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First for more sustainable zips

EMPEL treatment provides the highest water repellency to products.

7th July 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Tokyo, Japan


YKK, a global leader in zips and fastening products headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has entered into a licensing agreement with Green Theme Technologies (GTT) to use water-free and non-toxic EMPEL water protection.

GTT’s PFC-free EMPEL platform is one of the best performing dry fabric finishes in the world and is being utilised on zips for the first time.

“While YKK is known for strong internal research and development, we are always looking for innovative new technologies to complement our own,” says Terry Tsukumo, vice president of YKK’s global marketing group. “GTT’s EMPEL technology offers extremely durable water protection with unparalleled performance, without the use of harmful chemicals. It will allow us to create a new generation of water protective zips that perform better, have better flexibility, and are more sustainable. It’s game changing technology for high performance zips.”

YKK has a long history of zip innovation with its slide fasteners being used on everything from commercial fishing nets to space suits. As a leader in product sustainability, it launched the Natulon – the first zip to be made with recycled material – in 1994. Since that time the company has developed an extensive portfolio of eco-friendly products such as GreenRise, the first zip to use plant-based polyester, and Natulon Ocean Sourced, a zip made from ocean bound plastic waste.

GTT launched the EMPEL platform in 2018 with the goal of eliminating toxic PFCs. In addition to being highly sustainable, EMPEL treatment provides the highest water repellency available. GTT and YKK plan to collaborate with leading premium brands on the best quality and performance zips on the market.

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