The actor Luke Perry passed away at just 52 years of age after suffering a massive stroke on March 4, 2019. The star was surrounded by his loving family, including children Jack and Sophie, and was laid to rest at the family farm in Tennessee. Two months after her father passed away, Sophie, who loved him dearly, shared a rather unexpected and very unique detail: one of Perry’s “final wishes” for his funeral.
Sophie took to Instagram to share a beautiful photo of wild mushrooms from a recent hike in the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in San Francisco. “One of [my best friend’s], had never never been to California,” Sophie wrote, “so we went to show him the Redwoods. I took this picture while we were there, because I thought, ‘damn, those mushrooms are beautiful.'”
“Now, mushrooms hold an entirely new meaning for me.”
Fans were flummoxed until Sophie’s next words revealed a well-kept and extraordinary family secret. Her father was buried in an eco-friendly mushroom suit. Perry, who was a renowned environmentalist, “discovered it,” Sophie shared, “and was more excited by this than I have ever seen him.”
The amazing biodegradable suit, known as the “Infinity Suit,” helps to clean the body of toxic substances after burial, ensuring minimal damage to the environment. Is it really made from mushrooms? Well, yes! The suit, manufactured by death care professionals Coeio, is made from mushroom mycelium that effectively decompose human remains in the earth. Coeio says on its website that the eco-friendly shroud is “embroidered with a special type of thread infused with infinity mushroom spores.”
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The company’s founder is MIT graduate Jae Rhim Lee, 43, who took the death care industry (and the fashion world) by storm by wearing her creation in a 2008 fashion show at the Museum of Science in Boston, says Market Watch. She followed the show with a TED talk in 2011. Footage of the talk has been viewed over 1.5 million times, so it’s fairly safe to say that people are interested.
“Some of our tastiest mushrooms can clean environmental toxins,” Lee said, citing her inspiration. “I thought maybe I can train an army of toxin-cleaning edible mushrooms.”
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💋In December I went to San Francisco with two of my best friends. One of them, had never never been to California, so we went to show him the Redwoods. I took this picture while we were there, because i thought, “damn, those mushrooms are beautiful.” Now, mushrooms hold an entirely new meaning for me. Any explanation i give will not do justice to the genius that is the mushroom burial suit, but it is essentially an eco friendly burial option via mushrooms. All i can say is that you should all look into them at coeio.com or just by googling “mushroom burial suit” . My dad discovered it, and was more excited by this than I have ever seen him. He was buried in this suit, one of his final wishes. They are truly a beautiful thing for this beautiful planet, and I want to share it with all of you.
Perry heard about the suit and called Lee several years before his death to ask questions. Lee happily obliged, clueless at the time that her amazing $1,500 suit would end up as an integral factor in Perry’s funeral plans. Sophie referred to Lee’s suit as “genius.” Perry’s family even invited Lee to the actor’s memorial service in Los Angeles; Lee was touched.
“I’ve worked closely with a couple of people who have used the suit, and of course it’s really sad,” the death care maverick shared. “But, ultimately, the power of the suit is that it creates the need for meaningful planning and discussion around death.”
It was an honor to help Luke and his family! https://t.co/WpfFxTfIz6
— Coeio (@InfinityBurial) May 4, 2019
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) February 12, 2017
Sophie shared with friends, fans, and loved ones that her father’s desire to be buried in the Infinity Suit was “one of his final wishes […] They are truly a beautiful thing for this beautiful planet,” she continued, “and I want to share it with all of you.” In his untimely passing, Perry leaves a multifaceted legacy, one strand of which is reinvigorating conversation around environmentally responsible death.
It’s “eco-friendly,” shared Sophie, figuratively joining hands with Lee, who hails green burials as “the final frontier of the sustainability movement.”
It’s certainly causing waves the world over.