We use only environmentally sustainable materials and our caskets come with a 100% biodegradable natural fibre and wool drapery.
Choose from our selection of beautiful images in the premium range, or talk to your funeral director about using your own photograph or artwork to personalise the casket.
Our caskets are designed to be affordable. They are made completely from sustainable timber, and we’ve designed them to be as economical as possible.
Constructed and assembled using traditional furniture making techniques, the design of Departure Lounge caskets is so simple that no glue, fasteners or tools are used in assembly.
Our caskets are 100% New Zealand made. We’re a family business and we pride ourselves on ingenuity and a ‘can do’ attitude.
All of our timber is sourced from sustainably grown forests. We care about the environment and strive to produce products that are as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.
They’re fond memories – boats in various states of completion, sheets of beautiful native plywood, wood shavings, the pungent aroma of glue and varnish. And me and Dad working together.
I helped him full-time after leaving school, then knocked around the world for a decade or so. When I returned, I started my own business building customised packaging. Mostly out of wood, of course.
Ten years ago Dad became seriously ill. The way things panned out, we had a bit of time to plan for his last wishes. I got the brainwave to build him a coffin. After a lifetime of working with wood, it would have felt wrong to settle for something artificial. We talked, and he agreed.
It was an emotional time, cathartic, a release of sorts. It sounds corny, but that coffin felt a bit like building Dad’s final boat. I’m glad we did it that way. Later, when my Mum passed away, we built and decorated her casket too. Hers was painted Vivid red, with pukekos and flower decorations. She was crazy about pukekos.
Her close family pitched in. There was something about getting involved, not being a bystander. It was a time of sadness, but also laughter, and lots of love.
Starting Departure Lounge was really a case of putting two and two together. Why not combine our skills and experiences to give everybody the opportunity to choose a more personal, natural casket? For a loved one. Or for themselves. We’d design it for easy storage and assembly. Make it natural, sustainable and elegant, with no artificial materials, glues, fasteners or treatments. Our caskets would be easily personalised to reflect different lives and experiences. Affordable. Real.
That light-bulb moment was the easy bit. Since then, Maggie and I have worked together on the research, design, prototypes, testing and tweaking that have got us here today.
A Departure Lounge casket isn’t for everyone. Fair to say if you’re looking for a traditional casket, you’re in the wrong place. But if you’re seeking a way to express something more individual, more natural, more human… we hope we can help you.
- Andy & Maggie Mitchell
Caskets and urns are available from funeral directors throughout New Zealand.
For sales and international enquires, please contact us.
Departure Lounge caskets and urns are a New Zealand registered design with international patents. Factory Address: Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand