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The Natural & Renewable Corozo Button

Can a nut-bearing tree help protect rainforest deforestation?

We think so. And as a brand that is mindful of every little design detail of what we make having the lowest environmental impact, even the tiniest buttons are important to our mission of creating sustainable products that put people and the planet first.

Introducing Corozo, the seed of the Tagua Palm that grows wild in equatorial rainforests, throughout northern South America, and the source of the buttons we use at Nui.

These amazing Tagua Palm trees can grow up to twenty feet, and produce large studded fruits that produce clusters of seeds. It takes one tree 15 years to mature and be ready to produce seeds ripe enough to be transformed into buttons. Once matured, each Tagua tree can produce 2,000-3,000 buttons every season and continue to bear fruit for over a century.

What makes it even more remarkable, is that these trees allow local craftsmen and women to make a sustainable living, while having a meaningful reason to protect their natural resources.

And that’s sustainability in a Tagua nutshell! 

Un-cracked Corozo nuts. Izabal, Guatemala. Image by Jingwen Sun

How a corozo button is made

Once the Tagua nuts are ripened, they are picked and broken apart to access the seeds. Those seeds are then removed and placed in the sun so they can dry and harden.

After curing for a year, the seeds take on the appearance of ivory. Then they can be polished, etched, and formed into buttons, so natural and sustainable brands like Nui can use it on their garments. 

Among the many reasons we love the Corozo button is its beautiful natural aesthetic, and that it is also amazingly durable and scratch-resistant, making it a great addition to our lifewear collections for the whole family.. 

Corozo Tree

The not so cute plastic button

The Industrial age. We look back not-so-fondly at a time period in the 1900’s when mass production was created, and plastic and synthetics were invented to make up for the scarcity of natural resources.

Enter the plastic button.

A marvelous invention at a time when we didn’t know the destruction that pollution would have on our environment. Derived from petroleum, like all things synthetic and plastic, these buttons have ended up in landfills and oceans, and have played a part in the destruction of our environment. 

The good news is, we now have a sustainable alternative - the all-natural, renewable, and biodegradable Corozo. The Tagua trees are an integral part of the healthy rainforest ecosystem, and play a key role in Brazil's economic system. As a key resource for local artisans to make a living, it is critical for us to protect this natural resource from deforestation.  

Rainforest deforestation - why this matters

In two words, climate change.

Deforestation contributes to 10% of the world’s global warming pollution. Add in the alarming devastation of 10% of all known plant and animal species in the world that call the Amazon rainforests home, and we have an urgent ecological crisis that must be addressed. 

Tropical forests play an important role in our survival. Not only do they provide oxygen for us to breathe, but they also take CO2 out of the atmosphere. Losing those rainforests greatly diminishes our planet’s ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere and avoid the effects of global warming.

With our attention on climate change, reducing emissions from deforestation makes financial sense too, as it is considerably less expensive than reducing emissions from fossil fuel combustion and other industrial sectors. 

Protecting our planet

While the discovery and usage of Corozo buttons may just touch the surface of this larger issue of deforestation and saving the environment, it is one important change the apparel industry can make to help the fight against climate change.

After all, every sustainable step we take as individuals and businesses, helps to reduce our impact on the environment and plays an important role in protecting and preserving our natural resources.

This is why at Nui, we closely examine and monitor every step of our production process, and the lifecycle of every garment we make. To us, premium quality doesn’t just mean that it’s made with the best natural materials, but that it’s designed for growth, longevity, wear and tear, and with the lowest environmental footprint possible.

It’s a buttoned up process that ensures our customers and community a clean and small footprint as we step into the future with conscious awareness of the world we are creating with our dollars and actions.

You can find Corozo buttons on our men's merino Wainui Henley, Wha Dress, Augustin Sweaters and Bernard Cardigans.



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