Re­turn to Sender

Element - - BUSINESS -

Greg Holdsworth and his wife Leanne were in Paris when news came Leanne’s fa­ther had died.

What struck him af­ter the dash back home was how the han­dles of the cas­ket were warm.

“I found what I thought was metal was plas­tic, the wood had ar­ti­fi­cial grain and there was all this syn­thetic ma­te­rial in­side. There was a mis­match in val­ues be­tween the cof­fin and the guy in­side, who used to spend his week­ends sand­ing down old wooden sail­ing boats.”

When he was com­plet­ing a prod­uct de­sign de­gree at Unitec sev­eral years later that me­mory came back, and he de­signed a dif­fer­ent sort of curved cof­fin. That led to or­ders, and busi­ness grew. As well as the orig­i­nal ply­board Ar­ti­san cas­ket, Re­turn to Sender makes a ba­sic pine box cas­kets to com­pete with the MDF and plas­tic-han­dled models. It is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing card­board.

“As more of the baby boomers start dy­ing, peo­ple want more in­di­vid­u­al­ity in the way their fu­ner­als will be run,” he says.

Greg Holdsworth: “There was a mis­match in val­ues be­tween the cof­fin and the guy in­side.”

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