Our Tagua Buttons are a great, and fun way of designing an item. We sell our buttons individually so when your working on a precise project you can order just what you need or if you want extra, then you can order larger quantities. Tagua buttons are one of a kind, each one is different from the other. They come from a rainforest nut known as tagua, "Vegetable Ivory". It has a likeness to animal ivory, but causing no harm to the rainforest. We carry many colors and styles.
- greater than 1-1/2" in height
Natural tagua buttons handmade in Ecuador and fair trade imported.
Naya Nayon Artisan Story Ecuador
Naya Nayon, an Ecuador-based NGO, counters poverty and deforestation by creating new jobs that depend on conservation and responsible forest management. To accomplish this goal, the company works with 23 local artisans to create figurines, jewelry and ornaments from tagua nuts. These nuts grow year-round in Ecuador and can be harvested without detriment to the rainforest. Naya Nayon gives its artisans all the training, tools and materials they need to work from home, and then manages work distribution from the organizations main office to make sure orders are fairly distributed.
Naya Nayon's artisans work in home-based workshops throughout the country. Within each workshop, which is usually attached to an artisan's home, one artisan serves as the leader/manager and hires family members and friends to help produce products. New artisans begin by sanding and polishing figurines made by the more experienced artisans, and then gradually progress into the more complicated aspects of the craft, such as detailing, burning/coloring, and finally shaping the crude form of the nut. As demand and production increases, more artisans are invited to join the workshop. When the workshop grows to about 8 people, an experienced worker leaves to form a new workshop and train new artisans, and the cycle of learning continues.
Despite their humble backgrounds, many of Naya Nayon's artisans are highly educated with university degrees in engineering, law, business, and medicine. Unfortunately, Ecuador's shaky economy means jobs are scarce, even for highly-qualified professionals. Thankfully, Tagua nut carving has emerged as a sustainable alternative and is often the primary source of income for an artisan's family.