The world’s first patented woolen coffin brand Natural Legacy is celebrating its 10th birthday this year.
In 2009 UK woollen mill, AW Hainsworth, joined forces with the coffin manufacturer JC Atkinsons to develop and launch the patented woollen coffin. The coffins were premiered at The National Funeral Exhibition accompanied by a number of sheep that walked the floor to raise awareness – a first for the event.
The new concept addressed the movement of the time towards eco-friendly alternatives, and through Natural Legacy’s green lineage and fully sustainable components, the company also set out to offer a “comforting and more personal” option for those wanting to tailor the funeral to the personality and life of the deceased.
The concept was based on The Burial in Woollen Act of 1666 when it became a legal requirement for the dead to be buried in woollen shrouds in an attempt to boost the flailing woollen industry of the time.
Launched initially in the UK and Europe, Natural Legacy coffins and ash caskets now sell around the world, including as far afield as the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Made using 100% new wool that is woven in Yorkshire, Natural Legacy products are still hand constructed on the same premises that has produced the outer woollen cloth for over 230 years.
The woollen outer layer is hand fitted around a strong 100% recycled cardboard frame, which is reinforced with an MDF baseboard for rigidity and stability, and then carefully lined with a soft woollen wadding for a mattress base.
Each coffin interior is lined with cotton, edged with jute and completed with a soft organic covered pillow, while the exterior is finished with a blanket stitch detail, jute handles and simple wooden toggle fastenings.
Suitable for both burial and cremation, and fully certified as FFMA approved, the non traditional coffin shape combined with the soft tactile finish allow a more relatable and easier experience for those left behind and can be comforting to sensitive or younger members of a congregation.
Throughout the last 10 years the coffins have featured on many TV shows including Stella, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and Countryfile.
Natural Legacy will be returning to the National Funeral Exhibition in June 2019 and hosting a birthday celebration on the JC Atkinson stand.
Rachel Hainsworth, director of Natural Legacy, said: “While our Natural Legacy products were launched in 2009 to an excited audience, there was some speculation that this could be a fad product. We have proved this to be completely unfounded as 10 years on the woollen coffin products are going from strength to strength, sold in many countries and still rising in popularity.
“We always believed in the benefits of the products and the market has realised and accepted these and the families of those buried or cremated in our products regularly feed back to us how perfect these were for their loved ones.”