words Sam Hecht and Kim Colin
We asked designers Sam Hecht and Kim Colin – Industrial Facility – to delve into their collection of cheap things. In the latest in the series, they get to grips with a zipper that they discovered in the USA.
The Freed’m zipper is something we picked up recently on a trip to the United States. It happened out of necessity more than curiosity, but turned out to be something worthy of joining the Under-a-fiver collection.
We’ve all been there: a jacket or coat that you use on a daily basis starts to show its age when the zipper catches, jams, slips, or breaks apart. Zip failures can practically always be traced to faulty zipper sliders. There’s very little that you can do to fix them, and in this “throw-away” age, it usually costs more to get a slider replaced with a new zip than it does to buy a new one. There’s clearly a whole area of neglected design that is concerned with repair, maintenance and longevity, because the current production condition still leapfrogs durability in favour of temporal fads and disposable goods. So when we found this replacement zipper, it gave us hope that there can be a better world.
The zipper is ingenious. Some may say it is an invention rather than a design, but it’s for how it functions that it should be commended. You simply loosen the small screw that holds the two parts of the zipper slide together, until it slides on to the track on both sides. You then tighten the screw until it locks onto the teeth of the zip chain. Because of this adjustable tension, it can deal with a variety of differently sized zips. Then you fold down the head of the screw, which locks into place.
Provided your zip chain is still intact with no teeth missing, this little thing can save your jacket, and in a very pleasant way. Someone is thinking.