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Coke, will.i.am Launch Lifestyle Brand With Recycling Focus

The Coca-Cola Company has teamed up with musician and producer will.i.am to launch a new standalone lifestyle brand called Ekocycle, which they say will encourage recycling behavior and sustainability among consumers through products made in part from recycled material.

The brand will focus on educating consumers about everyday recycling choices and the power of purchasing decisions to create a social change movement, Coke said in a statement.

The first Ekocycle product will be a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones available this fall, followed by New Era hats in early 2013. Coke said additional Ekocycle brand collaborations 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, vice president and chief sustainability officer for The Coca-Cola Company. "Together with will.i.am, we will promote recycling in a unique way with other well-known brands to create lifestyle products that consumers worldwide desire. 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."

Coke will donate its portion of licensing profits from the Ekocycle brand initiative to support additional recycling and community improvement organizations. The company also will make a minimum $1 million financial commitment to the brand over the next five years.

Earth911, host of the largest recycling directory in the U.S. with more than 1.5 million ways to recycle, will provide an interactive and searchable recycling directory for consumers accessible at Ekocycle.com.

On August 1, the Ekocycle brand premiered its first television commercial in the U.S. during the telecast of the Summer Olympic Games. A full-scale marketing, advertising and online campaign also begins this month.

"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," will.i.am said in a release. "By making products that contain recycled materials more attractive to both businesses and consumers, 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 together working with local communities worldwide we will showcase the greater value of recycling, as well as selecting products that feature recycled materials."

Coke is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which last month unveiled the Higg Index as a tool for measuring sustainability across the entire apparel industry.

Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.


Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also an associate editor for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_kingGoogle+

[Read more about Bart King]


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