21 Sept 2004
Fancy Buttons(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 01,2005)
Vol 1, 2005
Novelty buttons from Hon Lung Button Mfg Ltd feature cute and funny designs such as a red hot chilli and a cat
Hong Kong button makers have been sewing up lucrative deals worldwide as they continue to maintain their competitive edge by developing innovative designs with the help of the latest technology.
A company that offers a profusion of garment accessories, including fancy buttons, rivets, grippers, stoppers, buckles and other metal fashion accessories, is Brilliant Metal Button Fty & Co Ltd.
"We produce all sorts of buttons with different finishing - including jeans buttons, sewn-on buttons, tack buttons and snaps. We are among the few Hong Kong pioneers in the use of laser-marking machines, which we introduced five years ago," claims director Barton Ng.
Founded in 1991, the company boasts a monthly button production capacity of 20 million pieces at its 40,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland, using brass, aluminum and steel sourced from Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
By venturing into the overseas market a decade ago, Brilliant Metal has found a wide range of customers worldwide, including South Asia, the US and Europe.
"Though we work mostly on an OEM basis, we've been creating our own designs in recent years to attract new customers. Many buyers are impressed by our capability to develop new designs that keep pace with market trends," Ng adds. Brilliant Metal requires a minimum order value of US$1,500 and delivery takes about 15-45 days.
A button maker that has successfully carved out a niche by constantly creating new designs is Wai Sun Button Mfy Ltd. Established in 1966, Wai Sun introduces more than 400 new button designs every year.
"Our 15-member design team has a track record of spotting the latest fashion trends," says director Eric Tam. He cites the success of the company's spray-rubber designs, introduced last year, as well as that of the recently developed metal buttons that come in large, exaggerated sizes.
Using brass, iron and alloy from Japan and the mainland, as well as ABS and nylon from Taiwan, the company produces up to 100,000 gross buttons monthly at a 500,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong Province.
In addition to buttons, Wai Sun also makes a variety of other fashion accessories like buckles, eyelets, rivets and chains.
"Besides distinctive designs, we are also known for our reliable quality, having won ISO 9001 certification four years ago. Our products also meet the Oeko-Tex Standard 100," Tam explains.
Most of the company's fancy buttons are exported to the US. Wai Sun requires a minimum order of 50 gross fancy buttons, with delivery normally taking two weeks.
Hon Lung Button Mfg Ltd, meanwhile, focuses almost exclusively on fancy buttons for garments, shoes and bags. "Our fancy buttons generally come in two extreme sizes. We make large-sized buttons - from 96L to 100L - for coats, bags and footwear, and very small buttons - 7L or 8L, instead of the usual 10L or 12L sizes - for the latest shirt designs," says supervisor Erica Chung.
Production of buttons in varying sizes and with intricate designs is not a problem for the company thanks to its well-equipped 25,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong. Hon Lung produces up to 420,000 gross plastic buttons a month, mainly using resin imported from Korea.
"We manufacture a wide array of buttons, from very simple ones to those requiring more complicated processing that involves repetitive shaping, polishing and dyeing. That is also why we don't have a minimum order quantity - it depends on the design and is negotiable," Chung explains.
The company works closely with customers to develop new designs and on OEM orders, she adds. Delivery of orders below 1,000 gross buttons takes 7-10 days, while bigger quantities can take 2-3 weeks.
Yet another manufacturer of fancy buttons in innovative designs is Luk's Brothers Metal Button Fty & Co Ltd. The company also makes rivets, eyelets, buckles and other fashion accessories for haberdasheries.
"We have established a stable customer base in the US, Europe and Asia since our debut in 1968. But it is still essential to keep rejuvenating our image and attract new buyers. We play a proactive role in developing new design concepts with our customers," says administration manager Kelvin Chan.
Chan believes that it is important for the company to combine good quality materials with intricate workmanship in order to highlight its distinctive designs.
"We place great emphasis on the selection of raw materials so our end products offer consistently high and reliable quality," Chan explains, noting that zinc alloy is sourced from Belgium and Holland, brass from Holland and Korea, and plastic from Japan and Germany.
The company's 100,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the mainland has won both ISO 9001 and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification.
Luk's Brothers produces up to 250,000 kgs of fancy buttons a month. The company's minimum order requirement depends on the nature of the order, with delivery taking 5-10 days.
Thanks to high quality and a design-driven approach, it is not surprising that clients worldwide are eager to button up with fancy designs from Hong Kong.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Brilliant Metal Button Fty & Co Ltd
Koon Wah Mirror Fty (3rd) Ind Bldg
5-9 Ka Hing Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Luk's Brothers Metal Button Fty & Co Ltd
Wing Ming Ind Centre
15 Cheung Yue St
Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon
Man Cheong (Chong's) Development & Trading Co
Tai Lee Bldg
165-167 Pei Ho St
Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Mexwell Industrial Ltd
5/F, Blk E, Phase 2
Kwai Shing Ind Bldg
42-46 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
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