YKK’s innovative zippers help make fashion accessible to all
Here at YKK we’re are constantly thinking about innovative ways to engineer products that are not only stylish but also functional. We were inspired by the work teen designer Leah Zelaya is doing to help make fashion accessible to all and wanted to share a few ways in which YKK is helping the fashion industry become more inclusive.
In the past few years, we have developed new products with this issue in mind. We’ve been able to achieve this thanks to partnerships and collaborations with organizations like Co-Co Life which enabled us to understand the needs and challenges of people with disabilities.
Collaboration with Co-Co Life:
As a maker of zippers, YKK’s ultimate challenge is to develop a universal design zipper that can be used easily by anyone. However, when considering the idea of universal design, there is a tendency to make ease of use the priority, with fashion considerations taking a back seat.
In this context, and working together with Co-Co Life, we provided product details and samples of universal designs developed by YKK to persons with disabilities, designers (including those who specialize in universal design), fashion and accessories experts, and occupational therapists, and held a symposium to discuss ideas for their effective and fashionable use.
As participants shared their views about the fastening products, including issues and aspects they did not like, a new kind of synergy emerged. We hope to use this synergy to propose new universal fashions that will enable more people than ever to enjoy the world of fashion.
Universal Fashion and Product Development:
YKK’s click-TRAK® is a zipper that makes opening and closing operations easier by replacing the insert pin with a snap button that you press together when closing the zipper. The zipper, which has been under development since 2015, was created with the aim of enabling the elderly, people with disabilities, and others who have difficulty using zippers to better enjoy fashion. Additional applications include sportswear and childrenswear, which can take advantage of click-TRAK®’s easy-to-use features.
VISLON® Magnet Type Zipper
Magnet type zippers are open-end zippers designed to be closed easily using magnetic force between the left and right sides. Conventional zippers require engaging the insert pin and retaining box to close, but magnet type zippers can be engaged and closed through magnetic force simply by bringing the left and right sides of the zipper together. This makes it easy to perform operations such as closing the zipper without looking at one’s hand and closing the zipper with one hand.