YKK known for innovative fastening solutions
In the European region YKK is mainly known as a manufacturer of high quality zip fasteners. But the worldwide market leader has much more to offer than innovative fastening solutions for the textile industry and retail. In the field of zip fasteners nearly all YKK products meet the human ecology requirements of OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
Tadao Yoshida founded it in January 1934 as an individual company and began production and sales of fastening solutions. In 1938 the company was renamed Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikigaisha, and YKK was registered as a trademark as early as 1946. Then, as now, the company is known for its high-quality zips all over the world. Around 39,000 employees in 71 regions around the globe work in development, production and sales of a now very extensive product range.
The products are manufactured to the highest quality standards at 109 production facilities and branch offices in Japan, North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and New Zealand. In addition to fastening technology the company also provides solutions for private and commercial architecture. Modern window technology, front doors, blinds, facade structures for high-rise architecture as well as aluminium profiles for various applications form the second pillar of the group of companies.
These two sectors are supported by a third company unit for mechanical engineering and technology which has the exclusive and specific aim of ensuring that the two main sectors are permanently competitive on the global market with regard to leading technologies and innovations through in-house developments.
Perfection and quality
The company traditionally is one of the leading manufacturers in the field of fastening technology. On the one hand this includes the world famous YKK zips but also a number of other fastening and fixing solutions made of textile material or plastic. The products are mainly used in items from the clothing and textile industry as well as in the packaging industry.
Additionally YKK has established itself as a manufacturer of haberdashery, producing sewing accessories such as ribbons and threads, buttons or shoulder pads. YKK invests a significant part of its profits in perfection and quality, following the philosophy of the Japanese company founder that success is based on letting others share your success.
This is equally true for YKK Deutschland GmbH where a special focus is placed on product quality and quality assurance. The basis for this is a consistently vertical production system. Everything from raw materials to the finished product is manufactured in-house. Even the machines are developed by the company itself – a process with which YKK ensures the highest quality standards. A consistent investment concept is closely connected to this idea: A significant part of YKK’s profits goes towards renewal and development, working in close co-operation with their customers. Environmentally friendly production technology in line with existing environmental and quality guidelines is another part of the company’s philosophy.
Following the company guideline “A healthy life in a well-balanced environment”, nearly all items from the product range zips, hook-and-loop closures and cord stoppers comply with the strict human ecology requirements of OEKO-TEX Standard 100 in product class I for babies and toddlers. That quality has the highest priority at YKK is also confirmed by the fact that the company’s quality assurance is one of the strictest in the industry.
YKK is also very conscious of always carrying out its business activities in balance with the environment. That is why it supports all stages of an environmental protection policy – from development to production, for disposal as well as for recycling.
YKK Deutschland GmbH is indeed certified in line with the environment management system DIN EN ISO 14001 and the European main production sites as well as some of the main global production sites are certified in line with the quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9000.
An environmental protection charter was already established within the YKK Group of Companies in 1994, formulating guidelines and company targets for business activities in balance with the environment. Annual environmental protection reports are created for all business units to document successes and developments of the individual measures for environmental protection.
The environmental charter from 1994, for example, states the reduction of CO2 emissions by 19 per cent by 2010 as a mid-term target. The actual result of now 30 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions through efficient energy management can certainly be seen as a great success with regard to sustainability.