Have you seen our natural, eco-friendly buttons lately?
What do men's shirts, girl's sundress, these neat apron and bonnets, a woman's vest, this amazing stuffed animal, an incredibly functional bag (and a much smaller one, and one for kids), a diaper wrap, a fashionable (but very warm) hat, and so many other things have in common? If you read the title of my blog post or looked at the picture the answer's really pretty obvious -- they're all creations that either require or are greatly improved by buttons. And boy do we have a wonderful selection for you -- if you haven't checked out our marvelous variety of sustainable buttons recently, I highly recommend doing so.
(By recently, I mean in the last 24 hours -- that's when we finished renovating our button section and adding quite a few new ones. But that's not the end of the planned changes; we expect to add quite a few more over the next month or so, so keep your eyes open.)
(There's a lot more, keep reading...)
We offer buttons made from a variety of sustainable materials, including:
Antler Buttons: The antlers these buttons are made from naturally fall from the deer each year; the deer aren't killed to get them. (That's why they're called natural-fall antlers.) Antlers make my favorite toggles; they're absolutely gorgeous!
Tagua or Corozo Nut: Tagua Nut and Corozo Nut are different words for the same nut; it's the nut of a rainforest plant that has the feel and look of ivory and makes wonderful buttons. Many of these buttons -- the natural-colored ones -- can be hand-dyed to match your fabrics (that is, if you choose to dye your fabrics, you can dye the buttons to match them). Our tagua buttons come from different sources that are working to help both the rainforests and the indigenous people.
Coconuts: Coconut buttons have a great look and feel; many designers choose them for their rustic look, low price, and fairly easy care. (Just don't leave them soaking in water for a long time -- in, wash, and out, but no soaking, okay?) Again, our coconut buttons are carefully sourced to be sustainable for both the earth and the people who are making them. (I feel redundant saying this -- all our products are, even if I don't say it all the time. It's why we're in business.)
Bone and Horn: We resisted carrying bone and horn buttons for a long time, as there's no way to get a bone button without the animal dying. But these bones are recycled from very small-scale livestock industry, in which families in Nepal will have one, two, or maybe three animals that live and work with them for years. When they're eventually slaughtered for food, the other parts of their body are used as well, with their bones being turned into buttons. It's not supporting factory farming, but is in a way honoring these animals by helping ensure that at the end of their long lives no part of their sacrifice is wasted. The crafters are treated well, and I encourage you to read the story of the woman who owns the small factory where the buttons are made; it's very inspiring. (You can read her story in the description of any of the buttons.)
Wood: Including bamboo buttons, this category has some real winners -- different shapes, sizes, colors, and original sources, all gathered in one source for your sewing delectation. I love the feel that wooden buttons bring to projects (and, yes, sometimes I just sit there and hold them in my hand ... but that's because I'm a very tactile person in general, which is why I love this business!).
Our Other category is the least populated right now, but it'll be filling out in the future; right now it's the home of our ever-popular Buffalo Head Nickel buttons (which I've seen sold for $5+ elsewhere, ack!).
In general you'll want to treat buttons gently. It's a good idea to wash clothing that has buttons on it inside-out so the buttons aren't damaged; using a gentle, eco-friendly detergent and cold water is always a good idea not just for the buttons but also for the environment. Some buttons are more fragile than others -- recycled glass, for instance, is still glass and thus should be dry-cleaned (at a green dry cleaner) or gently hand-washed. That said, don't be scared by natural buttons -- I have items with coconut and tagua nut buttons that have been washed almost weekly for going on ten years and the buttons are just fine though the clothes themselves are looking rather worn.