Ethical fashion with a personal touch – Handcrafted ceramic buttons made in our small workshop
Saying no to fast fashion solutions and going back to the roots helps us stay true to the mindset that has been leading us in our journey since the very beginning of our brand. We aim to design beautiful clothing with minimal impact, without doing any harm to the environment, and ceramic buttons fit our mindful approach of slow fashion perfectly.
We believe that no matter how humble accessories are, they give real personality to clothing items. That’s why we put extra effort into designing every small detail and making sure they are not only pleasing to the eye, but they are all-natural, environmentally friendly pieces we can proudly call our creations.
The firing process – The making of our glazed ceramic buttons
Going back in time, pieces of pottery have survived for thousands of years, all because clay was touched by fire.
But how exactly does the magic happen? How can something as soft and humble as clay transform into ceramic, a material almost as durable and strong as a stone?
To offer some insight on how our handcrafted glazed ceramic buttons are made, here’s a little sneak peek of the firing process we do in our workshop:
We love every step of the process of making glazed ceramic buttons. But the most heartwarming part is when we first get to touch the raw clay material and use only our imagination to give it a unique shape. Feeling close to nature and treasuring its gifts keeps us inspired to create design-driven clothing items that not only stand out but also make a difference in the fashion industry.
Each button is individually made by hand in our small workshop, so you won’t find two 100% identical pieces.
2. Bisque firing
Once the buttons got their shape, we are ready to heat things up a bit. And by a bit, we mean 1730 degrees Fahrenheit. We gently place the freshly shaped buttons in the kiln and slowly start to increase the level of heat. As clay goes through this high-temperature heating process, it reaches the optimal level of melting and becomes completely dehydrated.
3. Clay transformation
How exactly does the transformation happen? At 660 degrees Fahrenheit, the chemically bonded water begins to be driven off. At 930 degrees Fahrenheit, the clay becomes fully dehydrated and is completely changed forever: this is the point when it transforms into ceramics. Next, we increase the heat in the kiln to 1730 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the ceramic to become less fragile, yet porous enough for the glazing process.
4. Applying layers of glaze
At this point, our handcrafted buttons get a lustrous look and smooth texture, thanks to the coats of paint and glaze we apply between the bisque and final firing. This is when our buttons are really born as each piece gets the final personal touch that turns them into eye-catching, timeless accessories that are made to last.
Once the paint and glaze dried, we carefully load the buttons back into the kiln and give them one last firing, when we really turn the heat on. This step brings the ceramic and glaze to full maturity and allows the buttons to reach their final strong substance, resistant to water and the future challenges of time.
How do handmade ceramic buttons characterize our mindset and values?
- Natural material: At Etishe, sustainability starts at using only natural, ethically sourced fabrics. Clay is one of the oldest raw materials, used for thousands of years in pottery, jewelry making, or even in architecture.
- Back to the roots: We approach the fashion industry mindfully, relying on manual production in our small workshop. Going back to the roots and using the firing process to create our signature buttons brings us close to nature and gives us a different type of inspiration that cannot be compared to anything.
- Biodegradable: We create every piece of clothing and accessory in-house, with special attention to the biodegradability of the materials we use. Our goal is to minimize our carbon footprint and avoid any waste that comes from overproduction. The burning issue of plastic waste is a global problem we all experience. Luckily, as a 100% natural material, ceramic is completely biodegradable.
- High durability: We are committed to creating timeless pieces that are appealing to the eye. But what is even more important is to achieve durability. Thanks to their strong material and the high-temperature firing process, once they are sewn on, our shiny ceramic buttons remain an impressive detail you can proudly wear for many years to come.
- The power of the personal touch: We make each and every button individually by hand, so there are no fully identical pieces. This allows us to build a special connection with our customers and deliver a more unique, more personal experience
We believe that even the smallest details like little buttons on a shirt can define a whole statement. Our love and care for the environment are what truly defines us and shapes our brand, so we are devoted to creating timeless pieces that leave no plastic trace, only a long-lasting impression.