a Hallmark chart for this, like the ones for anniversaries. For example, leather would be the traditional coffin material for cranky old aunts who made snide comments about your weight, bronze would be for step-grandparents who always sent you a $50 bill on your birthday.
“See here, kids? That’s the clay coffin we buried your lying sunuvabitch Uncle Troy in.”
The UK-based Natural Death Center (wow…Monday mornings in that place must be extra rough) says that rates for natural burials in England is on the rise, as is the demand for eco-coffins. Woolen coffins are by far the most popular choice when it comes to biodegradable Death Cabs for Grandma, with other Earth-friendly versions usually fashioned from plain cardboard (makes sense), wicker (Pier 1, is that you?), or (oh dear) papier-mâché.
Personally, I think paper-mâché coffins should be reserved for people who insist on pronouncing it PAH-PEEAY MACHE.
So, what do you think, Internet? Woolen coffins: would you or wouldn’t you? Do you want to shuffle off this mortal coil in an eco-friendly fashion, or will you be a gold-leaf-and-platinum-only kind of corpse?
Fortunately for me, I purchased this beauty years ago.