Handcrafted with care from natural materials

Made in and of New Zealand

We believe that your final footprint should be a small one. That’s why we design caskets with the environment in mind. Guided by the principles of simplicity, minimalism and natural materials, we maximise the materials we use, donate one native tree for each casket, and use in-house expertise to minimise the use of metal and plastic materials.

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Maximum material usage

Choose a casket that truly represents your loved one (or you, if you’re the super organised type) without harming our beautiful New Zealand environment. We maximise all the materials that Mother Earth loans us. This includes minimising waste by first laying out the components to be cut out of the timber panels.


Showing some eco love

Water-based paints and finishes, natural waxes and untreated timber produce naturally beautiful caskets and urns that respect the environment. Any offcuts are repurposed into urns or donated to schools or staff for use in their own projects, the crafty lot. Even the packaging we receive from suppliers is reused or recycled for maximum earth-loving.


Yes to natural alternatives

Showcase your loved one’s personality by personalising a casket with images or special messages. These are then printed directly onto the casket with natural inks – no harmful vinyl in sight. Extend this care inside: casket mattresses are crafted from the wool of New Zealand sheep, with an eco-friendly cornstarch lining.

One native tree for every casket made
From the day we started to now (and beyond), we donate one native tree for every casket we make.

Planet-friendly design

Our in-house designed technology showcases some real Kiwi ingenuity. We’ve developed ways to minimise the use of biodegradable metal fixtures, like screws and nails. Although we minimise the use of metal, we still use it so the lasting nature of the casket isn’t compromised. Instead we use our unique Biscuit joiner: it holds corners in place, reducing the need for metal fixtures.

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Sustainably sourced wood

All the timber we use is sourced from sawmills that have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody Certification. This means that their timber products must be derived from a responsibly managed forest. Not only is our timber sustainably sourced, we make good use of it to boot. One pine tree makes around 10 caskets, plus urns in offcuts.

See our range

Latest News


Changing the narrative

16 September 2020
Copy of the Return to Sender Caskets article in the September 2020 issue of Verve Magazine.
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Tree planting in Paeroa

12 June 2020
Return to Sender joined Goldfields Special School to plant natives along the Ohinemuri River, Paeroa.
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The long and the short of it

17 April 2020
Return to Sender has added a new size to our Archetype, Woodhill and Fernwood caskets to accommodate the popul...
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More sustainable than ever

17 March 2020
Return to Sender is proud to have made the bold move away from Rimu and replace all existing Rimu caskets with...
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Upcycling sawdust

04 December 2019
Return to Sender strives to minimise waste. Helps us, help you with free sawdust
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Burial and cremation act 1964

Submissions open to update the Burial & Cremation Act 1964

18 November 2019
On Friday, the Ministry of Health opened a consultation on modernising New Zealand's laws around death, burial...
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UK Funeral trends

16 October 2019
United Kingdom's CO-OP FuneralCare directors have recorded trends of 500,000 funerals conducted in the last fi...
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Importance of grief, mourning and funerals

19 September 2019
Your loved one may have gone, but you are still here. A funeral can be personalised for your loved one; they m...
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New ‘Return to Sender’ truck

30 August 2019
Look out of our new truck on the road
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Growing our future – Tree planting

The amazing Hikurangi Primary School kids and a very supportive and encouraging staff planted almost 1,000 nat...
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