Why YKK?

We enjoy introducing you to companies and enterprises that embody the core FAMM principles and today, we’d like to point out a wonderful article by Josh Centers at The Prepared, about the pioneering YKK Group, who make zippers.

If you wear garments with zippers, it’s more than likely you’ll recognise the distinctive YKK branding on the pull tab. We value the quality of all the separate components that make up a product and YKK are probably the best makers of zippers in the world, but until reading Josh’s article, we didn’t know why.

YKK royal blue bag zipper pullFounded by Tadao Yoshida in 1934, YKK now makes about half of the zippers in the world. They didn’t invent the zipper, but they certainly perfected it and made it into a reliable consumer product, in much the same way as Apple did with the personal computer. Over the years, YKK went on to introduce many innovative products and their zippers were even used in the spacesuits that were worn on the Moon in 1969.

Today, they are continuing to innovate with their Natulon product lines, made from recycled plastic bottles (PET). Both the zipper chain and slider are made from recycled materials with no metal components.

Natulon is one piece of YKK’s line of sustainable trims. In 2019, 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.

YKK Cycle of Goodness – no-one propers benefit to others

The success of the YKK brand comes down to an attention to detail, quality of materials and innovative design principles, but that’s not all – and this is where we come back to the similarities with our own Core Values. Yoshida created his own business philosophy, which he called the Cycle of Goodness. In short, “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”, and the company, its employees, its customers, and all of society benefits from what YKK does.

YKK Memorable Stories manga series

The company generally doesn’t have a prominent media presence, but it takes the Cycle of Goodness very seriously. So seriously that it produced a 10-issue manga series that explains it in detail.

So, take a look at Josh’s article and rest assured that when FAMM introduces its first products with zippers (stay tuned!), they’ll be made by YKK.

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