Japanese fastener manufacturer YKK has developed new apparel zippers using marine plastic waste intercepted on the coastline of Sri Lanka. The company will present its new Natulon Ocean Sourced collection at both ISPO Munich and the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show events later this month, from 26-29 and 29-31 respectively.

YKK, with a portfolio comprising both the Good Design Best 100 award winning GreenRise zipper – made from a plant-based polyester – and an organic cotton zipper, has extended its collection of sustainable fasteners with the creation of its new Ocean Sourced product.

“Natulon Ocean Sourced zippers offer the high quality that people expect from YKK while addressing the environmental crisis in our oceans,” said Takashi Tsukumo, Vice President, YKK Corporation Global Marketing Group. “Furthermore, the upcycling of ocean bound plastic into these zippers emits less CO2 and requires less energy to produce than zippers made out of virgin polyester.”

The mitigation of resource consumption is a thought-out design decision that is seen throughout its sustainable zipper assortment. With its GreenRise product, made from sugarcane molasses, a by-product of the sugar production process, the company reduces petroleum usage by 30 per cent.

It’s flagship Natulon original zipper on the other hand makes use of recycled material, integrating 3,600 plastic bottles into an estimated 10,000 zippers. What’s more, all zippers are finished using YKK’s Eco-Dye which eliminates water.

With the development of its Ocean Sourced zipper, YKK looks to tackle the mounting issue of marine plastic waste. According to research referenced back to McKinsey & Company’s Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic- free ocean report, 80 per cent of all plastic entering the ocean originates from land based sources.