Started in 2009, the project’s biggest cheerleader was Coca-Cola’s chief sustainability officer Bea Perez. With her influence, the Black Eyed Peas frontman was able to show how recycled fabrics can be softer than silk and cotton. Launched in up market department store Harrods in Knightsbridge this week, the collection, created from recycled materials that include plastic bottles and aluminium cans, is made up of womenswear, menswear, bikes and luggage. Of all the wares that were on display, the outfit that wowed the attending crowd was the striking tuxedo. Beautifully cut, it was hard to believe that it had been created using waste.
At the launch Will.i.am said, ‘I’m honoured to introduce the Ekocycle brand to the UK at Harrods and unveil a new group of “upcycled”, stylish and fun lifestyle products made partially from recycled materials. I encourage everyone to seek out items that use recycled materials like those featured in the Ekocycle products at Harrods.’
On the advantages of the technology used to create the collection, the entrepreneur, shared, “The technology allows you to take the plastic bottles and turn them into flakes, then flakes into thread, then thread into base cloth.” The collection also includes a 3D printer that produces objects using filament made from the recycled bottles. Some of the collection was developed with 3D Systems, the 3D-printing company for which Will.i.am is chief creative officer.
Will.i.am who has launched a series of design- and tech-focused projects that include his hearable tech device named Buttons and a smartwatch he called Dials. Now he is focusing on sustainability and the recovery of post-consumer plastics and aluminium. The only thing that I am not so keen on is how the majority of the products in the Ekocycle collection follow Coca-Cola’s brand colour palette of red, black, white and silver. In my opinion, this was a decision that somehow takes away some of the stylish glow from the good cause behind the collection. That being said, if you are ever in Harrods be sure to visit their concession stand.