the project:


In partnership with Adidas AG, the Future Footwear team is seeking to understand the microplastic problem that is generated from the footwear industry within the United States. Below are the objectives for this year-long research project:​

This is being quantified through data obtained from our wear test and the development of our calculation model.

Quantify the current magnitude of microplastic pollution generated by outsole materials in footwear through wear loss.​


Identify the factors with the greatest impact on outsole material loss in footwear. 

We have chosen to focus on the shoes:

hardness, geometry, & material (synthetic vs. natural rubber)


our approach



Pre-assessment of 60 shoe pairs

5-month wear test


& analysis

Adidas AG is a multinational sportswear corporation that designs and manufactures apparel, footwear, and sports accessories. As the second largest footwear producer in the world, Adidas produces approximately 400 million pairs of shoes annually and is the industry leader for textiles and apparel sustainability.

Adidas is striving to improve its supply chain and reduce impacts on the environment. The company has incorporated sustainability at the product level and successfully partnered with Parley for the Oceans, creating shoes made from ocean plastic.


Adidas has ambitious 2020 Sustainability Targets and is partnering with the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and FutureFootwear to understand the footwear industry’s contribution to microplastic generation.  


We see it as an obligation for us as a global company to do business in a responsible and sustainable way.

- Kasper Rorsted, Adidas CEO

our client: