Project Mangrove (Adidas Sustainability Concept).

Project Mangrove by Kelsey Foo

Narrated by Kelsey herself.



Adidas Sustainability Concept.

The goal of this concept project was to design a shoe focusing on sustainable materials and a reduced manufacturing process. After researching, I found that the average shoe generates 30 lbs of CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process at the factory. In 2015, Adidas manufactured nearly 301 million pairs of shoes; at 30 lbs of carbon emissions per shoe, that equates to nearly 9,030 million lbs of CO2 emissions for the year. This comes from all the energy needed to cut, injection mold, heat press and mold pieces of a shoe together.

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Adidas has made headway in tackling sustainability through their collaboration with Parley. Their mission to intercept plastics from entering oceans is the first step in protecting the environment. However, in order to further their environmental impact they need to decrease their carbon footprint. Through research I found, If we want to slow carbon emissions, one of the first places we need to look would be in the mangroves (Nature Conservancy).

Mangroves sequester 10x more carbon dioxide emissions than terrestrial forests. Unfortunately, their importance is misunderstood and 50% of the original mangrove forests have been destroyed. Without even knowing it, people have released thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.

Adidas x Parley.

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With my concept project I wanted to bring awareness to the necessary protection of mangroves and how important it is to decrease our carbon footprint as designers. By minimising the amount of parts on the shoe, it would reduce manufacturing steps and the overall impact. The single piece upper eliminates unnecessary pieces and steps during manufacturing. The upper would be made of Pinatex leather (ground up pineapple leaves created to mimic leather). The midsole would be injected with Bloom Foam (EVA foam that uses algae biomasses as a replacement for non-renewable petroleum oil).


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The minimal packaging design brings attention to mangrove protection and the added handle removes the need for an additional bag after purchase.


Development Sketches


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More from designer Kelsey Foo on her Bēhance portfolio.


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