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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

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BALI&BEYOND OCTOBER 2016

PHOTO COURTESY OF INDOSOLE

PROFILE&PORTRAIT

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.

www.indosole.com

BALI&BEYOND OCTOBER 2016

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Bali & Beyond: Soles For Life