our story

It was way back in 1984 that Andrew and (his father) Malcolm Holland were standing with one of Australia's fashion icons. In front of them, on the design table, was an elegant garment of the highest aesthetic design. Whilst they had the best collection of high quality buttons with them in their displays, they knew none of them would be a worthy marriage for this creation.

It needed more.

"I think we need to have a button made to match this." Malcolm said

"Can you do that?" the designer asked

"Well, if you could design the perfect button to match this dress, what would it be?" was the question asked.

It was in that moment that Ingwe was born. Andrew and Malcolm could see that fashion designers and creators deserved custom crafted trims and accessories to match the quality of their own designs. If you're pouring your heart and soul into a labour of love then, you have to ask yourself, does it deserve the cheapest button, trim or accessory that I can find?

Many people ask us what does Ingwe mean. Ingwe is the Zulu word for Leopard. Having emigrated from Africa with his family some years before, it was the leopard that to Malcolm represented the qualities that he saw driving the values of his new company. 

Strength. Speed. Tenacity. Reliability.

In 2019, Andrew had a similar epiphany whilst reviewing a range of trims with a designer in preparation for a new seasons range. It was almost by accident that for every traditional trim item he had, he also had an item made from a more sustainable alternative. Where there was a plastic button, he had one recycled from shell or PET bottles. Where the was beautiful ribbon, he had the alternative made from cupro (refashioned from cotton seed waste). 

It was clearly time to promote sustainable products as the the first choice for consideration rather than some tokenism of green credentials. From this, the decision was made to create Ingwe Sustainable Products. A new enterprise committed to sustainable fashion practices for every choice we make.

Ingwe operates from headquarters in Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong. Our Hong Kong operation has been pivotal for 30 years in establishing deep relationships with regional makers and also integrating what we do into the supply chain of our customers.