Death and taxes are two certain things in life. Well, you can possibly manage to escape taxes for a while, but death is a certain thing. Not meant as a morbid thought, Uono has created a completely different type of coffin.
This sleek oval casket was launched last spring with a business plan as unique as its aesthetic. “My strategy is to convince people to buy the Cocoon before they get to the funeral home,” says Uono founder Spiegel. A fundamental problem in the funeral industry is that mourning families will buy just about any casket on the spot, making for an extremely stable but stale market. Uono addresses that issue by branding the $3,500 Cocoon as a premium product, marketing it both to funeral directors and to consumers. “It’s a piece of furniture with a high design standard—the last piece of furniture they’ll ever buy,” Spiegel says. In fact, he came up with the idea after having to bury his design-loving father in a tacky brass-handled box. To broaden its appeal, he also made the Cocoon biodegradable: It’s molded from an inexpensive plant fiber called jute and coated with a water-based varnish. “People who shop at Whole Foods would buy this coffin,” says juror Harley Manning, VP for customer experience at Forrester Research. Spiegel hopes to introduce the coffin in the United States by year’s end.
The Uono Cocoon Coffin is available in an array of fourteen colors. If that isn’t enough, individual colors are available through Uono’s Haute Couture Service, as well.