YKK, the world’s largest zipper manufacturer, took part in the first physical ISPO Munich trade show after a three-year break due to the pandemic.
ISPO Munich, the world’s largest sports trade show, took place from November 28-30 and attracted more than 1,700 international exhibitors and 40,000 trade visitors from 117 countries. 73 percent of visitors were international, with the most exhibitors coming from Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain and Austria.
For the first November edition of ISPO Munich, YKK showcased as part of the newly created Future Lab, a curated knowledge space for innovation and transformation, featuring more than 70 start-ups that took part in the ISPO Brandnew Award showcasing their innovative products.
“The Future Lab was a new area for 2023 featuring innovation, sustainability, and retail transformation as the key topics plus the 70 start-ups that took part in the ISPO award. YKK are proud to be associated with the ISPO Brand New area that became part of the Future Lab,” said Engin Ertugrul, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, EMEA “It felt so good to be back at ISPO after 3 years, to see the industry professions and meet with our customers again. ISPO Is a long-term investment for YKK and a platform for us to build and maintain relationships with our partners.”
YKK first began working with ISPO's Brandnew back in 2007 and has acted as presenting sponsor since 2015, working with countless up-and-coming start-ups in the sports industry. At this year’s ISPO, YKK presented its latest collection of fastening products, while taking the opportunity to meet with new and existing customers and share up-to-date product information and samples.
With ISPO attracting brands across apparel, and outdoors, YKK launched its new and innovative watertight zipper, a lighter zipper that has been developed specifically for the outdoor industry and technical apparel needs. They introduced the innovative product with an extensive marketing campaign including presenting a jacket fitted with the new Aqualock® zipper in a water wall to highlight the watertightness of the product.
To find out more about the Aqualock® product, we spoke to Janet Pritchard, Marketing & Sales Manager at YKK UK.
Why did YKK develop AquaLock®?
When we asked industry leaders what they needed to create their outdoor products, the response was a fully watertight, light zipper. The new Aqualock zipper has been developed to sit between our Aquaseal® and Aquaguard® zippers and is suitable for extreme weather conditions, heavy rain, snow, wind etc and surface-level sports.
What’s so special about the design?
The Aqualock® zipper is a robust and flexible design which offers surface level, watertight protection, and lightweight comfort. Its narrow tape helps to minimise its product weight and it’s PFC-free and uses a polyurethane technology on both the elements and tape for optimal weather protection.
The zipper design has been tested to four times the industry standard for cycle testing and the water tightness has been tested to YKK internal specifications.
What are the features of AquaLock®?
It’s the next level generation of YKK’s Aqua products – as it is fully watertight, flexible, lightweight and of a slim design.
Compared to the Aquaseal® zipper, AquaLock® is lighter, more flexible, and thinner. The Aquaseal® zipper is heavier whilst having watertight features but has a higher price point. Whereas AquaGuard® is more suitable for water-repellent products for light rain, therefore, AquaLock® has been manufactured with this in mind and sits in the middle of our Aquaseal® and AquaGuard® zippers.
Is it sustainable?
Yes, the tape used is Natulon®, therefore, making the zipper more sustainable, the plastic slider can also come off and be recycled.
Where will AquaLock® be manufactured?
AquaLock® is developed and produced at our Runcorn factory based in the UK.