Ai Weiwei offers to buy 30 tonnes of buttons from closing Croydon factory

The artist asked on Twitter: 'Can I have them all?'

Ai Weiwei holds some seeds from his Unilever Installation 'Sunflower Seeds' at The Tate Modern in 2010
Ai Weiwei holds some seeds from his Unilever Installation 'Sunflower Seeds' at The Tate Modern in 2010

The artist Ai Weiwei has offered to buy 30 tonnes worth of buttons from a Croydon-based factory that is closing down.

Weiwei, who has previously created artworks out of thousands of Lego bricks and shells, was responding to a message on Twitter when he made the offer.

"I’ve been asked to share this call to save buttons from landfill," the initial tweet by Amy Clare Tasker ‏reads.

"Brown & Co Buttons (a 104-year-old button factory in Croydon) needs to dispose of 30 TONNES of buttons as the factory is shutting down."

After the message was retweeted thousands of times, Weiwei responded by writing: "Can I have them all?"

Sarah Janalli, of Brown & Co Buttons, told The Independent that they have seen the post, but Weiwei had not yet been in contact. She added that they have been "inundated" and "overwhelmed" with messages asking for buttons.

"We're trying to get through all the emails, sell what we can," Janilli said. "We know for sure that no buttons will go into landfill, which is amazing."

Brown & Co Buttons, based on Everton Road in Croydon, specialised in plastic, metal, glass, pearl, and olive wood buttons, as well as wooden toggles.

The Independent has contacted Weiwei for comment.

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