YKK Corporation’s new zipper design fills a void in adaptive apparel design. The company recently announced that it has developed a new zipper that closes using magnetic force.
Magnet Zippers are open-end zippers designed to be closed easily using magnetic force between the left and right sides. While conventional zippers require the wearer to insert a pin into a retaining box to close, YKK’s Magnet 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 tasks such as closing the zipper without looking at one’s hand, and closing the zipper with one hand.
The zipper, YKK stated, is expected to be used in a wide variety of sectors like sportswear to facilitate quick clothing changes and children’s wear. Moreover, the company said Magnet Zippers will make it easier for people who may struggle with opening and closing zippers to be able to dress with ease.
As inclusive fashion becomes mainstream, designers are turning their attention to adaptive apparel. Tommy Hilfiger debuted a 54-piece collection in 2017 called Tommy Adaptive, which featured magnetic buttons and one-handed zippers. Online retailer Zappos offers adaptive fashion through Zappos Adaptive, a curated shop for fashion that has pull-on designs, magnetic closures and are sensory friendly.
The category is still in its infancy. According to a study conducted by Coresight Research, the U.S. adaptive apparel market was worth $47.3 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow by more than 13 percent by 2023 to $54.8 billion.
The category is expected to grow even faster worldwide, with projections showing a more than 17 percent increase in the worldwide adaptive apparel market by 2023, for a total value of $349.9 billion.
YKK aims to begin mass production of the Magnetic Zipper in 2021.