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Our Story

The history of corozo dates back to the mid 1800’s and the explosive growth of trade routes between Europe and South America. Sailboats carrying many types of South American exports skipped down the pacific coast line, jumping from port to port, as they collected supplies and passengers. It was common practice at the time to fill the bottom of these sail boats with sand in order to create ballast and provide added stability when traveling in rough seas. As the ships collected goods, sand would be removed from the ballast to account for the added weight of the goods. There was one fatal flaw with this strategy though and it was that being wooden ships, they would often corrode and rot around the hull causing leaks to filter water onto the sand. The sand would then absorb all the water and the resulting weight of this mixture could easily sink the ship. Sailors began looking for something they could replace this sand with; something that wouldn’t absorb water like sand did and was readily available in their shipping routes. They found that something in Tagua nuts. Tagua nuts were heavy, plentiful and most importantly they did not soak up water. Ships used the nut as ballast for years and often came back to port in Europe with big loads of them still stored in their hulls. By chance one of these ships ended up in Hamburg, Germany where an artist noticed them and took a few home to see what they were. He noticed he was able to carve the nut into different shapes and that the material was well suited for this type of work. He commercialized his creations and they were a success. Pretty soon, German businessmen noticed the potential profit they could make from the seeds and began paying to have them imported back to Germany. As the tagua trade grew, the first German tagua trading post was built in Manta, Ecuador, where they found the main source of these nuts. It was called the “Tagua Handelsgesellschaft M.B.H.” or Tagua Trading Company and, when settled in 1895, it marked the beginning of the Tagua Industry. As the tagua business grew, German businessmen began to export the nuts to Italy, where they would be carved and then returned to the Germans for commercialization. The Italians then became interested in finding the source of these nuts, which had been kept a secret by the Germans, and they did years later in Ecuador. In 1910 Italian traders built the “Casa Tagua” or Tagua house in Manta, nearby where the German Tagua Trading Company had settled years before. Interestingly enough the Zanchi family, which owned the Casa Tagua, and the Hellwig family, who managed the Tagua Handelsgesellschaft are the direct lineage of the family that owns Corozo Buttons today. In a way, the history of Corozo Buttons dates back to the beginning of tagua trade. The tagua industry thrived and grew very quickly in the early 1900’s, unfortunately tagua demand suffered in the years leading up to the war with the advent of plastics. The German Tagua Trading Company was forced to close its doors and the Casa Tagua barely survived under the leadership of its original owners. It wasn’t until the 1960’s and 70’s, after decades of dwindling interest that natural materials made their way back into public interest and Tagua would take off again. Through an incredible coincidence and unbeknownst to them, the two grandchildren of the original families had become involved in an amorous relationship. Almost six decades later, the two families were united and in 1982, they retook the tagua business. It started as a raw blanks exporter, but over time the business evolved into finished button production and eventually became Corozo Buttons (Green Ivory International Inc.).

Research & Development

Few things remain constant in the fast paced world of fashion. To be successful one must understand the importance of innovation and the ability to adapt to a never-changing environment. We at Corozo Buttons not only understand change, we embrace it to the point where it has become an integral part of our core business. Whether it is to meet one of our clients’ demands or to create an entirely new style, our research department is constantly working to remain ahead of the curve. The result is a product that can be customized in an infinite number of ways and that is flexible enough to satisfy virtually any client demand. We at Corozo Buttons take pride in having one of the most technologically advanced button production facilities in the world; we use several state-of-the-art laser engraving machines as well as automatic turning machines. Technology gives us the ability to produce unique button faces and intricate laser designs that you will not find anywhere else. Most of our designs and colors are custom, made to order combinations that have been specifically requested by our clients. In view of the flexibility of working with corozo and the expertise we have gathered over several decades, we are also developing new lines of corozo products. Accessories such as buckles, zipper pullers, jewelry and cuff links are just a start. We are currently looking to work alongside other companies to produce entirely different products for different industries. Please make any inquiries in our contact page. We will contact you as soon as possible. R&D Focus: Custom color development Button style development Experimental laser designs New special effects and finishes Cutting edge equipment updates

Our Achievements

1700+

Styles

40+

Years In Business

1000+

Happy Customers

100,000+

Orders Shipped

Community Impact

While our commitment is first and foremost to our clients, we at Corozo Buttons understand that our social responsibility extends far beyond that of our business relationships. Some aspects of this commitment are readily apparent through our interactions with local clients and suppliers; providing them with new skillsets and access to what is often an entirely different source of income. Less apparent, but perhaps more important and far-reaching, is the effect that Corozo Buttons has on the rest of the local community.

Raw Material 

Corozo, or tagua its indigenous name – grows most commonly in remote areas of higher elevation. The process required to gather and transform these seeds from their original form into raw material is relatively simple, however it involves many steps that require low-skill labor. These steps include gathering, preparing, drying, peeling, cutting, turning, selecting and transporting at the most basic level. All of these separate steps have an extensive multiplier effect as one job leads into another and then another, creating a domino type effect. Over five hundred thousand pounds of seeds are required every month for our process; such required volume generates over one thousand full time and part time low-skill labor jobs in depressed and impoverished communities, jobs which help the community prosper and grow economically as well as to increase the average quality of life. 

 Manufacturing

In contrast to the raw material production process, manufacturing introduces an entirely different spectrum of skillsets and occupations for the community. Our manufacturing process requires dramatically more specialized jobs and professionals. Equipment ranges from mechanical turns to delicate, computer-controlled laser engraving machines. The plant boasts an integrated production system as well as WiFi communications throughout the facility. Our manufacturing facility employs around 100 workers, many of whom are required to have a higher degree of education due to the more complex demands of their positions. Corozo Buttons provides career opportunities to young professionals as well as an important infusion of technology that helps drive progress within the local community.

PEOPLE LOVE US

Impressive is not the word. I had a absolutely amazing experience from start to finish dealing with Raul and the staff at Corozo Buttons. I will be purchasing more products in the near future. Raul, thank you again for …

Royalty By Grant

Wow! Very impressed, you guys do some nice work, and will be my button people from here on out.

The Ocean Networks

Despite the distance, we have found Corozo Buttons to be very helpful and reliable, delivering quality products when promised. We are very happy all round and will definitely use again without hesitation.

Gina-B Silkworks

Our History

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