Anuj Sharma uses buttons and bands to teach fashion design

Indian fashion designer Anuj Sharma helps others construct their own clothing with little resources.
Button Masala by Anuj Sharma

Indian fashion designer, Anuj Sharma uses buttons and rubber bands to construct adaptable garments in a method he calls Button Masala. In addition to creating his own collections, Sharma uses his unusual yet simple manufacturing technique to teach others how to fabricate clothing using modest resources.

Sharma, who is of the opinion that fashion design is a specialised skill only accessible to a privileged few, explains the motivation for teaching his Button Masala craft:   

“What I am trying to do is popularise a simple technique of manufacturing clothing. It is more of a do-it-yourself method. The idea is that anybody who is interested can make clothes.”

The technique requires a piece of cloth and a bunch of rubber bands and buttons. Sharma refers to it as the “cheapest and most sustainable way to make clothes” because it entails no stitching, needles or machinery. The buttons are fastened with rubber bands onto the fabric and used to construct a garment.

Once the buttons and bands are put in place, it is possible to open the whole garment and restructure it to form a new design or to adjust the size and fit.

The utility of the technique means that it can be used to make virtually anything, from fashion and shoes, to curtains and bags. So far, Sharma has taught his Button Masala method to approximately 5 000 people in India and abroad. Recently, he taught a group of slum children, who don’t have access to rainwear, how to make their own raincoats with a sheet of tarpaulin, buttons and rubber bands, in a matter of minutes.