Ecoist and Mars Retail Group Partner to Launch a Line of Handbags Made from Recycled Candy Wrappers and Food Packaging


MIAMI (September 12, 2009) – Ecoist (www.ecoist.com), the eco-fashion accessories company, has signed a licensing agreement with Mars Retail Group, a division of Mars, Incorporated that manages licensing opportunities for the company’s iconic brands. Ecoist will manufacture and market a line of handbags made from obsolete candy wrappers and other packaging misprints from Mars-owned brands, including M&M’S®, SKITTLES®, TWIX®, SNICKERS® and STARBURST®.

The partnership will prevent more than five million candy wrappers from going to landfills during the first year. Ecoist uses intricate pattern-making and weaving techniques to “upcycle” waste into durable, functional and limited collection handbags. The limited collections will range from $22 to $158 and will be sold through the Ecoist distribution network of over 2,000 middle to high-end department stores, gift stores, lifestyle stores and boutiques. Products also will be available on Ecoist.com.

The designs of the Mars collection will feature iconic symbols of the popular brands while others will feature more abstract patterns. “While certain customers will be fascinated with the bags that clearly show iconic brands like M&M’S® brand, our fashion-sensitive consumers will be happy to show off the colors and symbols of the brand displayed in a more sophisticated, subtle manner,” says Ecoist co-founder Jonathan Marcoschamer.

Ecoist aims to reduce waste, give customers stylish, eco-friendly handbags and provide Mars, Incorporated with a unique vehicle to promote its environmental and sustainability initiatives. Mars, Incorporated has committed to reducing its waste by 3 percent a year. Reducing waste is one of four areas Mars focuses on in its sustainability initiatives, along with reducing its use of energy and water and ensuring the sustainability of raw materials used in its products, such as cocoa. Mars’s overall sustainability goal is to minimize its footprint on the planet to help restore the planet for the next generation.

Ecoist produces its products with fair trade manufacturers in Mexico and Peru and employs skillful artisans who earn fair wages for their craft. As part of Ecoist’s commitment to environmental preservation, Ecoist and Mars will plant a tree for every product sold.

About Mars Retail Group: Mars Retail Group is a division of Mars, Incorporated. A private, family-owned company, Mars, Incorporated was founded in 1911 and employs 70,000 associates at 250 sites, including 151 factories, in 67 countries worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, U.S.A., Mars, Incorporated is one of the world’s largest food companies, generating global revenues of more than $30 billion annually and operating in six business segments: Chocolate, Petcare, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience. These segments produce some of the world’s leading brands: Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare – PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR®, and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley – ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks – KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – WISDOM PANELTM MX, SERAMIS®, and COCOAPROTM.

About Ecoist: Founded in 2004, Ecoist is a Miami-based eco-design company that “upcycles” waste to make high quality, fashionable handbags and other accessories. The company’s objective is to merge design with social and environmental consciousness to provide stylish, functional and durable products. Ecoist is known for its line of handbags made from recycled candy wrappers, food packages and soda labels and its growing list of partners such as Coca-Cola, Mars, Frito Lay, Disney, AVEDA and Luna Bar, among others.

For additional information, please contact:

Ecoist - Jonathan Marcoschamer (305) 674-0433 x 4547 jonathan@ecoist.com

Mars Retail Group - Lanita Isler (702) 433-2594 lanita.isler@effem.com