Our ethos

Fair Trade

Passionate about Fair Trade...

Ecoffins is the premier manufacturer and supplier of eco friendly coffins and urns in the UK. Our products are made to the highest possible standards of quality and ethical production. A guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) for 10 years, our care for fair treatment is also reflected in the fact that Ecoffins has attained “Investors in People Gold” Standard in the UK. Many of our products are made in the UK, but wherever we manufacture goods outside of the UK or EU, they are produced in carefully monitored WFTO workshops committed to improving the working conditions of local craftsmen and also sustaining the surrounding natural environment. All products are 100% natural and bio-degradable with no plastic, metals, screws or staples used in their construction.

All the products we purchase from outside the EU are made in Fair Trade certified companies and we are the only UK eco-friendly coffin manufacturer to be accredited by the WFTO.

Fair Trade is based on dialogue, transparency and respect, seeking greater equity in international trade. The WFTO has members in 59 countries worldwide, encompassing approximately 1 million people. WFTO has agreed upon 10 rigorous standards which its members must follow in their day to day work.

The WFTO only admits new members after receiving positive feedback from two independent and impartial sources. It also carries out continuous monitoring of all its member companies, to ensure they continue to follow and uphold the 10 standards.

To see the 10 standards please click here

As a fully accredited member of the WFTO, Ecoffins is a leader in its region of China on all the above points.

Environment

Passionate about the environment...
  • All our products are 100% natural and biodegradable.
  • We use no nails, screws or staples in any of our coffins.
  • All the materials we use are carefully chosen for their sustainability as well as low impact during harvesting
  • Our shipping footprint is small as all our coffins are designed so that the different sizes fit inside one another ‘Russian Doll’ style, so that a 20’ shipping container can hold 198 adult sizes. As a result, just one tenth of a gallon of fuel is used to ship one of our coffins from the Far East to the UK - an average 40 mpg car can travel just 4.8 miles with the same amount of fuel.
  • We don't use Seagrass as harvesting this aquatic plant destroys the habitat for many fish and has the important job of soaking up carbon dioxide from the seafloor, locking it away indefinitely. Seagrass is therefore an incredibly important plant which needs to be conserved. Pandanus, on the other hand, which we use instead, 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 cardboard products are made from cartonboard materials produced from unbleached pulp containing a minimum 70% recycled paper, plus wood pulp sourced from sustainable forests. Only natural starch based glues are used, no other fixings and the handles are made from natural woven cotton.
  • Our bespoke painted coffins are only painted in water based, environmentally friendly paints.

What is an eco funeral and why does it matter?

In its purest sense, an eco or green burial -- also called a natural burial -- entails wrapping an un-embalmed body in a biodegradable shroud, placing it in a eco friendly coffin and burying the body in a manner that creates the least impact on the environment. Sometimes traditional standing headstones are not used and instead wooden signs, flat rocks, plants or trees may serve as grave markers.

Eco funerals are a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that furthers legitimate ecological aims such as the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.

Burials and cremations can both have an impact on the environment, using resources and energy. Traditional Coffins are often made using formaldehyde, may be made of wood from unsustainable sources and transported over long distances; plus metal and plastic fittings do not biodegrade. Choosing a coffin made from a sustainable source will help, as will choosing an eco friendly material such as wicker, bamboo or cardboard.

If you can find a cemetery or churchyard that is reusing old graves, that’s a very good option, as is a woodland or natural burial site if it’s not too far away. If the graves are hand dug that saves the fuel for a mechanical digger.

You can have a burial on private land. Two family members can be buried on their own land as long as you meet environmental guidelines on proximity to water.

Cremation is very energy-intensive and can lead to pollutants entering the atmosphere, but with over 70 per cent of people who die in Britain being cremated even making small changes to the coffin and shroud will help reduce emissions.

If you are looking for help, support, advice or guidance planning a funeral, either for yourself or for someone close to you, the Natural Death Centre can help www.naturaldeath.org.uk.

For details of natural burial grounds in your area click here