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YKK’s Zippers Now Boast Virus-Fighting Technology

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The rapid spread of Covid-19 has underscored how high-touch surfaces, including garments, can fuel concerns around bacterial and viral spread. One trims supplier, however, is rolling out a new solution to help quell consumers’ concerns.

YKK debuted a new line of zippers treated with ViralOff, a technology created by Swedish company Polygiene that eliminates 99 percent of viruses on textiles in a span of two hours.

In September, the technology was confirmed to be the first commercial textiles treatment proven effective by the International Standardization Organization (ISO) method. Though the technology is safe for contact on human skin, the company states that the technology is only intended to eliminate viruses from the product—not the wearer.

ViralOff, originally developed in response to the SARS outbreak in 2004, is already being applied to consumer-facing products such as denim, gloves and face masks, as well as personal protection equipment and scrubs for healthcare workers.

The treated trims may be a complementary addition to the growing number of denim brands introducing jeans treated with antiviral or antimicrobial technologies. By applying the treatment to trims, YKK says it can make a big impact with a small object, reinforcing its message that “little parts” make a “big difference.”

“While we never make any claims beyond protecting the product itself, it goes without saying that a reduction of viruses on often touched parts, like a zipper, is a good thing,” said Haymo Strubel, Polygiene’s commercial director. “We see a big demand building, and this launch with YKK will raise awareness on this kind of product even more.”

YKK’s ViralOff-treated zipper is manufactured and sold by YKK Italia SPA, and joins a number of recent innovations from the company. In October, the company developed Touchlink, an interactive zipper that displays information about an equipped garment by simply tapping it on a mobile device.

Just weeks later, YKK also introduced a consultancy initiative that assists manufacturers with product development, process improvement, custom machinery and assembly service solutions.

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