Gucci Timepieces has announced a partnership with American musician and The Voice UK judge will.i.am and his brand i.am+, for the development of a luxury smartband. Stéphane Linder, President and CEO of Gucci Timepieces, said ‘Through this innovative collaboration with i.am+ and will.i.am, Gucci Timepieces is fully embracing the future of wearable technology that is now ahead of us’, while will.i.am commented ‘In creating a device that is both fashionable and technologically advanced, we aim to define this category. I coined the term ‘fashionology’… a merging of the worlds of fashion and technology, and that is exactly what this collaboration with Gucci represents’.
The partnership comes after the singer launched Ekocycle, a partnership with Coca-Cola. Here’s a short excerpt from an interview with will.i.am that originally ran on Coca-Cola’s blog, Journey.
What sparked your passion for recycling/recycled materials (and when)?
In 2008, after a Black Eyed Peas concert in South America, we went out to look from the stage once the crowd had left and saw piles of trash, including bottles and cans. It was a reality check to see that by gathering our fans for a concert, we were contributing to the problem. Even worse, the trash was left in seats and on the ground versus being placed in recycling bins and trash cans – an easy problem to solve. So this sparked the idea: How could I help solve this problem? How can we get people to understand and care about why it is important to recycle, and how can we turn plastic bottles into new and desirable products, versus just another bottle?
Is the movement to recycle and purchase products made from recycled materials growing?
People are definitely more aware of the need to recycle, and that there are more sustainable choices on the market when shopping for clothing, bags and accessories… so they can select items that include recycled content. By purchasing an EKOCYCLE product, people automatically join the movement and are recycling in a new and, for most, an unexpected way. We must recycle in two ways: By doing… putting empty plastic bottles in the proper recycling bins, and by creating… making more products available that contain recycled materials. So when people are shopping, they can contribute to recycling and sustainability efforts when making a purchase decision.
How do you select brand partners to bring into the EKOCYCLE family?
Deciding which brands are a strong fit to join the EKOCYCLE family is a very detailed process. First, is the brand already popular, well thought of, make quality products and have strong ties to youth culture? Second, does the company have a passion for driving change and creating a better future for the planet? Then we evaluate how they can create a special-edition version of their product that will contain 25 percent or more recycled rPET (plastic). We ask for prototype products to be sent for evaluation, we check how they source the rPET and also look at each company or brand’s greater commitment to greater work place conditions and sustainability. Then we look at the commitment each brand has to distribution, marketing and overall support for their special-edition items, as well as to support the EKOCYCLE brand guidelines. Changing manufacturing materials, processes, shopper habits and retailer practices is complex, and we appreciate the efforts and lengths each partner goes to to join the movement.