YKK: Employing sustainable practices in everything we do

February 23, 2018 YKK

What is the first image or thought that comes to your mind when you think of sustainability?

Is it an image of a green forest? Or a recap of last night’s TV special on the environment?

Typically, when we think of sustainability we tend to focus on all the current problems affecting the environment. However, sustainability has become such a broad term that it can easily be integrated into different aspects of life. At YKK, sustainability is a key component of our management style, product manufacturing, and our CSR activities. It is, as a matter of fact, deeply ingrained in our corporate values and philosophy.

By promoting sustainability through various channels within the entire corporation, YKK helps promote a more sustainable society. Here’s an overview of how we create innovative technology and products to make our planet more sustainable.

Sustainable management:

By following the YKK Global Criteria of Compliance, we ensure all parties involved with our company are treated with fairness and respect. This set of guidelines is based upon YKK’s philosophy of the Cycle of Goodness developed by our founder, Tadao Yoshida.

Learn more here: http://www.ykk.com/english/corporate/csr/compliance.html

Environmental sustainability:

We protect our environment by creating sustainable manufacturing technology and products.

Manufacturing sustainability

 We use innovative technology and initiatives to help eliminate hazardous chemicals from the manufacturing process. See our latest creations below:

Industrial Wastewater Recycling:


ECO-DYE® (Waterless Zipper Dyeing Technology):

Super critical fluid dyeing (“SFD”) technology reduces the amount of water used in the zipper dyeing process to zero, helping to eliminate the risk of water pollution.

Learn more about ECO-DYE® (Waterless Zipper Dyeing Technology): http://connect.ykknorthamerica.com/ykk/ykk-develops-eco-dye-a-waterless-dyeing-technology-for-zippers

Elements Finish (Snap Fastener Finishing Technology)

Elements Finish is a YKK-original finishing technology for Snap Fastener Buttons, which utilizes the base color of materials and does not involve an electrical plating process. This technology reduces the amount of water and electricity needed to complete this process without using hazardous chemicals.

*Interesting fact:

By switching from the electrical plating process, we are able to save about 3,600 kWh(*) per 1,000kg of our products. *3,600 kWh = Average electricity consumption per family for 20 days.

Sustainable products: We continue to manufacture eco- friendly products following a concept defined by three keywords: Human-Friendly, Earth-Friendly, and Social-Friendly.


NATULON® zippers are a resource-conserving, recycling-oriented product made from PET bottles, old fiber and other polyester remnants. It is the result of a double-layered development system using both chemical and material recycling.

NATULON® Chemically Recycled Zipper: Made from chemically recycled polyester, this product is perpetually recyclable.

NATULON® Material Recycled Zipper: Made from recycled materials including products such as PET bottles, these zippers are designed for customers who want to increase the recycled content of their products.

Organic Cotton: By choosing only organically grown cotton, we are helping reduce the amount of water and harmful chemicals used in farms.

Plant based zippers


At YKK, we understand the importance of creating a sustainable environment where everyone, from our employees to our customers, thrives.  By utilizing innovative technology, we are able to manufacture eco-friendly products that help satisfy our clients’ needs while preserving the environment. Additionally, companywide initiatives such as our YKK Group Tree Planting Day are an example of how we exercise our Fundamental Behaviors to give back to our communities and help take steps towards a healthier environment. This annual event takes place in YKK locations around the world throughout the month of June, to coincide with World Environment Day.

Read our blog post to learn more about this initiative: http://connect.ykknorthamerica.com/ykk-connect/ykk-north-central-america-group-plant-trees-in-honor-of-world-environment-day

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