20 March 2006
Zippers(HKTDC Fashion - Fabrics & Accessories, Vol 02,2006)
|Zippers are just part of the huge variety of garment accessories produced by Beauty Bond Holdings Ltd|
Never ones to be let down, Hong Kong companies are rising to the occasion by not only producing their customers' designs but also having in-house R&D departments develop their own.
One firm that finds the strength of its 100-strong R&D team helps it stay on top is SBS Zipper (HK) Co Ltd. "All the people in our R&D department are very strong in research and use the Internet to find new designs and technologies," manager Peter Wong explains. "They also travel overseas for new ideas and materials."
However, he admits that some fashion designers like to design their own pullers and SBS is only too happy to help them produce their creations.
Wong notes that the colours and materials used depend on the fashion trend for that market. "For example, the US is sourcing metal zippers for the 2006 season," he says, predicting that soft, nostalgic colours such as winter blue, or even deeper hues like burgundy will be "all the rage" during the autumn/winter season.
Nylon, metal and vislon zippers are the most popular products manufactured by the 23-year-old company, which has its own SBS brand and also produces sliders, buckles, handles and water bottles.
SBS manufactures at two ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified factories on the Chinese mainland in Fujian Province and Shanghai that cover 260,000 square metres, employ 6,000 workers and meet Oeko-Tex standards.
These plants produce 110 million pieces/metre each month, which are available in minimum quantities of 3,000 pieces per colour per item on FOB Hong Kong, FOB Xiamen, C&F and CIF terms. "Normal delivery lead time is 7-14 days after order confirmation," Wong adds.
Another firm that depends on its in-house R&D department is Beauty Bond Holdings Ltd, which reassures customers that zipper colours and materials meet the Oeko-Tex environmental standards that are particularly important for European clients.
The 26-year-old company produces 25 tonnes of zipper chain per month at its 160,000-square-metre mainland factory in Heyuan City, Dongguan, which is ISO 9001-certified and employs 3,000 workers.
Beauty Bond has its own GCC brand and supplies customers worldwide with minimum orders of 3,000 pieces FOB either Hong Kong or Shenzhen, marketing manager Pinky Ng explains. "Delivery is 7-14 days after order confirmation," she says.
Equally dependent on its R&D team is Derlin Zipper Co, which marketing manager Billy Chan says also accepts OEM orders from customers. "The trend this year is rhinestone zippers with rhinestone teeth and sliders," he observes. "We have received a lot of orders since July last year for rhinestone zippers from Europe, Brazil and Hong Kong, so we see rhinestone zippers being big this year."
However, Chan says the US sector that is Derlin's biggest market still prefers simple zippers while European customers look for fancy designs. "They like such styles as zippers with one-colour teeth on one side and a different shade on the other, with the tape sporting another colour altogether," he explains.
The 21-year-old company produces about 1,000,000 pieces a month of all kinds of zippers - from metal and vislon to waterproof and invisible models - at its 6,000-square-metre, 150-worker factory in Shenzhen on the mainland.
Derlin does not require a minimum order, but there are caveats. "We do offer shipment FOB Hong Kong, but it would not be possible to get those terms if the shipment was less than US$2,000 in value," Chan explains, adding delivery is 10-14 days after order confirmation.
Customers' designs are also important to Tak Fat Zipper Fty Ltd, which sales manager Jeffrey Wong says prides itself on providing a customer-oriented service. "This is one of our strengths," he claims.
He notes that Tak Fat's hottest-selling item last year was the metal zippers used mainly in jeans and trousers, a trend that Wong predicts will continue this year. "We are sourcing more machines for our 3,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen to cope with the projected demand," he reveals.
The 16-year-old company does not require minimum orders and offers C&F and FOB Hong Kong terms, but can also ship FOB Shenzhen. "Prices for items range from about HK$0.30 per piece for nylon zippers in standard colours to HK$10 for metal zippers per metre," Wong says. "Delivery time for FOB items is usually 7-14 days, depending on the quantity, while 3-5 days is enough for sample orders."
Whether fancy or plain, Hong Kong companies are clearly more than capable of meeting the challenge of producing funky fashion zippers for customers around the world.
WRITTEN BY SHARMILA GOPINATH
Beauty Bond Holdings Ltd
Rms 20-23, 14/F
Worldwide Ind Centre
43-47 Shan Mei St
Fo Tan, New Territories
Derlin Zipper Co
Flat 2, 23/F
18 Cheung Lee St
Tak Fat Zipper Fty Ltd
Flat 19, 8/F
Thriving Ind Centre
26-38 Sha Tsui Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Tiong Lee Co Ltd
Unit 15, 16/F
Hong Man Ind Centre
2 Hong Man St