Backbeat: will.i.am, Coca-Cola Announce New Partners at 'EKOCYCLE' Launch Event
Backbeat: will.i.am, Coca-Cola Announce New Partners at 'EKOCYCLE' Launch Event

Coca-Cola VP and chief sustainability officer Bea Perez with will.i.am at a launch event for "EKOCYCLE," an initiative that aims to reduce waste worldwide with visible lifestyle brands. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty)


will.i.am and the Coca-Cola Company
unveiled the details and new partners of their "EKOCYCLE" initiative at a launch event at New York's SIR Stage37 last Wednesday night (Oct. 24). The "EKOCYCLE" campaign aims to reduce waste worldwide by linking with visible lifestyle brands -- which now includes New Era, Levi's Beats By Dr. Dre and Case-Mate -- and creating new products made partially from recycled material, including plastic beverage bottles.

"I thought about how I could be creative, and bring something to society that was sustainable."
will.i.am

In a speech to the crowd, will.i.am discussed how he and Coca-Cola have been working on the eco-friendly project "nonstop since 2009," after he witnessed how much trash was left behind after a Black Eyed Peas concert. "I thought about how I could be creative, and bring something to society that was sustainable," said the rapper.

Will.i.am, Coca-Cola To Debut 'Ekocycle' During Olympics

Along with notable attendees such as Bea Perez, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of the Coca-Cola Company; Judith Snyder, Group Director of Global Brand PR for the Coca-Cola Company; actress Krysten Ritter; actor Nico Tortorella; TV personality Carrie Keagan; and HGTV host Genevieve Gorder, SIR Stage37 was checkered with encased products made with sustainable material. These included limited-edition Levi's "wasteless" jeans, which include 29 percent recycled content, and Beats "EKOCYCLE" headphones, which contain 31 percent reused material.

Bethenny Myers and actor Nico Tortorella (Bryan Beeder/Getty)

After announcing the "EKOCYCLE" brand in July, with Beats by Dr. Dre and New Era as the first key partners, Will.i.am and Coca-Cola confirmed that Levi's, Case-Mate, MCM and RVCA have also signed on to the project. The Black Eyed Peas frontman and Perez wore the Levi's "wasteless" jeans to the event, while Perez pointed out that Case-Mate iPhone cases made partially from sustainable material are already on sale at Best Buy.

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Perez said that the "EKOCYCLE" initiative was designed to "bring business together with pop culture… to help save the world." Along with the environment-conscious products on display, Wednesday's launch event was eco-friendly itself, with a "green carpet" composed of recyclable sod, hors d'oeuvres made from local ingredients and a CarbonNeutral certification declaring that the showcase emitted zero net greenhouse gas emissions.

"EKOCYCLE" officially launched in early August with the debut of 60-second commercial featuring Will.i.am's single "This Is Love," after the music star approached Coca-Cola with the eco-friendly business idea. Will.i.am also hopes to incorporate his clothing line, I.am clothing, into the Ekocycle program.


Breaking Good: Actress Krysten Ritter, who plays Jane Margolis on
AMC's "Breaking Bad."
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty)

"I saw EKOCYCLE as being a basecloth, where you would take the technology that makes plastic and make a thread out of it to make jackets and shoes and glasses and watches," Will.i.am said during an interview in July. "And then you'd have that brand of sustainability partner up with other brands to create a demand where the people are demanding the product they love to be made out of sustainable materials."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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