hoes have always been his cup of tea. Growing up, his love for footwear grew in line with his willingness to save the environment. Through Indosole, a footwear brand with soles made of used tires, he
Kyle Parsons during TEDx Ubud.
aims to decrease tire waste and help preserve the environment. Bali & Beyond (BB) was lucky enough to spend some time with Kyle Parsons (KP), the man behind this eco-conscious shoe business.
In 2004 I was walking down the street in Seminyak when the thong of my Reef sandal pulled out and I was left barefoot on the sidewalk. So began my quest
BB: Hi Kyle! Can you describe Indosole in two words?
for another pair of sandals, something unique and
KP: Innovative and resourceful.
representative of the natural, tropical feel of Bali. I envisioned a natural weave made out of grass or leaves.
BB: What was the ﬁrst thing that popped in your mind
When I found the sandals I was looking for, I turned
when deciding to create Indosole?
them over and discovered the soles were made of
KP: It was like a scene from the movie “Indiana Jones”. A
motorbike tires. I had never seen anything like it before.
vision of an action-packed Bali adventure with obstacles to
Out of the boutique window, hundreds of motorbikes
overcome, namely the biggest challenges of my life, with
whizzing by and I realized that there is a pollution
a sweet reward and sense of achievement at the end.
problem in Indonesia. If you look closely, there is actually a graceful synergy between rolling tires and walking
BB: Why did you choose footwear as your pilot project?
feet. Both are the symbols of movement, adventure
KP: In many ways, footwear chose me. Growing up
and travel seamlessly. Right then and there, I could see
I was always looking at people’s shoes and noticing
something so clearly that hadn’t been discovered yet, so I
trends. I could name what kind of shoes my classmates
had to create it.
were wearing or describe the most popular styles on the street. I began my career in the shoes industry at New
BB: What is the hardest challenge for Indosole?
Balance, where I was able
KP: Creating the awareness of a pollution problem that
to see how a successful shoe
is worldwide and growing every day. If you don’t know
company operated from the
the problem, you don’t know the part you can play in the
inside. Then life led me to
solution. Right now, Indosole is in a small but growing
learn surﬁng, where I gained
pool of conscious consumer product companies. Together
a deeper appreciation for
we are challenged to raise awareness and effectively
a good pair of ﬂip-ﬂops to
communicate these problems in a way that actually
wear from the beach to town.
motivates sustainable action and creates a positive
I then got a job in a surf shop
change. Pollution is a “we” problem, yet many people
and spent my days sizing up
aren’t concerned with the issue because it seems too far
customers’ feet and choosing
removed from their own lives or too overwhelming to
the right footwear for them.
approach. Offering a functional product that represents
BALI&BEYOND OCTOBER 2016
PHOTO COURTESY OF INDOSOLE
SOLES for Life
the consumer’s contribution in solving the problem is
BB: What’s your personal favorite Indosole product?
amazing because it humanizes the issue and serves as
KP: Our Green Grass Mat sandals are my favorite
a positive reminder of how we can affect change by
because they are the original “Indos” and feel amazing
making small shifts in our habits and behaviors.
under my feet. They are tightly woven with real grass
The evolution of Indosole has been challenging.
grown in the rice ﬁelds of Bali and with a green vegan
Pioneering a whole new category is really difﬁcult but
suede strap. The Grass Mat is the ultimate leisure sandal
insanely rewarding. It’s really important to build an
for a man’s daily adventures.
amazing team. I am so proud of our team’s hard work and dedication for the last seven years.
BB: Lastly, what’s your message for people who want to help improve the environment?
BB: Where do you see Indosole in 10 years?
KP: If you are called by a problem that desperately
KP: I see Indosole as a worldwide brand that provides
needs solving, honor that feeling and go towards the
education through products. I believe we have the
solution. Find your angle to make that difference and
opportunity to become a pillar of conscious consumerism,
don’t worry too much whether it will work out or not. If
an example of what is possible. Not by the size of the
you are completely authentic and aligned in your actions
company or monetary value but for what we stand for in
and beliefs, the universe will support you along the way.
a world that is in a process of reestablishing consumer
Help always comes from unexpected places. n
behavior. Indosole’s mission is to become the most “well-
By Suhartina Sindukusumo
rounded” company it can be and this will happen by following a code of ethics that we truly believe in.
BALI&BEYOND OCTOBER 2016