Leading outdoor brand Houdini Sportswear pioneers the first connected zipper with EON & YKK
July 20th, 2021
Swedish Circular Sportswear brand Houdini is setting a new standard for product circularity – digitizing its iconic One Parka, launching August 2021, and committing to digitizing and connecting all its garments to the cloud by 2023 as part of Houdini’s pledge to transition its entire ecosystem to 100% circular by 2030.
Made possible by a new partnership between EON & YKK, Houdini's digitized One Parka is the first product to feature YKK’s new Touchlink™ NFC zipper pull, and the first parka to be connected end-to-end by the EON Product Cloud.
Creating digital profiles for each of Houdini's products so that they can be connected, managed and stewarded across lifecycles via the EON Product Cloud unlocks capacities throughout the Houdini ecosystem. Connected garments lower the threshold to circular business models such as resale, rental, subscription, and recycling. It also enables Houdini to digitize and reinforce its relational business model, distancing further from the transactional customer relationships that have long defined retail. Turning the product into a communications channel, connected products open a direct and continuous connection between brand and customers. By simply touching their mobile phones to YKK’s NFC enabled zipper pull on their Houdini One Parka, customers will instantly connect to Houdini and access curated use- and care-guides, service and support as well as opportunities to explore and co-create circular ways of life.
“Digitizing our circular ecosystem, we are replacing silos with an interconnected system and transactions with relations – dismantling two of the biggest barriers for the circular transition. Just as our responsibility as a brand doesn’t end when we sell a product, the relationship with Houdini doesn’t end there – it continues through use, care, reuse and next life. Connecting our products, we aim to deliver a richer customer experience and foster long term relationships with products, community and the planet.”
Jesper Danielsson, Houdini’s Head of Product
Houdini's initiative demonstrates the crucial role of connected products in solving fashion's biggest barriers to circular business model transformation – creating a measurable platform for increases in customer lifetime value, and in revenue generated per item through digitization. Houdini, EON, and YKK are together committing to sharing the processes and toolkit with the apparel industry, in the hopes of encouraging more brands to digitize products and create scalable systems for circular commerce.
“Continuity of commerce is the mission-critical step to maintaining customer relationships and unlocking circular fashion. Together, EON, YKK, and Houdini are doing just that: creating a whole new universe of customer engagement that can continue far beyond the initial use of a garment to unlock the full potential of each product and customer relationship. The opportunities are exponential, and we’re only just scratching the surface.”
- Natasha Franck, Founder & CEO, EON
Without a way to connect to products across their lifecycle, brands have historically lost control of their products and connectivity with their customers after initial sale. The partnership between EON and YKK solves these challenges across hardware and software: EON is the first end-to-end platform ecosystem in fashion retail, and YKK introduces one of the first commercially viable solutions for durable and washable embedded physical solutions for digital enablement of connected apparel with the TouchLink™ zipper pull.
“One of the advantages of YKK’s TouchLink™ technology is that it establishes a branded touch-point on the product, where the customer knows they can connect directly with the brand throughout the product’s entire lifecycle. The NFC chip is molded into the zipper puller which completely encases it making it highly resistant to moisture and breakage and ensuring permanence and durability crucial for guiding the garment through a growing circular ecosystem.”
- Terry Tsukumo, Vice President of YKK’s Global Marketing Group
Houdini is an odd band of friends from Sweden on a quest to reimagine the future of circular sportswear. Ever since the start in 1993 Houdini has challenged the norms of the outdoor industry, as a company led by women, as innovators of sustainable design and as pioneers of circular business models. Ultimately Houdini wants to enable and inspire people to reconnect to nature.
Discover more about Houdini: www.houdinisportswear.com
EON is the leading Product Cloud platform in fashion retail -- powering industry’s Network for Connected Products. EON digitizes physical garments to provide brands the digital backbone to connect directly to customers, power sustainability and circular business models, and access unprecedented insights and intelligence. The leading Internet of Things platform in fashion retail, EON is the first platform to connect products from new to re-new, and the only platform at the heart of fashion retail with a global Partner Network. EON pioneered industry's CircularID™ Protocol to facilitate data-exchange across the circular economy. Eon’s partners and clients include: YOOX Net-a-Porter, H&M, PVH Corp, Target, Nanushka, Gabriela Hearst, Accenture, SAP, Microsoft, Trove, GS1 and more.Discover more about EON: www.eongroup.co
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Since the company’s founding in Tokyo in 1934, YKK has continuously set industry standards for quality, service, value, and innovation in the production of zippers, plastic hardware, hook and loop fasteners, webbing tapes, and snap and buttons. With integrated production and supply systems in 72 countries and regions around the world, YKK is positioned to meet the needs of the many industries we serve as they increasingly diversify and require shorter product cycles. Guided by the CYCLE OF GOODNESS® philosophy – no one prospers without rendering benefit to others – YKK aims to contribute to a sustainable society through its products and manufacturing operations and constantly seeks new ways to serve the changing needs of its customers while at the same time investing in its employees and giving back to its communities. Discover more about YKK: https://www.ykkfastening.com/
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