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Indosole, Bali

Indosole, Bali

Indosole is a company founded by a group of surfing friends who conceived a unique and innovative way to combine style and the growing problem of disused tyres from the estimated two million motorbikes on Bali’s road. These cannot be recycled or disposed of so instead they have been reimagined as a tropical wearable collection of shoes and accessories that are sustainable and ethical.

The aim is to save a million tyres from landfills around Indonesia.

The latest Balifornia shoe and apparel line has just been launched worldwide. We Sat Down with Bali Based Founder Kai Paul to talk about Indosole.

 

indosole-01What inspired you to set up Indosole?

My business partner Kyle Parsons came to Bali on surf trips in the early 2000’s.  He was looking around for an authentic & unique souvenir to bring home and wound up with an unusual pair of locally made sandals produced from discarded motorcycle tires.

Although the quality of the sandals left a little to be desired, the concept of repurposing tires to make shoes stuck with Kyle – and he figured he could make them better. This compounded with the fact that there were motorcycles everywhere whose tires would be replaced and eventually end up in landfills, rivers and random illegal dumping sites. It was a chance to provide a solution to a problem.

 

 

 

Why use Rubber Tyres to make Shoes?indosole-02

Because we estimate that there are millions of discarded tyres in Indonesia alone, and tyres never decompose, so theoretically the first tire ever produced is still out there somewhere. Once a tyre is thrown away there is very little use for it, since the rubber is already vulcanized and cannot be recycled or broken down. The only solution is to repurpose the tyre. We have found this solution in repurposing tires by using them as soles for our footwear.

 

Tell Us about the process that goes into making your designs.

First step is inspiration, what inspires us, what do we like, how do we want to evolve. Second step is looking at the market, looking at our current range, and hearing suggestions and taking in the feedback we receive from our customers. Thirdly, we look at what materials and processes that are available so we can utilize a minimum impact model (we use all organic cotton for our apparel and all organic canvas for our shoes, we have also found a new way to utilize repurposed tire inner tubes for both sandals and shoes).

Once these three items are discussed and agreed upon the design process starts by conceptualizing new designs both on shoe lasts and with programs such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. From here we get final concepts to go into the sampling phase. Once we start sampling we start to fine tune and wear test until we get a final product that we are happy with and feel we can bring to the market.

indosole-03

indosole-04How important do you think upcycling is in fashion?

I feel it is essential. Fashion is not a world saving industry and currently does more harm than good. Fashion is an industry of desire not need and is not a necessary industry for the survival of humankind; people can wear clothes that don’t have to be fashionable in order to survive.

What fashion is to me is a tool for inspiration. People get inspired by the look and function of clothes, footwear, and accessories. We feel we are making products that provide solutions to problems and products that are meant to inspire change for the better by being more resourceful in all walks of life.

We feel that if we lead the way, people will feel inspired to make changes in other walks of life such as using less plastic, by using reusable water bottles and reusable shopping bags, looking into solar and wind energy, eating organic, targeting waste management issues in the community, global warming and other issues that face us today.

 

What projects and people do you sponsor/support here in Bali and globally?

We support Project Clean Uluwatu. Their mission is to provide the proper waste management system to keep Uluwatu a beautiful place

We support Bye Bye Plastic Bags who is a group of children here in Bali who have taken the initiative to attempt to ban plastic bags in Bali by 2015. They first gained recognition when their petition on avaaz.org asking for 1 million signatures to send to the governor of Bali went viral. We are assisting them in the first pilot village in Bali, the village of Pererenan.

We support R.O.L.E. Foundation who are involved in many aspects of empowerment here in Bali. Their W.I.S.E. program women skills needed to get jobs. Also, their Environmental Ambassador program teaches local Balinese how to protect and sustain the environment here in Bali and to create leaders to sustain progress and protection on the environmental side. Eventually having the environmental ambassadors be a part of the decision making process in the government is the goal

We also have our own program where we pay for the University tuition of local Indonesian kids that want to make a difference. We have started this program with a young man named Made Mariasa Karbit, who is currently attending university in Denpasar. We feel strongly that education is a key to a better future here in Bali, Indonesia, and the world. We look to expand this program as we grow.

We are also in discussions currently on some long-term issues and goals for waste management here in Bali that can be incorporated island wide and used as a model for other developing paradise islands. If you want to help send us an email at indo@indosole.com

Follow and Shop at www.indosole.com

Facebook – www.Facebook.com/indosole

Instagram: @indosole   // www.instagram.com/indosole

Local retailers in Bali include: Drifter, Single Fin, Deus, O’Neil, Nusa Surf, Green School

 
 
© 2014 The Eco Gypsy - Ethical Exploration.
   


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