About Passages International
Passages International, Inc. was founded in 1999, as the now rapidly growing trend for greener funerals was at its earliest stage. While many companies now offer some green funeral merchandise, Passages is dedicated to providing sustainable choices. We design and produce many of our own products, and stand behind them. Our quality and service are unsurpassed. The breadth of our offerings is unavailable anywhere else.
Passages is a family owned and operated business, and we have over 75 years of combined service to the funeral industry. Our family has been serving the funeral needs of communities in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado for almost 50 years.
We are proud to be approved by Green America as a socially and environmentally responsible business. You can read more about Passages’ business practices in our Green Statement below. We are also a member of the Green Burial Council, an organization working to make burial more meaningful, simple, and sustainable, and have been a member since their inception. We offer by far the greatest variety of funeral products that have been approved by the Green Burial Council.
A growing number of people are looking for greener funeral options. Passages offers the most complete selection of sustainably produced and biodegradable urns, caskets, and memorial products. We are dedicated to offering personalized options to families who desire environmentally-friendly choices for their end-of-life rituals.
We began the company by providing affordable and environmentally-friendly options for families who chose to have a more eco-conscious ritual for their loved ones. Our urns offered an alternative to the cardboard and plastic box containing a loved one’s cremated remains that was typically given to grieving families who did not select an urn.
Now, in addition to our biodegradable Earthurn Collection, we offer biodegradable water burial urns, scattering tubes, eco-friendly caskets, keepsakes and remembrances, and pet loss products. All of our products are produced using sustainable processes and materials.
Passages International, Inc. was founded in 1999, as the now rapidly growing trend for greener funerals was at its earliest stage. Passages is a family owned and operated business, and we have over 75 years of combined service to the funeral industry. Our family has been serving the funeral needs of communities in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado for almost 50 years.
Darren Crouch – President and founder of Passages International, Inc.
Over the past several years, Darren has been published in The Director Magazine, The American Funeral Director Magazine, Funeral Business Advisor, The Cremationist and the ICCFA Magazine. He has also been quoted in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and has spoken at several national and international conventions including the Asia Funeral Expo, the National Funeral Directors Convention and the ICCFA Convention.
Darren holds a BSc. (Hons) degree from Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England and now lives with his wife and two daughters in New Mexico, an area renowned not only for its exceptional beauty but also for its leadership in solar power, green building, and design.
Melanie Madding – Office Manager
Melanie has lived in New England, but considers Albuquerque her home. She enjoys reading, hiking, hula-hooping, traveling (sometimes while hula-hooping), cats, teas and being outside. Melanie began working at Passages in 2014 and is fascinated with the industry in general and the biodegradable angle in particular. She finds it fulfilling to know that doing her job right means one less element of stress for grieving families and Passages helps people have the type of memorial that will honor their loved ones in a way that is important to them.
Britt Gallagher – Art Department and Graphic Designer
Having worked as a graphic designer for 26 years in New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest, Britt is thrilled to have joined the green team at Passages. He spends most of his free time reading, painting, writing and spending time with loved ones while enjoying the sunny days and starry nights of our beautiful state.
Lyle Griffith – Operations
Lyle was born in New Mexico and has spent five years in Arizona. He graduated from the Carsten Aveda Institute and went into admin and management in the beauty industry and beauty education industry. He’s spent the last three years in sales and fitness management, now sharing the former with Passages and our customers since early 2016. Lyle’s hobbies include going to the gym daily, baking things that require him to go to the gym, champagne and craft beer, country and house music, stand up comedy, road trips, boating and jet skiing, baseball games, and shopping at Costco.
Gilbert Lopez – Accounting
Gilbert is a born and raised Albuquerque native. He’s been in accounting for over 15 years and has been sharing that experience with Passages since early 2016. Off work, he manages some real estate and enjoys hanging out with his family, baseball, auto mechanics, carpentry, carne adobada. He also has an interest in health and fitness.
Kilian Rempen – Marketing Manager
Kilian was born and raised in Albuquerque, but lived in Los Angeles, Boulder, and Bangkok before coming home and joining Passages in late 2017. Kilian studied advertising and marketing at Loyola Marymount University, and when not working can be found skiing, climbing rocks, seeing live music and tasting new tequilas.
Our goal is to provide innovative, compassionate, and meaningful offerings to enrich and personalize the memorialization of a loved one while always keeping an eye on environmental impacts and allowing families to give back to the planet that took care of them in life.
Passages believes in the power of ritual to transform and comfort. At death—the final rite of passage—we use ritual to celebrate, honor, and safeguard the memory of a life. By providing compassionate offerings for personal expression, Passages hopes to help mark the passing of a special soul.
Our natural environment is a finite and fragile systemthat we must all take responsibility to protect. Passages International, Inc, prides itself on being a responsible member of the business community, and we convey to our employees the significance of leaving the environment better than we found it.
Passages is committed to creating environmentally-friendly and biodegradable cremation urns, caskets and memorial offerings to families seeking unique and affordable products to celebrate the life of a loved one.
Passages creates and distributes the best quality products, produced without cutting down trees. In addition, most of our products are crafted by hand from sustainable or recycled resources, using antique molds and centuries old techniques. We use recycled cardboard boxes with biodegradable peanuts for packing and shipping, and are proud to support several conservation organizations dedicated to preserving our pristine planet for future generations.
The company adheres to the following practices:
In order to reduce gasoline consumption and carbon emissions, we assemble and produce several of our products here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The products that we manufacture abroad are transported in the most efficient manner possible—small items are shipped within large items. In addition, our urns and caskets are generally shipped to our customers in cases of multiple units so that carbon emissions per unit are kept low during transportation. These simple solutions not only preserve our atmosphere and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, but they also conserve limited oil reserves.
Passages is also active in recycling by reusing materials and reducing waste. Simply by recycling paper and cardboard it is possible to prolong the life of items and reduce waste accumulation.
In addition, many of our products contain significant percentages of recycled materials. For example, The Shell™ Deep Water Bio Urn is produced from 99% pre-consumer recycled paper and paper clay. Each is hand crafted and painted (with water-based paints) by skilled artisans, and is presented in convenient and discreet recyclable packaging. The Shell Urns are proudly made in the USA. The unique Scatter Tubes are created from recycled paper and cardboard, and contain no metal components. Once the Tube has been used to scatter the cremated remains of a loved one it can be recycled by the family.
All of our Earthurn® Biodegradable Urns are constructed using a two-step process that utilizes recycled cardboard and organic paper that is hand crafted from the bark of the mulberry tree. In order to create the paper, a sustainable system is employed, that harvests the bark of the mulberry tree while allowing it to continue growing.
In an effort to reduce energy consumption in our place of business, we turn off heating/cooling units, all lighting and all electronics at the end of each day. In addition, we make sure to activate the sleep settings on monitors and PCs. These simple acts alone can save $100’s in annual power costs and reduce our energy consumption.
For our employees we offer flexible schedules, pay competitive wages and provide a monthly health care contribution. In addition to our 401(k) program and profit sharing, we also pay for up to 20 hours of personal time off and vacation pay for our full-time employees.