What's in a button?

Shortly, we will be launching our newest product – jersey dungarees! As you would expect from us, they are made from soft jersey organic cotton, are cut for cloth and have a big pocket on the front for storing treasures! They also have two buttons on the shoulders for ease of taking on and off.

When I was designing the product, I realised I was going to need to source some buttons – a new thing for me as none of my other products have them. I know that ethics and sustainability are important to my customers, and sit at the heart of what we do. So it was essential for me that the buttons used for our dungarees match the same high standards – cheap plastic just isn’t going to work for us.

Initially I considered wood buttons. They’re made from a natural material so they’re biodegradable, and they look pretty. But, how do I know if they come from a sustainable source?

A little bit of research and digging led me to fellow Make it British member, Courtney & Co, and their conservation-standard buttons made from a nut! The material, Corozo, is made from the nuts of Tagua tree, found in the rainforests of Equador. Each Tagua tree takes 15 years to get to maturity and start producing nuts, and then lives for about 100 years. Each tree produces about 1,800 nuts per year, enough to make thousands of Corozo buttons.

When the nuts ripen, they fall to the ground naturally, meaning you don’t need people to do the dangerous job of harvesting when they can just be picked up off the ground. And needless to say, unlike wooden buttons, Corozo buttons don’t need the tree to be cut down.

The Corozo industry helps to value and protect Tagua trees and the rainforests around them, helping to prevent illegal deforestation, as happens elsewhere in the region. So by using Corozo buttons, we are supporting the rainforests and the local industries.

Courtney & Co is a member of Forever Lung – a global initiative that’s working to conserve Equador’s tropical rainforests by creating a sustainable living for local people.

You can read lots more about the Corozo button and how it’s made by looking at Courtney & Cos website or check out their Instagram account – they recently posted a whole story over a number a posts, following the process and it’s really interesting.

I hope you like them!

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