25 Feb 2004
Zippers(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2004)
Vol 2, 2004
All Fastened Up
Nylon, plastic and metal zippers from East Dragon Zipper (China) Co Ltd are rated Oeko-Tex Standard 100
Invented in Chicago in 1893, zip-fasteners did not come into general use until the 1930s, following the discovery that zippers made it easier for children to dress themselves. Today, Hong Kong suppliers produce zippers by the millions, and fill global orders for zip-fasteners for items from delicate dresses to heavy-duty boots.
Hang Sang Zipper Co Ltd, founded in 1986, turns out 10 million Oeko-Tex standard zippers a month. "We feature many different colours, including gold and silver, and also produce 'shine' zippers in crystal, which are very popular, even for leisure wear," says manager Edward Hung. "Among our famous customers are Woolworths and some top fashion labels."
Raw materials come from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Australia, while production takes place at a 15,000-square-metre, 500-worker factory in mainland Shenzhen. The minimum order is 10,000 zippers per colour and delivery takes about four days after order confirmation. Major markets are North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, Russia and the Middle East. The firm also has representative offices in the US and Australia.
Another zipper manufacturer is 26-year-old Hing Fat Industries (Far East) Co Ltd, which claims a quick delivery time as one of its competitive factors. "We can make and deliver 100,000 zippers within 1-2 weeks," says marketing executive Sam Yip.
The company also provides an "unsurpassed level" of products and after-sales support and services for the garment and leathergoods sectors, adds Yip. He says the company also continually upgrades its equipment, manufacturing techniques, capacity, scientific management and infrastructure.
Its mainland factory in Guangdong Province occupies 80,000 square metres and employs 400 workers. "With a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and techniques and reasonable pricing, we hope to become number one in our industry. Our export network covers Europe, the US and Asia," says Yip.
Monthly output is three million zippers and while there is no minimum order requirement, there is a dyeing charge of about US$20 if an order is not more than 1,500 pieces per colour. The zippers use copper and nylon from Taiwan and Korea, and clients include top fashion label Liz Claiborne.
According to East Dragon Zipper (China) Co Ltd, trends indicate the Chinese mainland will become the zipper-manufacturing centre of the world in the 21st century. "Our corporate dream is to see the mainland's zipper industry and our company thrive together," says marketing executive Elsa Wu. "Every zipper we produce undergoes rigorous examination and has to pass exacting quality standards."
East Dragon makes zippers in many colours and waterproof types for rainwear. "Customers send us materials so we can exactly match the zipper to the garment. We send them a book showing all our colours," says Wu.
The company produces two million zip-fasteners per day at its mainland Shanghai factory. The minimum order size is 100,000 zippers, and delivery is 10-15 days after order confirmation. Products sell under the YCC brand name in worldwide markets.
"The YCC trademark gained 'Shanghai's Most Famous Brand' and 'Most Famous Trademark' awards in 2001 and 2002," says Wu. "We were the first producer on the mainland to pass ISO 9002 certification and the UKAS from the UK."
Meanwhile, established in 1983, the SBS Zipper (HK) Co Ltd lays claim to being the first specialised zipper manufacturer on the mainland. "Our group acts on the management principles of sincerity, commitment and innovation," says manager Peter Wong. "We also place great emphasis on research and training and maintain an SBS college to train employees in the latest technology. We conduct research on equipment-related design and our products find their way to markets in more than 40 countries and regions."
Group sales increased by 20% in 2003 because of expanded capacity and it hopes to achieve a similar increase this year, he says. Monthly production totals more than 30 million zippers, while a minimum order is 3,000-5,000 zip-fasteners per colour for delivery 7-10 days after order confirmation. Products appear under the SBS brand name.
"Our factories are in Xiamen and Shanghai and have a total area of 130,000 square metres. We employ more than 4,000 workers, and we are proud of having gained ISO 9002 certification. Furthermore, the Zipper Technology Centre of China named us 'China's Most Famous Brand Name'," says Wong.
It looks as though Hong Kong has the fastener market all zipped up.
WRITTEN BY WINSOME LANE
Industries (Far East) Co Ltd
Flat 4, 5/F
Yuen Shing Ind Bldg
1033 Yee Kuk West St
Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon
Zipper (HK) Co
Flat B1, 8/F
Cheung Fat Commercial Bldg
7-9 Hill Rd
Shek Tong Tsui
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