Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
“With the Ekocycle brand, I’m on a mission to educate and inspire consumers around the globe to seek out more sustainable lifestyle choices that will ultimately play a part in the movement toward a world with zero waste,” said the global musical artist and producer will.i.am as he and the Coca-Cola Company announced they are partnering in a new branding initiative.
The aim of the Ekocycle initiative is to encourage recycling and sustainability among consumers through lifestyle products made in part from recycled material. Coca-Cola and will.i.am want to show consumers that items they consider waste today can be part of a product they can use tomorrow, a cool product to be exact, and they will collaborate with other well-known brands to make that happen.
The first product collaborators are Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and New Era caps. The Beats headphones will be on sale this fall, New Era hats will be available early in 2013, and additional collaborating brands will be announced later this year.
“The Ekocycle brand initiative is a platform that aligns with our vision of zero waste and our focus on sustainability,” said Bea Perez, Coca-Cola VP and chief sustainability officer. “Today’s generation of young consumers represents an active force and the Ekocycle brand aims to be a driver in rallying their support and efforts around a global sustainability movement.”
Coca-Cola is donating its part of Ekocycle licensing profits to support additional recycling and community improvement organizations. The company is also committing a minimum of $1 million to the program over the next five years, and that is separate from the one percent of operating profits it has committed through the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Also supporting the initiative is Earth911, which says it offers the largest recycling directory in the U.S., with over 1.5 million ways to recycle. The directory is online, interactive, and I can tell you from recent personal experience that it is a very easy way to get fast answers to recycling questions.
Best known for his musical work with the Black Eyed Peas—31 million albums and counting—will.i.am soon is involved in multiple projects. His i.am.angel foundation helps young people through education, tutoring, and activities that build STEM (science, engineering, technology, math) and financial literacy skills. “By making products that contain recycled materials more attractive to both businesses and consumers,” he said, “everyone can do their part to keep the cycle going to turn discarded waste into cool, new items. The Coca-Cola Company shares this vision and working together with local communities worldwide we will showcase the greater value of recycling, as well as selecting products that feature recycled materials.”
Ekocycle premiered its first 60-second TV commercial in the U.S. market during the London Summer Olympic Games, and a full-scale marketing, advertising, and online campaign will follow. Recycling is on its way to a cooler image, which sounds like a very good thing. So is encouraging Ekocycle, will.i.am, and Coca-Cola, which you can do here.