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Taco Bell's New Meatless Options, Plus More Brands Making Eco Moves

From Taco Bell's new meatless options (hello, Cravetarian Taco!) to Adidas' mushroom leather sneakers, here are 8 brands making eco moves.

Written by
Giulia Lallas

It's no surprise that a number of big companies made sustainable moves during Earth Month. From Taco Bell's new meatless options (including the Cravetarian Taco!) to Lululemon’s eco-friendly trade-in program, there are almost too many green initiatives to count.

Many of these companies have plans to launch the initiatives later this year, but some are already underway. Here are the most newsworthy changes brands are making to better the planet.

8 Companies That Made Sustainable Moves This Month

1. Taco Bell 

Taco Bell's first meatless protein (aside from beans, of course!) has finally hit menus. Well, one menu. The fast food chain is currently piloting its "Cravetarian Taco," which features a plant-based "meat" made from chickpeas and peas. Right now, it's only available at a single location in Tustin, California, and the test period ends today.

This comes after the announcement of a partnership with Beyond Meat earlier this year, so it's safe to say more meatless options are on the way. "By testing and offering a wide breadth of meatless options, Taco Bell doubles down on its pledge to bring more innovation to the vegetarian space," a spokesperson told Business Insider.

Taco Bell also announced it's partnering with TerraCycle, a fan favorite here at Brightly, in order to recycle and reuse its sauce packets. The sauce packets are made of plastic, and the company says eight billion are used every year in the United States. Many of those head to the landfill, and Taco Bell wants to change that.

Right now, the program is set to launch later this year, so there will be more details to come. As for what those old sauce packets will become? Taco Bell has only revealed they'll have an "exciting future as something totally new." Yep, they're keeping us guessing.

2. Lululemon

Lululemon has partnered with Trove to launch a trade-in program called Like New. The program, which launches in California and Texas in May, will allow customers to return gently-used apparel for store credit. Then, in June, those items will be sold online, allowing people to easily shop Lululemon items secondhand.

In addition, the brand is launching a limited edition "Earth Dye" collection on May 11 that's made with earth-friendly dyes. It's set to be sold online and in select stores. Lululemon has also pledged to use 100 percent sustainable materials in its products by 2030.

3. Adidas

Adidas launched its sustainable collection, Primegreen, earlier this year, but that's only the beginning. The brand's latest sustainable move is introducing its new Stan Smith Mylo sneakers. The shoes feature mushroom leather, or mycelium—the underground roots of mushrooms.

"The introduction of Mylo as a new material is a major step forward in our bold ambition to help end plastic waste," said Amy Jones Vaterlaus, Adidas’ global head of Future, in a press release. "As a planet, we must learn to work with nature rather than against it and put all our efforts into finding innovative solutions that are created responsibly with resources that renew at a sustainable pace."

4. Old Navy

Old Navy launched an initiative on Earth Day with Ryan Hickman, an 11-year-old environmental activist. In order to help Hickman and other young environmental advocates better the planet, the company is allocating funds to 51 different GoFundMe projects. Hickman, who was named "head of funcycling," will be helping Old Navy decide which ones.

Also exciting: Gap, Old Navy’s parent company, has laid out plans to phase out single-use plastics across its brands by 2030. Old Navy itself has pledged to phase out single-use plastic bags by 2023.

5. Canada Goose

"Canada Goose" and "sustainability" aren't typically seen in the same sentence, but the brand has recently launched a new partnership with someone that caught many by surprise: Bill Nye. (Yep, Bill Nye The Science Guy.) Nye just became the brand’s new sustainability advisor and will be helping the company with its environmental goals, like reaching net-zero emissions by 2025.

6. Fossil

Adidas isn't the only big company experimenting with plant-based leather. Fossil created a new tote bag, called the Kier Cactus Leather Tote ($298), that's made from cactus leather and a recycled interior. Desserto, the supplier of the cactus leather, uses a technique that keeps each cactus trunk in tact. By doing so, the leaves are able to regenerate, allowing them to harvest every 6 to 8 months. Karl Lagerfeld also launched cactus leather wallets and bags, ranging from $80 to $465.

7. Nike

This month, Nike launched a program similar to that of Lululemon called Nike Refurbished. The program aims to collect customers’ used sneakers, tidy them up, then resell them for less. Right now, the program is set to launch in up to 15 U.S. stores (check out the list here!), then expand into more stores throughout the year.

"Nike Refurbished extends the lifespan for three types of footwear," reads the press release. "Like new (maybe worn for a day or two before being returned), gently worn (a little longer), and cosmetically flawed (think: something like a small snag that happened in manufacturing)."

8. Volvo

Volvo’s new ad sparked a lot of interest due to its unexpected twist at the end. The ad, which has accumulated millions of views, highlights climate change as the biggest threat facing our society. In the spot, the car manufacturer announced it will be making the switch to all-electric cars... immediately.