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YKK Announces its Collaboration with Oceanworks®, the Leading Marketplace for Materials Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic

October 13, 2020
Author: YKK
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NATULON® Ocean Sourced™YKK is pleased to announce its collaboration with Oceanworks®, the leading marketplace for materials made from recycled ocean plastic. In support of Oceanworks’ mission to help brands develop products from recycled ocean plastic, YKK will have NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers available on the Oceanworks® marketplace for brands and designers to order.

Helping to address the problem of marine plastic, YKK’s new NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ collection of zippers is made from ocean bound plastic collected within 50 km of the coastline of Sri Lanka. Indistinguishable from zippers made of virgin polyester, NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ offers the same strength, durability, and functionality as conventional zippers.

“We are extremely happy to be able to offer YKK’s NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers to our clients,” said Rob Ianelli Founder and President of Oceanworks. “It gives them fastening solutions from the most trusted name in zippers, allowing them to create innovative products made entirely from ocean bound plastic.”

With 80% of all plastic entering the ocean originating from land based sources,[1] preventing it from making its way to the ocean is the most effective way to eliminate marine plastic. The diversion of ocean bound plastic from waterways and waste streams helps to address the environmental crisis occurring in the world’s oceans. Each year, it’s estimated that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean.[2] Millions of birds, turtles, and fish are negatively impacted by plastic marine debris. Between 57,000 and 135,000 whales are entangled in discarded fishing nets and other plastic waste every year.[3] Plastic has even been found in the internal organs of fish and in our drinking water.

YKK’s collaboration with Oceanworks extends beyond the availability of NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zipper on its marketplace. Oceanworks worked with YKK to help locate and establish the supply chain for the yarn made from ocean bound plastic, which is used in NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers.

“Oceanworks was instrumental in helping us source the yarn that goes into NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers,” said Mike Maekawa, Category Manager for YKK. “Without their help, our development would have taken far longer, delaying the introduction of NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers to the market.”

“YKK has a long history of environmental stewardship, which is an integral part of our “Cycle of Goodness” philosophy. Our Environmental Pledge was signed by our CEO in 1994, and we created NATULON®, the first zipper made from recycled PET bottles and polyester remnants, over 26 years ago. Today we offer a wide range of sustainable products and technologies. NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ is just the latest addition to our portfolio of eco-innovation,” says Maekawa.

YKK’s collection of sustainable trims is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, toxic chemicals, and water use. In addition to NATULON® Ocean Sourced™, the collection features the GreenRise™ zipper, the first in the industry to use plant-based plastic, YKK’s organic cotton zippers, made from GOTS certified yarn, and YKK’s original NATULON® zipper, made from recycle PET bottles. Also included in the collection are zippers made using YKK’s ECO-DYE® waterfree dyeing technology, and environmentally friendly snaps and buttons made using the new non-toxic Acro-Plating™ technology.

[1] Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic- free ocean. McKinsey & Company and Ocean Conservancy. 2015. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/stemming-the-tide-land-based-strategies-for-a-plastic-free-ocean.

[2] Plastics in the Ocean. Jordana Merran – https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/

[3] Ocean Plastic – https://www.parley.tv/oceanplastic#parley-air-strategy-1