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Annemarie Blades is the
artist designer behind Button Tree.

This cute and quirky woman's label
is based on making contemporary
designs from vintage fabric, recycled
books and found objects mixed in
with lots of imagination and love.

Her range includes items such as
vintage fabric bags, accessories,
recycled book cards to sweatshop
free Ladies clothing.

We went to visit Annemarie in her
Brunswick studio to bug her with
some questions to find out more.

What sets Button Tree
apart in the crowded fashion space?

Well I guess it's the purely the diversity of my range. Traditionally fashion labels stick to seasonal colours and styles. I instead choose to always be developing new stock that is individual and handmade. I use second-hand vintage fabrics from the 50's-70's that I've collected as well as old haberdashery which makes all my stock short run or one off.

This means people are buying items that are made with care, creativity and my own personal style... not a factory. Everything I make has a slightly fun and quirky feel as I quite often use themes from old fairytales and vintage children's books so it's not about fashion that's taking itself too seriously. I think people should develop their own sense of style and not follow trends.

How are you integrating
sustainability principles in your work?

My eventual aim for Button Tree is to be 100% Sustainable. When I started out I was already using recycled items such as vintage fabrics, buttons and haberdashery but through production I realised how much waste is involved in making and designing a range even if it is short run.

I plan to make every step of my business sustainable from recycling the postage and packaging, using green paper / soy inks in the office to. Eventually using only eco fabrics and/or second hand fabrics. Eco Fabrics are very expensive and not viable for a small business as average $27 pm but as it become more mainstream hopefully this improves.

Some fabrics I get at the moment are 4th person recycled meaning they have gone from owner to op shop to another designer then passed onto me. I love the idea of no waste... plus it forces you to be more creative as well.

How are the general
public responding to your work?

My business is quite new (3 years) but I am blown away by how great everyone has been in responding to my label. I sell in shops, online and also I am a regular at Rose Street Artist Markets where I get to talk to the lass's who are buying my stock face to face... there is nothing better than seeing people getting excited about something you've made. I think because people know they are getting one of only a few they cherish the item!

Also I think people are really beginning to understand the importance of buying handmade as it supports you local economic structure, reduces waste and know your getting something has been made ethically... so you get warm fuzzies too!.

So all all round all had been great and I love that I can spend my days having adventures in my studio with fabric and my trusty sewing machine.

What are you plans for this year?

To keep making and expand my range. I want to move into more eco clothing I only do a small run of clothing so far but want to expand this so I can have a really good range in all my shops I supply to. Also since being a vintage frock fanatic I am going to start selling some reconstructed vintage dresses I have collected.

I will also be setting up a mini gallery selling my vintage inspired artworks which I make. My back ground is in sculpture and painting so since the beginning of Button Tree I have aimed at making this part of my business as well so now it's time... It still links very closely to my Button Tree style as I use vintage fabrics in the works and vintage imagery... so this year will merely be expanding my horizons!

Any advice for other creative peeps?

Work, play love what you do and always aspire to improve...also be grateful for all the lovely people you meet along the way, the Melbourne design community is great! I think as long as you are doing something you a passionate about, you will put in the hard work and the rewards will come.

Thank you for letting me have a chat Bindarri!

The good news is that Annemarie has joined the Bindarri team and will be bringing us more features on inspiring fashion designers. Join our team and help create features.

Design and Wordpress template by Dvize | Photography by Fernando | Vintage prints by unknown artists from the Button Tree collection | Green background by Squidfingers

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial | Download Wordpress template | Download Photoshop Document 60MB | High resolution images can be found on our flickr page