Our Innovations

The most important thing we have learnt over the last 60 years is to never turn down an opportunity. As a business we are proud innovators, we strive to constantly push the boundaries with the ethos of bringing about new possibilities. Our philosophy for vision and change is what sets us apart and allows us to bring our customers the latest forward-thinking products.

Pioneering the Willow Coffin

In 1998, Somerset Willow came across an innovation which would alter the course of the company’s future and help keep the family craft alive. As environmentally-friendly practices increasingly came to the forefront of the public’s mind, more and more had the desire to have an eco-conscious funeral. Natural burial grounds began showing interest in sourcing an entirely biodegradable coffin, with willow being the perfect solution for a natural material, Somerset Willow set about designing a new form of the traditional coffin.

An Evolution

The first willow coffin design began with a simple rectangular shape before it was then refined into rounded ends to soften the appearance. Shortly after, with the help of local funeral director John Biffen, the traditional shape willow coffin was also created.

In 2000, Aubrey’s wife Stephanie sadly passed away. It was her wish to have a weatherbeaten gold willow coffin with green bands and handles and was a fitting tribute to her life. This casket would come to feature on the front cover of brochures for many years and was the start of integrating colour bands as a form of personalization.

The Living Coffin®

The Living Coffin encapsulates the patchwork combination of both a beginning and an end, a World-First in its own right. This unique creation is hand-crafted using natural living willow wands and kept alive through revolutionary techniques, enabling the coffin to continue to grow. The result is a beautiful, naturally foliaged living coffin. The special system used requires only minimal maintenance and care up until the time of its use. The Living Coffin can shoulder a maximum weight of 25 Stone (160kg) and is suitable for green burial and standard burial.

The Living Coffin®