Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of company is FAIR coffins and what do they stand for?
FAIR coffins is a Social Enterprise located in Nijmegen. It produces patented eco-friendly coffins as well as eco-friendly shrouds and biers. The complete production process is geared towards people who experience occupational limitations. The social goals and purpose are at the heart of the company. Making a profit is of lesser importance. We only strive to make a profit as a means of guaranteeing the continuity and realisation of the social and environmental goals.
How will a FAIR coffin be delivered?
FAIR coffins can be ordered in our online store or through one of our dealers. Orders that are made in the online store before 3 pm will be delivered to a location of your choice the next day. Delivery can be discussed with our distributor, RW Logistics in Elst (NL), phone number: +31 481 378 556. Please make mention of any particulars in the comment section when ordering. Orders made during the weekend can be delivered starting Monday. Our distributor is happy to take back any packing materials for the purpose of recycling them. For orders made through one of our dealers, please refer to the dealer for any questions about shipping or delivery.
What materials are used to produce FAIR coffins?
The base material is a newly developed and patented product that is most similar to cardboard. The base of this material consists of wood pulp made of recycled wood, cardboard and paper. The layers of material are then folded using a special technique. The resulting construction is light yet very strong. By the addition of product material from nature the material is suitable for cremation as well. For the printing of FAIR coffins we use an ecological ink that does not contain heavy metals or solvents. To further reduce the use of energy the ink is dried using UV light. The used glues and adhesives do not contain any solvents and have natural ingredients such as pine-resin, starches (e.g. from potatoes) and sugars as their base. Read more… https://faircoffins.com/milieuvriendelijk-duurzaam-groen-eco/
What is the maximum weight and size?
FAIR coffins have been tested for up to 200 kilograms. We guarantee up to 150 kilograms. Please refer to the test videos on the website for more information. Regarding sizing, we only carry one size that is a bit larger than other, standard sized coffins. Because FAIR coffins are light and only weigh 14 kilograms, they are about 26 kilograms lighter than other coffins made from chipboard. This makes them easier and safer to carry. Read more… https://faircoffins.com/specificaties/
Are coffins and caskets that are made of fast-growing wood such as poplar eco-friendly?
The idea that wood as the main material for a coffin or casket is eco-friendly is a common misconception.
There are 3 main reasons why the use of wood for this purpose is not eco-friendly:
1. Few materials emit as much toxic CO2 and fine particles as wood does when it is incinerated. Trees take CO2 from the air and turn it into oxygen. However, the tree stores the toxic CO2 and this stored CO2 is re-released into the air when the wood is burned.
2. Once a tree has been cut it is no longer able to clear the air from CO2. Less trees therefore immediately result in less air purification. Planting a new, and thus smaller, tree does not compensate for this loss.
3. Wood is a sustainable product that should be used in a sustainable way, for example to build houses or furniture. We do not think burning or burying wood is a sustainable way to use this material. Please refer to https://faircoffins.com/onderzoek/ for more information.
Is a FAIR coffin protected against humidity, moisture and frost?
The material that is used for the shell and the lid is water resistant. The added print creates another layer of protection against humidity and moisture. A short rain shower or bouquets of wet flowers placed upon the coffin will not cause any issues. The outer base of the coffin is finished using Aquaboard, a solid and water resistant board. The inner base is covered with PLA, a waterproof foil that is compostable. Bodily fluids or rime produced by the cooling of the body do not affect the stability or integrity of the material.
What is the quality of a FAIR coffin and its finishing?
Because of the use of different types of materials and its construction a FAIR coffin is very strong. The coffins have been thoroughly tested. There are videos available on the website. FAIR coffins have an elegant finish. However, the finishing differs from the finishing used on conventional coffins and caskets made of wood. For example, a FAIR coffin will have folded edges instead of seams. Furthermore, FAIR coffins are produced by hand by people who experience occupational limitations. The choice to work with people instead of having our products made by machines is one that is very important to us. However, it does mean that the finishing details of FAIR coffins may differ a little from each other.
How do the prices of FAIR coffins compare to the prices of other coffins and caskets?
Our core values are sustainability, affordability and social responsibility. We produce coffins that are 100% eco-friendly and socially made, for the same cost of a polluting coffin or casket made from chipboard. As a social enterprise we value our social goals above the making of a profit and because of our smart production process we are indeed able to keep costs low. Prices start at €395, which makes our coffins much more affordable than other ‘ecological’ coffins of which prices usually start at €795.
I heard something about detachable handles. What is that about?
FAIR coffins has taken out a patent on detachable handles. For a small surcharge, customers are able to customize their coffin by, for example, choosing light brown handles and closures for a white coffin. This enables the combination of different colours. The detachable handles have been available since 2017. The use of these handles also ensures that a FAIR coffin is completely free of metals.
Can I order a FAIR coffin with a different design?
Yes, almost every design is possible, from wicker basket to metal look. Our ‘Customizer’ has been available since 2017 and allows customers to design their own coffin or casket. If you need help or have any questions, you can always get in touch with our DTP team.
Are FAIR coffins suitable for painting?
Yes. The standard white coffin is especially suitable for this. Family, friends and children can use water-based acrylic paints or board markers to draw or paint on the coffin.
I want the funeral to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. How do I go about this?
We advise you to use one of our coffins or the FAIR coffin bier and combine this with the ecological shroud made of organic cotton. Our own clothes, and shoes especially, are often made of materials that are not biodegradable or friendly to the environment. Please also take into consideration what impact your other funeral choices have on the environment. You can find more information about eco-friendly options on www.groeneuitvaart.nl.
Do FAIR coffins affect the gas consumption when they are cremated?
FAIR coffins have been thoroughly tested and approved for cremation according to the rules and regulations of the Dutch LVC (National Association of Crematoria). Several trials in both cold and hot start cremators showed that the total consumption of gas when cremating FAIR coffins was lower in comparison to cremating conventional coffins made of wood or chipboard. There was no difference comparing the consumption of the retort. However, because of the cleaner incineration the afterburner chamber did not have to start working until later in the process, thus resulting in an overall lower gas consumption.
Does using a FAIR coffin have an effect on the filters used in the furnaces?
FAIR coffins have been approved by the Dutch LVC (National Association of Crematoria). Several trial cremations with FAIR coffins showed that all furnace parameters were well within the margins. Even with heavy air circulation inside the chambers, there were no issues. The few ashes remained on the floor of the furnace. Please also refer to the test videos on the FAIR coffins website. Because of the full and clean incineration, less residue remains after cremation. This also means that the job of the employee has become easier to carry out.
Why is FAIR coffins an interesting option for tenders put out by municipalities and the State?
Within the Netherlands, larger municipalities must put out a tender for the contracting of a provider of WOL (Wet op de lijkbezorging/ Dutch Burial and Cremations Act) funerals. The requirements for these tenders often include an SROI (Social Return On Investment). The government chooses to reward contractors for the sustainable actions and achievements entrepreneurs already perform and deliver regarding social entrepreneurship. FAIR coffins is a Social Enterprise and FAIR coffins products achieve the highest scores for SROI. Therefore, entrepreneurs who choose to work with FAIR coffins can submit a tender for a contract put out by municipalities or the State.
Why is the lining tightly attached to the inside of the coffin, instead of being attached to the (outside of the) edges?
FAIR coffins were developed with attention to the needs and preferences of customers instead of blindly following traditions and customs that are common in the industry. Research shows that there is a clear preference for the tightly attached finishing we now use. In addition to that, the traditional finishing makes use of polluting elastic. The finishing used by FAIR coffins uses less material, thus making it even more friendly to the environment.