Vie, founded by Vibitha Ida Edward, is the world's first sustainable jewellery brand that utilises natural buttons and clothing toggles to make upcycled jewelery pieces for the conscious consumer.
Vie, meaning life in French, aims at giving second chances to rejected and excessively produced buttons by using them in creative ways. The brand focuses on handcrafting each unique piece and produces each collection in limited quantities. Founded in 2018 and established in Australia and India.
Born into a family of “Button makers”, Vibitha grew up breathing, styling and constantly learning about the subtle art of button making. Although buttons were discovered as a basic fastener for garments, she soon found herself wondering if this beautiful piece of accessory could be put into more fashionable use. This curiosity grew and sparked the idea of designing contemporary fashion accessories by upcycling natural buttons from their own factory rejects and other button factories in Europe.
During the Victorian and Edwardian Eras of Fashion, metal buttons with intricate workmanship were coined as the royal buttons which put them above the working class. More often than not one can find these buttons in thrift shops, antique shops or even in your grandma’s closet. Since these buttons were made out of metal, it had the sheen, the ornamental look to it. Flash forward to now it's all about minimalism and less is more. Hence Vie’s challenge is not the buttons but staying minimal and not to get lost in the crowd.
Close to 85% of Vie's products are made by upcycling dead stock of buttons and toggles made from wood, coconut shell, corozo nut, mother of pearl shell, sea shells and horn. They only use verified old, leftover, and rejected buttons from their own and other button factories, quality checked by women predominantly. This allows them to reuse and divert these materials from being deposited in landfills and into one’s style closet. The buttons are one of a kind since they are made from natural produce and sourced from excess production which includes many factory rejects as well.
Being the creator, Vibitha Ida Edward aka Vie sets her mood board and palette for designing by deriving inspiration from the buttons themselves. All designs are handcrafted in limited edition aiding to the natural form of the button. The designs cannot be replicated with the same button, but different buttons can be added evolving to the bearer's taste. Button being the primary focal point, each design is illustrated around the button. Thus changing the button will change the look of the design evidently. This is the unique selling point of Vie. Adding to this are the flaws from the left over or rejected buttons. This makes each button different from the other thus making Vie one of a kind.
It's not only the excess buttons that are used, at Vie even scraps or by-products of the button making process are collected and designed as embellishments on the jewellery.
Circle of Vie Collection
The button palette for this collection was inspired by The Lion King hence the name, Circle of Vie (life). It means nature's way of taking back and giving life.
Vibitha sourced, collected shell buttons that did not make it to the final designs of Italian designer brands such as Christian Dior, Burberry, Armani, button factories' rejects, dead stock and upcycled those natural buttons into minimal, petite, light weight jewellery.
(Making of Disc Statement Earrings from the Circle of Vie Collection)
The brand's vision
Vibitha’s motto is Choose how you see Vie (life); live your Vie (life).
"In simple words, we are aware of the drastic impact of global warming, the infamous plastic, toxic emissions and the likes. We need to buckle up and solve the problem ourselves rather than relying on the government or any other bigger force." says Vibitha.
Upcycling and repurposing are smaller divisions of a larger Recycling movement. Small steps, small ideas add to a global impact. There are various designers and entrepreneurs finding creative ways of upcycling waste. By upcycling we remove the need to produce new raw materials. By using remanufactured raw materials, usage of machinery during production or even during recycling is reduced or completely eliminated. There lies the importance of upcycling communities rooting for ethical consumerism to be a part of a larger global movement.
Vie uses a material as mundane as a button to create beautiful, delicate jewellery & accessory pieces carving the way forward for the endless possibilities with upcycling. We love Vibitha's way of looking at life and crafting products that celebrate her Vie.
Here are our top picks from Vie's collection which are available to shop online on Refash.
(Left- Double Layer Bracelet ; Center- Tiny Hoop Earrings ; Right- Disc Ring)
Find them on Instagram.
Photo Credits - Vie