London

Croydon business bids to shift 30 tonnes of buttons

Buttons Image copyright A Brown & Co Buttons
Image caption The company specialises in plastic, metal, glass, pearl, and olive-wood buttons, as well as wooden toggles

A family-run business is calling for help to get rid of 30 tonnes of buttons.

A Brown & Co Buttons, based in Croydon, south London, was forced to shut down because of a slump in sales.

Owner Stuart Brown feared "hundreds of thousands" of unsold buttons in the warehouse would have to be thrown away.

But he has been able to sell off or give away most of the stock since an appeal on Twitter garnered interest from button-lovers across the globe.

Mr Brown's great-uncle set up the company more than 100 years ago.

But he said in recent years large clients such as M&S and Next stopped manufacturing clothes in the UK, meaning sales have dwindled.

Image copyright A Brown & Co Buttons
Image caption The leftover buttons would have fetched up to £1.5m if they were sold at full price, the owner says

His wife Esther Brown said it has been a "tough decision" for them to close down.

"It has not been economically viable for a long time," she added.

"We thought, we want to sell as much of it as possible but if we have to we will just skip it if not."

Mr Brown said he would have fetched up to £1.5m if he had been able to sell all of the buttons he had stored in the warehouse at full price.

However, when their appeal for help to rehome the buttons was posted on Twitter it was retweeted more than 4,000 times.

Several people who saw the Twitter appeal asked for buttons to be shipped to other countries including the US and China.

Many other people enjoyed the chance to imagine the possible ways so many buttons could be used.

On Saturday, Mrs Brown's sister Sarah Janalli whose email address was included in the appeal, tweeted to say that the responses had been "overwhelming".

"No buttons will go to landfill," she added.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites