Member Spotlight: Courtney & Co.
Specialising in natural raw materials such as Corozo and Codelite® (milk casein) Courtney & Co has been making buttons in England for almost 3 years now. Ethically sourced and with a strong commitment to ecology, sustainability, traceability and biodegradability, they supply buttons to equally environmentally-aware clients who are also committed to these ideals.
Codelite® is made from casein which is the protein element naturally occurring in milk. Cured and hardened in sheets or rods, milk casein became a staple for button making. It was first produced in the UK as far back as 1910 at a factory in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Processed with different effects, Codelite® is a highly attractive and versatile substance which can be dyed and polished with amazing diversity and clarity of colour. And once finished, the buttons perform like conventional polyester buttons – robust and hard-wearing and washable even in conventional machines time and time again. But, unlike polyester, Codelite® buttons are bio-degradable, sustainable and traceable.
Corozo is derived from the nut of the Tagua Palm which grows in the equatorial rainforests of central America. Otherwise known as ‘vegetable ivory’, Corozo is no ordinary material. In fact, it is really something special. Each year, a tagua palm tree produces 15 large, spiny balls called ‘mococha’ which each contain around 20 small compartments in which some 6 nuts can be found. That’s 1,800 nuts per year in total. Given that these, in turn, vary in size, each tree, therefore, yields sufficient nuts for thousands of Corozo buttons each and every year!
Courtney and Co.’s buttons are made to heritage patterns, using traditional techniques wherever possible. They are dyed using entirely Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and AZO free dyes and a range of natural polishing media from wooden pegs to pumice powder to complete their overall appearance. The aim is to establish and continually reduce ecological footprint and environmental impact throughout the process.