Sustainable and responsibly produced products are in demand by the fashion industry. Zipper and
fasteners manufacturer YKK has been focusing on lowering its environmental impact since 1994,
when it introduced Natulon, the first ever zipper made from recycled PET bottles and polyester
As part of its long-term sustainability roadmap, YKK is continuing to develop new innovative
products by prioritising resource efficiency, non-toxicity, biodegradability and recyclability for its
designs. Such as zippers made from plant-based polyester, coconut buttons, and products made
with nylon recycled from fishing nets, old carpets or industrial waste.
To showcase its future innovations, YKK presented its new products at this year’s Future Fabrics
Expo, dedicated to sustainable, best-practice materials and innovations to inspire fashion brands and
designers to be part of the movement galvanising positive change for the future of fashion.
YKK’s Sustainability Specialist Joao Matias and Showroom Manager Stefania Liberti talk about /
explain why sustainability is a high priority for the zipper and fasteners manufacturer, what
innovations it presented at Future Fabrics, the importance of trade shows to showcase its products
and the feedback it received from its customers.
Why is it important for YKK to invest in sustainable and responsibly produced products?
Investing in sustainable product R&D, low-impact manufacturing technologies and infrastructure are
means for YKK to reach the targets set in its Sustainability Vision 2050, as well as the GHG reduction
commitment of Science-based Targets.
As we create a positive impact in the industry, we are also contributing to the fulfilment of our
customers’ sustainability targets, as Scope 3 emissions are usually included in their commitments.
However, aside from numerical targets and deadlines, we recognise our responsibility toward
ensuring a healthy planet and society, so that people can thrive along with the natural environment.
Why was it important for YKK to take part in Future Fabrics?
During the pandemic, we were unable to attend physical exhibitions, so we created new digital tools
and meeting spaces to keep communication open and to showcase our latest innovations to our
customers. Connecting digitally is very valuable and convenient for our company and our customers,
but the benefits are not the same as meeting face to face in a physical space. Nevertheless, it is still
important for people to meet physically / face to face, see and touch products and materials, so we
were excited to return to exhibit.
The environmental issues facing the world are one of the most important topics for everyone, and
we must continue to innovate and promote new ways of working for the future of people and the
planet. The Future Fabrics fair is an excellent opportunity for YKK to communicate our sustainable
products and initiatives, and to give our existing and potential customers the detailed information
they seek to make the best design decisions.
Do seeing your customers/potential customers inspire product developments?
As we have a mission to fulfil the needs of the industry, it is always essential to have the opportunity
to have direct communication with our current and potential customers. They share their ambitions
and predicaments with us and bring fresh ideas for us to come up with solutions.
It goes without saying that it makes sense to develop new products that will be the key to
What latest developments did you present?
During the fair, we presented nine items that meet the Future Fabrics strict criteria:
- VISLON® Natulon®
- Metal zipper with Natulon® tape
- Coconut buttons
- Lyocell tape from Tencel fibres
- Concealed zipper with Natulon® tape
- Coil zipper with Natulon® tape (Chemically & Mechanically recycled)
- Excella® zipper with Econyl® tape
- VISLON® with GreenRise® tape
Can you share what visitors of Future Fabrics were interested in/looking for from YKK’s future products?
Most of the visitors to our booth were seeking detailed information about raw material sourcing and
certifications and asking about the latest developments and requests for bio-degradable products,
regenerative materials and recyclable items that can contribute to a circular manufacturing system.
What feedback did you receive from / on? the new YKK product developments?
Our visitors received our range of items well, and we experienced excitement around the variation /
variety of possibilities, especially from visitors who were finding information about these items for
the first time.
Why are trade shows like Future Fabrics still crucial for companies like YKK?
Future Fabrics is a melting pot of new ideas, inspiration, and potential solutions to drive a more
sustainable industry. It can promote the right partnerships that lead to creating products with a
purpose and to generating more awareness about the importance of sustainable fashion and
To find out more about YKK’s latest product innovations please go to: