A campaign to position itself as Europe's most important supplier of zip fasteners to the fashion and sportswear trades is now under way at Italian producer Meras. In the past, most of Meras' output of 24 million units a year has been absorbed by the Italian home market, with only 30 per cent sold overseas.

Following its recent appearance at the Mod'Amont clothing components trade fair in Paris, however, Meras is looking to considerably increase its export business - especially to manufacturers in other EU nations.

A major plank of the company's sales platform will be the fact that its products already sell strongly into the couture sector. In Italy it supplies Moschino, Missoni, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace Sport, while in the USA customers include Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Nautica.

The current range includes metal zips in all sizes and a variety of finishes. "Antique gold is currently a particularly popular choice with our top of the range customers," says Meras

The company also produces polyester and injection moulded plastic zips. On the slider side, the business is already a strong exporter, with 60 per cent of its 120 million units a year going abroad.

By Sonia Roberts