Browzwear YKK

Being sustainable in fashion means streamlining every last detail of the design process — even the humble zipper.

That’s why 3-D apparel solution firm Browzwear and ubiquitous Japanese zipper company YKK Corp. said today that the brands have partnered to take aim at smoothing out the wrinkles in the fashion design process. Its integration with Browzwear’s platform allows designers to incorporate 3-D models of YKK products into their designs, “freely moving and visualizing them in photo-realistic 3-D as they create,” and streamlines by sending “error-free” instructions to production, reducing waste and quickening time to market, the companies explained. And specifications for the fasteners will be included in Browzwear’s Tech Pack, along with manufacturing instructions, to enable speedier production with pinpoint accuracy.

The companies said the first stage of the YKK integration will be available in the January product update and the YKK catalogue will be incorporated in phases, with new products added in each of Browzwear’s software updates.

“A zipper may seem simple, but designing and manufacturing with that zipper is actually complex,” said Sharon Lim, cofounder and chief executive officer of Browzwear. “With YKK’s products available in our platform in true-to-life 3-D, we’re changing that, and we feel confident that our customers will benefit from the ability to work faster and smarter. The pace of change in fashion is getting faster and faster, that’s made agility a business imperative. Any initiative that streamlines workflow and the agility to continue iterating and collaborate on new designs is key to a company’s sustainability. This integration with YKK gives brands and manufacturers the benefits a digital ecosystem brings.”

The YKK integration on Browzwear’s 3-D platform. Photo courtesy of Browzwear. 

Lim explained Browzwear’s digitization is key, as it enables brands to test fastener designs without a prototype. “For example, without digitization, a designer who changes the size or placement of a fastener would need to have a prototype of the garment made before they could see the impact of that change on both the look and the fit of the design. Now, with Browzwear and YKK’s integration, that same designer can rapidly generate a variety of designs, moving and changing the fasteners quickly and easily, and with each change, the true to life 3-D enables them to see how it looks and how it fits. Ultimately, the technology saves an immense amount of time and reduces resource waste while it also gives the designer more freedom to be creative and experiment with all of their options.”

Takashi Tsukumo, vice president of the Global Marketing Group at YKK Corp., told WWD, “Being a fastening industry leader, YKK has always been ahead of the game in digital innovation in the apparel industry, including the use of CAD technology for molding, 3-D artwork, as well as 3-D-printed sample submission for development. With recent improvements in 3-D garment design capabilities, we decided to partner with Browzwear to help our customers have easier access to our fastening products in their software. We are confident that this will be a game-changer in the apparel industry.”

Tsukumo added, “Browzwear, which shares YKK’s vision for a more innovative, sustainable and efficient fashion industry, is an ideal partner for us. We look forward to working closely with the company to build pioneering solutions that will achieve those goals.”

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