When a zipper breaks, it often means sending a product back to the manufacturer or warranty department for professional repair. Then, you’re out of a jacket (or a shell, tent, sleeping bag, whatever else) for a few weeks, at least. And a lot of times, it’s cheaper for a brand to simply replace the product for you instead of fixing it — never mind the extra waste.
It’s an all-too-common story in the outdoor gear industry because zippers are a point of failure that people can’t simply repair on their own.
But that might not be the case for much longer. At least, not in any products that feature the YKK Revived zipper. The new technology, featured in two ARTILECT products this winter (and soon its whole 2023 lineup), allows anyone to easily remove the YKK Revived zipper pull tab from the teeth and replace it.
The YKK Revived Zipper
This removable and repairable zipper is a simple design, but one that could extend product lifecycles dramatically. On ARTILECT’s jackets, a small flap over the top of the zipper’s teeth prevents the pull tab from coming off accidentally. Simply flip that up, and pull the tab to the top. Then wiggle and push it, and the tab pops right off the teeth.
The YKK Revived zipper will soon be followed by a YKK Vislon tooth repair kit and snap-on sliders for both pocket and vent zippers.
This means no more shipping your jackets off for professional repair every time the zipper pull tab breaks or the teeth get bent out of shape. People — and smaller gear shops — will soon be able to simply and efficiently repair any part of an outwear zipper at home. That, in turn, will extend the life of those products significantly.
Just in the U.S., there are over 4.5 billion zippered products consumed every year, according to Marketplace.org. YKK itself produces 1.2 million miles of zippers annually, enough to wrap around the world 50 times. And since zippers are one of the most common points of failure on any product, many of those zippered products end up in the garbage, getting replaced.
But if all of those zippers were repairable, the net reduction in waste would have a massive environmental impact.
ARTILECT’s First DIY Repairable Zippers
ARTILECTs 3L Formation shell and High AF Down Stretch Parka are the first two garments to incorporate this technology from YKK. As one of the brand’s select few development partners, ARTILECT gets to incorporate this zipper technology before many other brands get the chance. ARTILECT was also some of the first to use Touchlink and PU Concealed zippers in collaboration with YKK.
Look for the Revived zippers on all ARTILECT products going forward from the spring of 2023.