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How YKK Makes Its Sustainable Zipper Even More Environmentally Friendly

The world’s largest zipper supplier is bringing sustainable manufacturing to the U.S.

For the first time, YKK will begin to produce its recycled material Natulon zipper at its Macon, G.A. manufacturing facility. By adding Natulon to its U.S. manufacturing, YKK states that it is further reducing the environmental impact from sourcing product overseas and reducing lead time.

The Natulon product line was developed for brands that want to increase the recycled content of their products. The zippers are made from PET bottles, old fiber and other polyester remnants. YKK reports that 10,000 Natulon zippers of approximately 23 inches in length give new life to 3,600 recycled plastic bottles.

For the denim industry, YKK produces the YZiP zipper with Natulon Material Recycled tape. The zipper is offered in several metallic finishes, including golden brass, antique gold, antique silver, nickel silver and anti-nickel silver.

Natulon is one piece of YKK’s line of sustainable trims. This year the company introduced GreenRise, the industry’s first plant-derived zipper that replaces polyester derived from conventional fossil fuels. It has also produced a number of sustainably focused products, including organic cotton zipper tape, as well as a line of environmentally friendly snaps and buttons using a finishing process that reduces thermal energy, water usage, toxic chemicals and waste.

In July, YKK announced the launch of YKK Group Environmental Vision 2050, a company-wide sustainability initiative that responds to the need for environmental actions on a global scale. The plan sets goals to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and to maximize effective utilization of non-renewable resources.