YKK, a global leader in zippers and fastening products, announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Green Theme Technologies (GTT) to use its water-free and non-toxic EMPEL water protection technology on zippers.
GTT operates at the leading edge of sustainable performance textile finishes, and its PFC-free EMPEL platform is one of the best performing dry fabric finish in the world, now being utilized on zippers for the first time. The adoption of GTT’s EMPEL water protection technology is in keeping with YKK’s Sustainability Vision 2050 action plan to reduce water and chemical usage through innovative new technologies.
“While YKK is known for strong internal research and development, we are always looking for innovative new technologies to complement our own,” said Terry Tsukumo, VP of YKK Global Marketing Group. “GTT’s EMPEL technology offers extremely durable water protection with unparalleled performance, without the use of harmful chemicals.”
YKK has a history of zipper innovation with its slide fasteners being used on everything from commercial fishing nets to space suits. As a leader in product sustainability, YKK launched the NATULON zipper — the first zipper to be made with recycled material — in 1994. Since that time YKK has developed an expansive portfolio of eco-friendly products such as GreenRise the first zipper to use plant-based polyester, and NATULON Ocean Sourced zipper, made from ocean bound plastic waste.
“The EMPEL technology will allow us to create a new generation of water protective zippers that perform better, have better flexibility, and are more sustainable,” says Mike Maekawa, category manager, YKK Global Marketing Group. “It is game changing technology for high performance zippers.”
GTT launched the EMPEL platform in 2018 and began with the goal of eliminating toxic PFCs. In addition to being highly sustainable, EMPEL treatment ranks among the highest water repellency and longest lasting protection available. GTT and YKK plan to collaborate with leading premium brands on the best quality and performance zippers on the market.