Types Of Buttons Used at zy-lk


In a holistic approach to sustainability, zy-lk is wary about each raw material chosen at every stage. While most sustainable fashion brands adopt a few verticals of sustainability, zy-lk undertakes every vertical possible. For instance, the white threads used for stitching garments are made of recycled polyester, which is currently the most sustainable thread option available in the market. The linings used in jackets are made of 100% recycled cotton. Some of the zippers are made with organic cotton, but not all- as the suppliers providing evidence or certification, are only able to supply in extremely large minimum quantities.


At zy-lk, three types of buttons are predominantly used.


Mother of Pearl Buttons

These buttons are made from the inner layer of pearl oysters (nacre). The colour is from the real pearl and usually carries an iridescent shine when tilting. Therefore, the colours of the Mother of Pearl buttons can be white, grey, black or any of the natural colours of pearls. The material itself is quite strong, resilient and naturally elegant. Mother of Pearl rates 2.5+ in the Mohs scale of hardness but can be easily scratched with harder material. Among other types of buttons, mother of pearl buttons are one of the most sustainable button options available- as they are otherwise a wasted by-product of the food and jewellery industry. In addition to buttons, zy-lk also uses collar bones made of Mother of Pearl in some of the menswear shirts.


Coconut Shell Buttons

As the name suggests, these types of buttons are made from the hard outer shell of coconuts. The hard rigidity of the coconut shells is one of the main factors aiding the use of these types of buttons. The textured buttons give the look of a coconut shell and are available only in the original brown colour. These are also one of the most sustainable button options, however, the brown colour does not make it a great match for most designs. It is mostly limited to use in casual shirts and on cotton pieces with earthy tones of dye.


Recycled Fabric Buttons

As a zero waste initiative around design and every day working of the atelier, every bit of fabric is preserved for future use. These types of buttons are made from scratch, in-house, with fabric waste cut from making clothes. Most of our recycled fabric buttons are made from waste generated in the silk recycling process. Shredded bits of recycled silk that cannot be used elsewhere is filled into small bits of recycled silk to make these buttons. These buttons are mostly used in womenswear tops to add to design and conceal zippers, hooks or snap-on buttons.


Recycled Tin Buttons Tucked in Fabric

Similar to the previous, these types of buttons are completed in-house with a button press machine. Recycled tin raw material for the buttons are easily available. These are made from bottled soda caps, tin soda cans or packed food tin containers. They usually even carry the labels/prints on one side making it more obviously recycled. The recycled tin moulds (as pictured in the blog cover) are available as separate parts in various sizes comprising two parts: the top covering and the bottom base. Waste fabric bits are tucked into the top part and the bottom part is snapped on with pressure to hold the fabric in place, with the help of the hand machine. The finished button is then matched with garments made from the same base fabric to give it a polished yet hand-done look.


For information on other raw materials used at zy-lk, visit the About Us section.