The new frontier of environmentalism has created some fascinating trends in the funeral industry. The new fashion in the death industry is green and ecologically-responsible clothing.
Garments for the Grave
Australian designer and funeral guru Pia Interlandi has made a new version of a traditional death shroud design. Upon the death of her grandfather, Pia had a realization about the clothing we wear in life: that it is not conducive to death. Think of all the zippers and buttons we do and undo every day. We spend money on flattering shapes and soft fabrics, when the deceased really have no need for such things.
Additionally, according to Interlandi, synthetic fabrics are not environmentally friendly. The staying power of fabrics like polyester and satin actually prevent a lot of natural decomposition. Interlandi created garments that do the opposite. She says, in an interview with Wired magazine in October of 2013, “The body is a gift. It’s a bag of nutrients and water and protein. When you place it back into the earth, I think the garment is almost like wrapping paper.”
Her “Garments for the Grave” are elegant and subtle. She uses a keen eye and a fashion expertise to mix the green burial priorities with beautiful style and aestheticism. The garment is made of natural fibers, including hemp, raw silk, and organic cotton. The garment has mitten-like covers for the hands, and a veil piece for the face and head. The overall vesture looks ethereal and barely tangible, like a mist or a cloud. This more traditional method of dressing the dead is gaining popularity as green burials become more commonplace!