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The Changing Face of the Funeral Industry

 Save Download Preview white grave markers and flowers at a national cemetery

The funeral industry is not what it used to be. When most of us picture a funeral, we imagine older men in black coats and top hats, solemnly carrying out their work, with little transparency for the often confused, grieving family.

Around 130,000 people in Australia pass away every year. And, with each year that goes by, more families are turning their backs on traditional funerals and choosing to do things their way. After all, they’re honouring a life and a person that was unique. Alternative farewells such as direct cremations are a cost-effective way to say goodbye, saving money for the little details that make the day more personal. As the face of the funeral industry progresses, so does the way we celebrate life.

Women in the funeral industry

The stereotypical idea of a mortician is a male that has been running a family funeral business for decades – but this wasn’t always the case. In the past, preparing a body for a viewing and burial was a domestic role undertaken by women. The industry only became more male-dominated after the Civil War, when the concept of embalming was born.

Over the last few decades, we’ve noticed yet another shift in the industry. More and more women are taking up a career in the funeral business, with 60% of students that study mortuary science being female. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), this shift is mostly due to the attributes that females tend to possess – such as compassion, communication, a desire to comfort others and organisation skills – which are key to the role of a funeral director.

Modern trends in the funeral industry

Different types of funerals have now entered the mainstream market in Australia, and going against the norm is no longer far-fetched, but accepted as a unique way to reflect the life of a person.

Some growing trends we’re seeing in Australia’s funeral industry today include:

  • Green burials – some people are choosing gardens instead of graveyards, with “green” coffins, to give something back to the earth and provide more nutrients to plants. There is a focus on sustainability and affordability, with people refusing to pay traditionally high funeral costs.
  • Modern cemeteries – with burial grounds taking up a lot of land, we’re seeing more innovation in the funeral industry, with modern cemeteries that are designed to use space more efficiently. Some cemeteries around the world include areas of reflection such as ponds and meditation areas, to offer a more contemplative visit to mourners.
  • New-age cremation – where money is no object, families are getting creative with cremations and how they choose to manage the ashes. Some companies provide a service that mixes ashes with tattoo ink, compresses them into diamonds, and even turns them into artificial reefs or sends them to space.

Contact Affordable Cremations

Affordable Cremations provides low-cost, direct cremation services for families that want to honour a life in their own way. We’d be happy to provide a quote or tell you more about our services; simply email or Contact us.