YOKU – Interchangeable Belt with No Moving Parts

  • 2023

  • Fashion

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Vincent Turner / YOKU

Designed In:


YOKU is a men’s belt. We exist to reduce the 400 million belts sold annually. A YOKU belt is fully interchangeable with zero moving parts (patent pending), zero branding and made from highly durable materials at a price point that ultimately means anyone can own one.

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Image: Joel Pratley
Image: Joel Pratley
Image: Joel Pratley
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  • I wanted a belt that looked good, could go with anything and would outlast me. For a belt to go with anything it basically needs to be interchangeable so you can pair the colour of the belt with the outfit but interchangeable belts have traditionally resorted to design and manufacturing approaches that mean they barely last 2 years with daily use. Our challenge was how to make an interchangeable belt + buckle with zero moving parts that could last decades with daily use and how to create emotional durability as well.

  • To solve the core interchangeable mechanism challenge we created an entirely new approach to buckles that is now patent pending in 4 countries including Australia. This solution relies on the shape of two components, the directionality of forces acting on the belt and buckle when on, the thickness of the strap itself and is aided/guided by magnets built into each component. It took dozens of prototypes in plastics and metals undertaken over 3 years to create a reliable, durable and magical solution. The advent of high quality 3D printed metal has enabled us to go to market this year

  • There is over 400 million belt sold annually, most people get around 2-3 years out of a belt. The majority of belts made are made from materials such as zinc alloy or composite or bonded leather and using a 'frame buckle'. A frame buckle actively destroys the belt as its taken on/off each day. Over a 20 year period we estimate our innovation could reduce the number of belts made/purchased by over 80%. Our 'no moving parts' allows us to use cheaper materials over time (eg recycled plastics) without impacting durability so anyone could afford one

  • No visible branding, this sounds small but it's key for creating emotional durability (the desire for the product over a long time) and our research indicates that over 80% of men don't want to wear a small billboard around the waist. Zero impact packaging. We send it in a compostable mailer with a compostable box container inside. That's it. 10 year warranty. Return it and we'll repair it or replace it Trade it in. If you ever want to get a new colour or perhaps you ate all the pies for a few years you can return a YOKU strap and get credit towards another belt that fits or suits you better. We'll either on-sell it as a pre-loved option or properly recycle it depending on condition. Initial versions are Stainless Steel or Titanium. No coating, nothing to degrade, just the metal brushed or polished. Material is full grain vegetable tanned leather, the most durable leather option. No bonding, no stitching. Just edged, bevelled and burnished. It will develop a patina over time