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Winning Ways(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2007)

Winner Button Co Ltd


Winner Button Co Ltd keeps track of upcoming fashion trends and produces two new collections annually
They are far and away the most popular fasteners when it comes to apparel, but although relatively small they certainly spell big business for canny manufacturers.

Hong Kong company Winner Button Co Ltd definitely has winning ways when it comes to producing buttons of all shapes and sizes.

"We started on a small scale back in 1984, manufacturing plastic buttons for major fashion brands in the local garment industry, before gradually expanding into making buckles and exporting overseas," recalls manager Bonnie Wong.

The US has become the major market for Winner Button thanks to the company's "professional design and production," which Wong claims keeps business thriving in this and other markets.

"Our creative team is very keen to keep track of upcoming fashion trends and produces two new collections annually," Wong explains.

She adds that recent years have seen accessories like buttons and buckles play a bigger role in fashion statements.

"There are always changes in colours and sizes," Wong explains. "Recently the focus has been on the interplay of different materials, like incorporating both polyester and metal in one button."

Among the latest winning designs from Winner Button are chalk buttons with metal eyelets or rims, as well as rhinestone-studded glass buttons that tie in with the prevailing trend towards fasteners with a glossy finish or reflective effect.

"We work mostly with bulk orders, so the most popular colours for our buttons are evergreen choices like black, olive, beige and navy blue, while fashionable bright colours are usually required in smaller quantities," adds Wong.

But whether buyers are choosing from Winner Button's newest designs, available stock or placing their own OEM orders, the company's merchandising team is always ready to provide professional support.

"We are able to give immediate advice on production practicality just by seeing a sample button or a sketch with a simple illustration of the surface curvature, hole dimension and customer description of the finishing," Wong claims. "We can also foresee the wastage, and suggest the most cost-effective production method."

She cites glass buttons as an example. "Though glass buttons are now in vogue, they can only be made in small sizes as big ones become too heavy to hang well," Wong explains. "So the big buttons popularly used on jackets and coats have to utilise other materials with various finishes to achieve a similar effect."

Buyers are clearly spoiled for choice as Winner Button offers a myriad of buttons in all size and shapes, including imitation horn, imitation wood or tortoise shell, real shell, screen printed and epoxy buttons.

"We even have chalk buttons with diameters as small as 6mm and 8mm for dolls' clothes," Wong says, adding that buttons and buckles can be customised with logos to help customers' products stand out from the crowd.

Wong notes that Winner Button has grown "step by step" over the years, and is moving to a bigger plant in Shenzhen with a floor area of 100,000 square metres - double that of its current factory in the same district.

"We also keep gearing up our machinery as advanced technology is required to achieve some up-to-date effects, like the 'laser and engrave' machinery needed to attain the best engraving on the side of the button rim," she adds. "Most of our equipment is imported from Italy."

The ISO 9001-certified factory is expected to produce at full capacity this April, when its 200 workers will attain monthly production of 450,000-600,000 gross of buttons and buckles.

"We promise a production lead time of just 10-14 days," Wong claims. "While all stock items can be bought in any quantity up to the inventory level, the minimum order for small buttons starts from 100 gross."

Besides manufacturing mainly buttons and buckles made of polyester, Winner Button also acts as a trading firm that helps its customers source metal accessories and other handicrafts such as fabric buttons and fabric-wrapped buckles.

"I believe one reason behind our consistent growth is that we have established very trustworthy relationships with our customers by taking the responsibility to solve problems whenever complaints arise," Wong concludes.

Winner Button Co Ltd

175-177 Yu Chau St,
Sham Shui Po,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2393-1919
Fax: 852-2397-8599
Web: www.winnerbutton.com