Will.I.Am Partners With Coca Cola on Eco-Friendly Initiative Ekocycle

1:59 PM PST 07/31/2012 by Arati Patel

The program, set to debut its first commercial during Wednesday's Olympics coverage, will launch a line of sustainable, high-end products and promote awareness of recycling.

Will.i.am will debut his collaboration with The Coca-Cola Company for a global sustainability project, Ekocycle, this Wednesday during the Olympics. The movement was initiated in the hopes of making some of today's most popular products more sustainable.

The idea was developed in 2009 by the music multihyphenate, who claims he was inspired by traveling around the globe and learning what the world will look like in 2020.

"People can recycle, take action, inspire others, and then go to Ekocycle.com to look at the products and even suggest products that they might like to see," will said during a news conference on Tuesday morning. The first product to be marketed and released by the initiative will be a pair of EkoCycle Beats by Dre headphones, which will be made of recycled goods and retail at about $350.

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The Facebook page for Ekocycle is adorned with the banner "Coca-Cola + will.i.am+ you," something that will.i.am suggests is the biggest importance to the EkoCycle movement.

"We need the whole entire village to inspire the rest of the world to recycle," he said.

Chief Sustainability Officer at The Coca-Cola Company Bea Perez noted that this collaboration is something that the company feels very strongly about, and that they have been working with will.i.am for over two years developing Ekocycle. Perez explained why awareness is so important during a recent interview with Billboard.

"We know approximately 30 percent of people recycle in the U.S., and that's not a big number," she said. "And there's two things in the way of that -- a lack of education or the fact that it's inconvenient."

There has also been a 60 second TV spot created for Ekocycle, which will air on Wednesday during NBC's Olympics coverage. "The TV spot articulates exactly what Ekocycle is about. The concept of what a bottle can turn into. You gotta see this commercial, I'm so proud of it." said The Black Eyed Peas frontman.

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There are a number of other brands that are going to help in the sustainability effort of Ekocycle, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

"I want to see high end glasses, high end shoes, high end bags," will admitted.

The rapper and producer is noted for his artistic style in both music and fashion, and he hopes to impliment that sensibility into Ekocycle products, as well. “If you think about [recycled] products now, none of them are cool,” he told The AP. “You have to bring some art and fashion sensibility into this technology that turns a bottle into something cool.”

These products will undoubtedly cost more than their current non-sustainable counterpart, but that's something both partners are not concerned with at the moment.  The goal for will.i.am and Coca Cola is get consumers to see that their favorite high-end products are now also able to help the planet. Ekocycle is an experiment of awareness, more than anything else.

"People will be able to wear their consciousness," proclaimed Will.

Ekocycle's official website will launch Wednesday, Aug. 1.

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