The Revolution will be Recycled

Aug 13, 2012 2:30 PM ET

By Kate Olsen

Last week on this blog, I discussed Patagonia’s lessons on corporate sustainability, including the company’s focus on reusing, recycling and repurposing its products via a call to action to customers to be a part of the ‘use less’ movement.   It appears Coca-Cola is taking a page from the Patagonia playbook.  In a bold move, Coca-Cola and musician are starting a line of high-end clothing and gear called Ekocycle.  The line will feature recycled products and appeal to Millennials and Conscious Consumers (often one and the same).

Ekocycle will partner with a variety of big-name designers (Dr. Dre/Beats) to sell items including bicycles, shoes, handbags, glasses etc…  All Ekocycle products will have labeling to inform consumers about how many recycled bottles or cans went into the product.

While Ekocycle won’t singlehandedly eliminate waste from consumer packaging (bottles and cans), it will communicate a message to younger consumers about green consumerism.  Cause Affinity Platforms like Ekocycle, Product (RED) and others do more to raise the level of consciousness about important social issues than they raise profits through sales of cause-branded products, but they are a vital component of the cause marketing continuum.

A brand launch like Ekocycle is all the more remarkable when it has a major consumer brand backing the effort.  Coca-Cola has invested much time, thought, innovation and money into its corporate responsibility strategy.  While the biggest environmental impact a corporate giant like Coca-Cola can make is in amending core business practices to green the supply chain (which Coca-Cola does), it is refreshing to see a big brand invest in niche ideas and engage consumers in a conversation about our collective impact. 

I look forward to seeing how Ekocycle leverages the star power of and the digital marketing savvy of Coca-Cola to (re)start the recycled revolution.  

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