When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I work as a coffineer. There is usually a pause while they digest that, often followed by step back.
I make coffins. For lack of a better term, I have felt 'called' to do this work. For me at this time, my place seems to be at this intersection of art, craft and compassion.
Thank you for your interest in my work at Aldergrove Caskets. If I may assist you through your end of life tasks, I will do for you as I would do for my own.
- John Jull
The Talk - Mission Statement
Our products are designed to move the funeral and burial process to a greener and more human-centered place. We can only achieve this through continuous attention to the environmental impact of our products and practices and by attentively listening to our client's ideas for meaningful ceremony. As the company grows, we will continue to design to the highest green standards as defined by non-profit, third-party certifying organizations. As the definitions of 'green burial' and 'green business' change, we will evolve to embrace the current best practices.
The Walk - Practicing What We Preach
We have designed our products to meet the highest standards for green burial as established by the Green Burial Council, an independent non-profit dedicated to sustainability in the field.
We have modeled our business practices on the standards set of the Green America, a not-for-profit with a stated mission to "harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society."
What does that look like in practice?
We turned competition into cooperation when we helped establish the Carolina Casket Maker's Collective, a way for small shops like ours to share resources and ideas. CCMC helps us use our business to leverage changes to funeral and burial practices by providing our clients with the means embrace greener practices.
We evaluate our practices for environmental and social consequences. Although cost and profit must be a concern, it is not our sole concern. Our Green Business Certification through Green America embraces an objective green business model and verifies our commitment.
We select and source our materials based on sustainability. The Green Burial Council checks our work on this one.
Acting locally, we are active members of the Hillsborough, NC Chamber of Commerce.
We practice transparency by addressing questions and concerns, posting details about our materials and through our third party certifications.
And we listen. Though participation in events such as Death Cafes and membership in organizations like the National Home Funeral Alliance we are listening to the most important voices in the field - yours.
In the end, that's a lot of words to say what we said at the beginning. We build each casket as though it was for our own family. Because in the broadest sense, it is.