Would you choose to be buried in a coffin made from mushrooms?
"We grow the mushroom coffins in only seven days. We do that with mycelium, which is the root structure of mushrooms," said Bob Hendrikx, the founder and CEO of Loop Biotech, a company based in the Netherlands.
"It's just purely hemp fiber and mushroom," he said. Hendrikx said people are usually surprised at how soft and strong the product is.
"People don't understand how strong it is, so it can carry 200 kilograms," he said. This equates to about 440 pounds.
Once the coffin is put into the ground, it takes 45 days to biodegrade. It enriches the soil as well.
"Our nutrients will turn into the soil and we will be allowing new life to flourish," he said.
"There is a rising trend in sustainability and we are the only positive footprint product on the market," Hendrikx explained.
A 2023 report by the National Funeral Directors Association found 60% of consumers would be interested in exploring green funeral options, up from 55.7% last year.
"We see it as the start of something new, and this enables us to become part of the cycle of life," Hendrikx said.
Loop Biotech currently ships to parts of Europe and North America. The price runs around 1,000 euros, or $1,100 U.S. The cost is slightly higher than that for U.S. customers due to shipping and other costs.
"It's fairly in the mid-range price of coffins so for us, it's most important that it's accessible," Hendrikx said.