foldable cane coffins project by jeroen bomers from netherlands
designer's own words:
The foldable cane coffin makes you think about the environment and biodiversity on our planet, and how you can improve it even after you die.
The product is made out of cane, bamboo and palm leaves. It has a very natural appeal, and with its round shape and natural materials it is friendlier looking than the normal coffins. The product can be used as a platform for the deceased to be reposed on. It is an answer to a trend in Western countries where people want to arrange personal, green and conscious funerals which also asks for alternative ways of burials.
The foldable cane coffin is made out of natural fast growing materials as opposed to the wood now used for making coffins. No big trees have to be cut to produce it but grasses as cane and bamboo can be harvested easily and without putting more pressure on the Malawian forests, which are under big pressure already. Also the coffins will disintegrate faster than the normal wooden (and painted) coffins once they are buried.
The folding ability of the coffin enables it to be transported as a flat piece, thus limiting the use of space. Furthermore the coffins are light weight, which makes transportation more efficient and reduces fuel consumption. This will minimise the cost of transport but more importantly will benefit the environment.
The product itself will help to sustain biodiversity in Malawi because of the material use on the one hand. On the other hand environmental awareness is created when people think about the moment they will give themselves back to the earth. At the same time this product is about improving the economic situation of some of the poorest people on our planet in a durable way.
Malawian Folding coffins cooperative
I want to start a production and trading cooperative in Malawi, that will produce foldable cane coffins for the Dutch/ European market on the one hand and the Malawian/ East African market on the other. The cooperative will consist of Malawian basket makers and weavers who can use their skills and material knowledge to produce these foldable coffins.
The cooperative will export the coffins to different European countries where there is a growing interest in alternative and environmental friendly burials. It will be a fair trade and green product, sold at a price comparable to the existing prices for coffins in Europe. This means there will be a reasonable margin on the product, which will make it possible to offer the same coffins at a much lower price to the Malawian and East African market. Many people in these countries die due to the AIDS epidemic, the constant threat of famines and the economic crisis. Because people here are buried in European style coffins, it not only takes its toll on the forests, but also costs a big amount of money for the families that are already losing their relatives. This happens to the extent that families can't afford enough to support themselves, which results in more people dying.
With the coffins made out of cane and bamboo and palm leafs this circle of death can be broken. Trees will not have to be cut for the purpose of making coffins and coffins can be bought at a much better price.
The cooperative will provide income to those making the coffins and those growing the crops. I want to choose for a cooperative business, because in such a business the workers are at the same time co-owners of the cooperative. This makes the success of the business a responsibility for all the people working for it and they will all benefit from profits.
It will be a durable business giving people in Malawi a better economic perspective. In one of the poorest countries in the world, economic improvement is necessary to retain and sustain biodiversity as it is now under constant threat by people whose lives depend on exhausting their natural recourses.
The product is made out of cane, bamboo and palm leafs. It has a very natural appeal, and with its round shape and natural materials it is friendlier looking than the normal coffins. The folding ability of the coffin enables it to be transported as a flat piece, thus limiting the use of space.The product can be used as a platform for the deceased to be reposed onThe foldable cane coffin is made out of natural fast growing materials as opposed to the wood now used for making coffins.Environmental friendly Malawian basket makers and weavers using their skills and material knowledge to produce the foldable coffins.