It has been just over a few years since the discussion surrounding sustainable fashion gained serious momentum. Many producers now work with ecological sustainability and social responsibility.
For the manufacturer who wants to take environmental responsibility to the limit, there is the fantastic alternative of buttons made of fruit from a special palm found in South America, in the rainforests of Ecuador.
With its rich and unique plant and animal life, the rainforests in South America are often called the world’s lungs. Yet the rainforest must be protected, and one of the many ways to do so is by offering an alternative so that the families that inhabit these wooded areas and surroundings can live off what the forest produces.
Corozo or Tagua is the fruit of a special palm tree that grows wild in the rainforests of Ecuador and is sustainably collected by local communities. Those collecting the fruits become the best guardians of the rainforest. They don’t need to cut down trees, for example, in order to grow other crops for their livelihood. Communities earn an income by selling the fruits to hundreds of artisans who dry and process them into blanks for eventually becoming buttons for the fashion industry.
When the fruits have dried, they are sliced and then blanks are punched out into different sizes. Everything is a pure craft. TRAFINO S.A., an Ecuadorian company with 32 years of experience working with corozo, acquires the blanks from artisans, performs quality checks and exports to button manufacturers across the world who make the finished button. If designers, brands and fashion manufacturers chose buttons from the corozo fruit instead of plastic/polyester buttons, this would be a great environmental step forward in protecting the rainforest and using less plastic in the industry.
In fact, corozo buttons have been used since the 1860s. Before plastic became widely used (1940s), around 20% of all buttons made in the USA were corozo, before being replaced by plastic/polyester buttons. Corozo buttons have been tested in every way and are emerging again together with a greater environmental awareness in fashion.
Here are just a few reasons why choosing corozo buttons is the best alternative:
- 100% natural & sustainable.
- Alternative to plastic/polyester buttons or other natural buttons that are harmful to the environment.
- Helps defend rainforests and its biodiversity by allowing forest dwellers to make a living from collecting the corozo fruit without destroying the forest, rather protecting their source of income.
- Wild origin grown naturally – the palm does not need irrigation, fertilizers or pesticides.
- Represents a source of income for hundreds of artisans, a high percentage are women. Corozo blanks are hand made one by one.
- Combines design and craftsmanship.
- Versatile, durable, scratch-resistant, vegan, eco-friendly and biodegradable.
- Can be used in its natural white color or dyed to any color. Great color fixation.
- Laser engravable, resistant to washing, dry cleaning and ironing.
- The Corozo palm is a great CO2 collector and plays a fundamental role in balancing the rainforests where it grows, contributing to pollination and many other ecosystem services.
- Corozo Buttons contribute to reducing global warming as well as the carbon footprint of the fashion industry.
Can you think in any other button as social and ecofriendly as this one?
The fashion industry places great demands on design; corozo buttons can live up to this and can additionally offer both sustainability and social responsibility.
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