News & Insights | Textile Technology

YKK’s New DynaPel™ Water-Repellant Zipper Wins Best Product in ISPO Textrends Competition

Published: December 14, 2023

The new DynaPel™ zipper uses GTT EMPEL® technology to eliminate the need for a PU film

Atlanta, GA (Dec 13, 2023) – The ISPO Textrends judges have selected YKK’s DynaPel™ water-repellent zipper as the Best Product in the accessories category. The competition, held twice a year in conjunction with the ISPO trade show, recognizes the most innovative performance textiles, components, and apparel.

Designed to be compatible with garment recycling systems, the DynaPel™ zipper uses GTT’s EMPEL® technology instead of the standard PU film to achieve its water repellency. The lack of a PU film helps remove one of the barriers of textile-to-textile recycling of performance apparel by eliminating the urethane material, which presents challenges to garment recycling processes.

“Receiving an ISPO Textrends Award helps validate the technology and our efforts to develop fasteners for circular systems,” said Terry Tsukumo, Vice President, Product Strategy Division, Global Sales Headquarters, YKK Corporation. “By employing EMPEL® technology, we can achieve the robust water protection expected from YKK® products while eliminating the challenges that PU poses to recycling systems.”

Conventional chemical and mechanical garment recycling systems cannot process the polyurethane film commonly used on water-repellent zippers, necessitating the removal of zippers from garments before recycling.  This additional processing step often deters recyclers from accepting garments with PU zippers, resulting in unnecessary waste.

EMPEL® technology uses advanced green chemistry devoid of PFAS and a specialized manufacturing process that allows the chemistry to penetrate the yarn and encapsulate it with a water-repellent layer through molecular cross-linking. The molecular cross-linking creates an extremely durable layer that is highly resistant to abrasion and invisible to the eye.

“DynaPel™ represents a new generation of sustainable, high-performance water-repellant zippers,” stated Tsukumo. “It is the future of water protection for zippers.”

About YKK

Since the company’s founding in Tokyo in 1934, YKK has continuously set industry standards for quality, service, value, and innovation in the production of zippers, plastic hardware, hook and loop fasteners, webbing tapes, and snap and buttons. With integrated production and supply systems in 72 countries and regions around the world, YKK is positioned to meet the needs of the many industries we serve as they increasingly diversify and require shorter product cycles. Guided by the CYCLE OF GOODNESS® philosophy – no one prospers without rendering benefit to others – YKK aims to contribute to a sustainable society through its products and manufacturing operations and constantly seeks new ways to serve the changing needs of its customers while at the same time investing in its employees and giving back to its communities. Discover more about YKK:

About Green Theme Technologies

Green Theme Technologies, Inc. (GTT) is a US-based textile innovation company with a global vision to increase performance and eliminate pollution. Their water-free and PFAS-free EMPEL textile finishing platform provides mills and brands with clean solutions that outperform all current water repellent, stain-release, and anti-wick technologies. EMPEL is supremely durable, bringing true longevity to any textile or product using it. 

Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

“YKK”,”YKK Little Parts. Big Difference.”, “CYCLE OF GOODNESS “and “DynaPel” are registered trademarks or trademarks of YKK CORPORATION in Japan and other countries/regions.

“EMPEL” is a registered trademark of Green Theme Technologies, Inc.

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