Will.i.am launches Ekocycle products made from waste
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Will.i.am launches Ekocycle range of products made with sustainable materials

A range of lifestyle products created by music producer Will.i.am and Coca Cola using recycled plastic bottles and aluminium, has launched at a dedicated shop-in-shop at London department store Harrods (+ slideshow).

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Bicycle created with Tern

Developed with drinks company Coca-Cola, the Ekocycle collection includes garments, luggage and bikes all made using waste materials.

"The technology allows you to take the plastic bottles and turn them into flakes, then flakes into thread, then thread into base cloth," said Will.i.am during yesterday's launch event at Harrods, where an area of the store's third floor is exclusively hosting the collection.

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Bicycle created with Tern

The project began in 2009, when the Black Eyed Peas frontman met Coca-Cola's chief sustainability officer Bea Perez backstage at one of the group's concerts.

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Suitcases created with Globetrotter

"I told her I had an idea, and she made sure that I wasn't wasting her time and made me tell her what it was," said Will.i.am. "I said: 'It's about sustainability and the recovery of post-consumer plastics and aluminium, and turning it into other things'."

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Jacket created with Adidas

"I pitched this concept and it took about two years to get the deal done," he continued. "After we had the deal we had to come up with the logo – because before we make product, we had to have the symbol and the font."

The first product created with the technology was a pair of Beats headphones, followed by a pair of Levi jeans.

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Jacket created with Ecoalf

The collection has grown to include a range of garments, from tailored suits and shirts created with H Brothers to technical outerwear designed with Adidas.

"When you think about recycled fabrics, you don't think you're going to get something softer than silk and cotton," said Will.i.am.

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Shoes created with The Office of Angela Scott

A range of suitcases and a folding bike made from recycled aluminium are also available from the collection, along with a set of Oxford shoes by Californian footwear company The Office of Angela Scott. "These Angela Scott shoes are freakin' awesome!" said Will.i.am.

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Suit created with H Brothers

The collection also includes a 3D printer that produces objects using filament made from the recycled bottles, which was developed with 3D Systems – the 3D-printing company for which Will.i.am is chief creative officer.

Speaking to Dezeen at the launch event, Will.i.am said that a new code of ethics would be needed to manage the future of 3D printing technologies, which would eventually enable the reproduction of human bodies.

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Shirt created with H Brothers

The majority of the products in the Ekocycle collection follow Coca-Cola's brand colour palette of red, black, white and silver, which are also used for the design of the Harrods concession.

Will.i.am has launched a series of design- and tech-focused projects over the past 12 months, including a smartwatch designed with architect Zaha Hadid and an eyewear range created with fashion designer George Gorrow.

Ekocycle by Will.i.am and Coca Cola
Bowties and pocket squares created with H Brothers

A collaboration between the musician and designer Yuri Suzuki was also included in last year's Digital Revolution exhibition at London's Barbican Centre, where an animated version of Will.i.am's face followed each visitor around a small room.