The next generation of funerals?


As the popularity of environmentally-friendly funerals continues to grow, more people are looking at different options for burials.

One of the latest inventions is the mushroom death suit which appeals to those who are not fond of cremations or being buried.

Created by MIT research fellow, Jae Rhim Lee, the suit was devised after researching natural methods to assist decomposition.

“I am interested in cultural death denial, and why we are so distanced from our bodies, and especially how death denial leads to funeral practices that harm the environment – using formaldehyde and pink make-up and all that to make your loved one look vibrant and alive, so that you can imagine they’re just sleeping rather than actually dead,” she told New Scientist.

Her first design as part of her ‘Infinity Burial Project’ is an organic cotton suit lined with a crocheted netting containing mushroom spores that covers the full body. She chose mushrooms because of their excellent ability to clean up the environmental toxins in the soil, along with their ability to breakdown organic matter.

Lee is now turning her attention to developing unique strains of fungi, called Infinity Mushrooms, trained to quickly break down our bodies and dispel the toxins they contain.

As discussed in SAIFInsight in January (edition 172), green or eco-friendly funerals are becoming increasingly popular, as people’s personal concern for the environment is also reflected in the way they want their death to be celebrated. Green burials reject cremation and traditional graveyards for burial in natural settings.