Wicker and Willow Coffins
Willow (wicker) grows from February to July and in the right conditions it can grow inches per day. It is traditionally planted closely spaced which forces the wicker rods to grow straight and tall. It produces generous foliage during the growing season.
From July to November wicker stops growing and gradually sheds it's foliage. Between late November and February willow becomes dormant and this is the season for harvesting and for planting new cuttings for next year.
Willow plants are grown sustainably being very easy to harvest and requiring no fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides. The plants can replenish fertility in degraded and marginal soils and also provide habitat for birds and insects. They also act as windbreaks, stabilise soil and can combat river and coastal erosion. It also provides badly needed seasonal income for families in farming communities.
Willow coffins are among the most environmentally friendly coffins available. We believe that our coffins are the ultimate in environmental recycling as willow is a highly renewable crop harvested each year which involves minimal processing. It can degrade rapidly in the soil and helps to lock carbon emissions into its willow stems.
In the right soil conditions willow tends to decompose much more quickly than traditional materials such as MDF, hardwoods and metal.
Willow is a carbon neutral material and when burnt only gives off the same amount of carbon that it consumes within it's lifetime. Nearly half a million wooden coffins are burnt in the UK each year, polluting the atmosphere with dioxin, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. These same toxins are released during decomposition, just more slowly from underground and are released into the soil first.
All of our Willow Coffins are completely natural and biodegradable. They break down in 6 months to 2 years depending on soil conditions. Willow coffins are woven and therefore do not depend on toxic glues, varnish, plastics, or metals.
Their colours are the natural plant dyes in the pigmentation. This means that colour tone may vary from batch to batch.
Because our caskets are packed and shipped inside each other like Russian dolls they also have a very small carbon footprint when transported.
Eco friendly caskets are a beautiful and natural solution to a difficult problem.
The History Of Willow & Wicker
Willow was sacred to ancient cultures and was often used as a funerary herb. Druidic sacrifices were made at the full moon in willow baskets and funerary flints were made in a willow shape. Ancient burial mounds situated near to water were often lined with willow.
Willow has long been used to ward off evil, for protection and to overcome the fear of death. For safe life in another life, it was customary to plant a willow during one's lifetime so that its life would continue after ones death. It is a tree of death and rebirth. The ancient Egyptians used willow for many products including furniture and baskets.
Willow and wicker is mentioned many times in the bible from the story of Moses to Psalm 137:
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
Wicker coffins are also not a new idea as Sir Frances Haden developed them in the late 19th century. His design had no lid and was to be filled with flowers or earth for natural burial.
In recent years the has been a trend to move to more sustainable and natural material for coffins. They often have a softer look and feel and have no ‘hard edges’ or corners and our coffins have no metal fixing and often ties and fixing are made with the materials itself.
The products that we don’t make in the UK are either manufactured by co-operative associations or are covered by a fair trade agreements ensuring that all workers and suppliers are treated fairly and work in good and safe conditions.
In line with our strong green beliefs, all of our products are manufactured in the most environmentally friendly way. Our products are hand made from locally materials grown and cropped in licensed plantations.
English Willow Coffin
The English Willow has been grown in England on the Somerset Levels for many centuries and has the ability to regenerate repeatedly from the same “crown” of the plant for up to 40 years. Willow colour variations are achieved naturally by drying, boiling or stripping the bark.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet, growing up to a metre per day. The Chinese have a saying that the only way to control its spread is to eat the shoots. Bamboo is also incredibly strong, with a tensile strength greater that that of steel. There is a 300 metre long suspension bridge in South China which hangs from bamboo cables fastened over a canyon; it does not have a single metal nail, screw or bolt in its construction.
N.B. Panda bears do not eat the species of bamboo which are used to make our products.
The banana, believed to have originated from the jungles of Asia, is generally mistaken for a tree, but is actually the world's largest herb. Their main stem can reach a height of up to 8 metres, though it is not actually formed of wood, but the tightly coiled leaves of the plant. Our banana coffins are made using these dried leaves after the tree has produced its fruit and the stem is cut back each year.
Pandanus or wild pineapple is an environmentally friendly alternative to seagrass. Seagrass is an aquatic plant which grows in shallow coastal waters and provides shelter for many species of nursery fish. When this is harvested, the habitat is destroyed and the fish are endangered. Pandanus, on the other hand, is a prolific and rapidly growing weed which thrives anywhere on land, even in adverse conditions. When woven it is almost indistinguishable from seagrass.
Our European willow products are hand made to by a co-operative of cottage industries in Poland. The willow is a deciduous shrub found primarily on moist soil in cold and temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. Almost all European willows take root very readily from cuttings or even where broken branches lie on the ground.
These are UK Manufactured cardboard coffins covered with a decorated ‘Pall’ either Fragrant Root or Woven Banana Leaf. Both these options are hand made in fair trade facility in Indonesia. Gives a unique look and very good value.
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Buy a coffin with complete confidence with the Comparethecoffin.com price promise “If you find the same coffin or casket of the same quality for less we will refund the difference.”
Our pricing is completely clear with no hidden extras, VAT and delivery are included, we are usually able to deliver any coffin within 2 working days. Please contact us with any questions or for advice or
Telephone 0800 690 6513. Alternatively email any of your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
After you receive the coffin – we will send an invoice and also ask you to complete a form providing feedback on the Service you received from ComparetheCoffin.com, the coffin itself and also feedback on the Funeral Director used (if any). It’s important to have this feedback to help others in the same position. See previous Testimonials here and also on our facebook page – please like us!
Please note that our coffin pricing policy is completely open and includes Packing, Shipping to Mainland UK and VAT. Any OPTIONAL extras such as name plate engraving for the front of the coffin, bespoke coffin designs, special handles and luxury linings, small additional charges will be made.
NO FUNERAL DIRECTOR CAN CHARGE A FEE FOR THE CUSTOMER USING A CASKET BOUGHT ELSEWHERE THROUGH AN ALTERNATE SOURCE, NOR REQUIRE A FAMILY MEMBER BE PRESENT FOR ITS DELIVERY, NOR MAKE A FUNERAL SERVICES PACKAGE CONTINGIENT UPON THE PURCHASE OF A CASKET OR OUTER CONTAINER.