Nature is many things - it is breathtakingly beautiful, it is nurturing, it is continuously evolving. However, one characteristic of nature people often downplay is its intelligence.
Plants grow from the ground, providing shade and food to wildlife. Smaller animals are eaten by bigger animals. When the time comes, even the sturdiest of trees and the fiercest of the animal kingdom pass on. They eventually become nature’s gold - rich, fertile soil. The cycle starts all over again.
There are no loose strings; everything is in a closed loop. There is no grave, so to speak - everything goes from cradle to cradle. Not only is the system non-polluting, it also ensures that one stage of the cycle nourishes the next. Well, isn’t that clever!
Unfortunately, our economy severely lacks nature’s ingenious ways. Following a linear mechanism, we extract resources, manufacture products with a lifespan, and generate waste at an accelerating rate. Being extremely pollutive, however, is the least of its evils. The Linear economy disregards planetary limits, making the system incredibly unsustainable. It simply won’t last us.
However, there is still hope. We can transform our economy by adopting nature’s cyclical mannerisms, creating an economic framework that is restorative and regenerative by design.
In other words, working towards a circular economy.
Lucky for us, it is already happening. Many companies have begun reimagining their production processes and have started transitioning into a circular design. Adidas have started manufacturing shoes sourcing plastic waste in the ocean, while H&M have started up-cycling used clothing for a fashion line.
Indosole, since its inception, has embraced the circular economy framework as well.
For us at Indosole, the idea of turning end-of-life tires into the soles of flip flops came from the Indonesian people. Their ingenuity turned trash into something new and functional. Not only did we pay tribute to them in our name, but we also made their strengths of providing solutions and displaying creativity our core values.
We carefully crafted our footwear using artisanal techniques and handmade machinery, which would allow us to have no carbon footprint throughout production.
We recognised that our original process of cutting soles from tires still had some faults. We wanted to remove our generation of waste in the form of scraps. In addition, witnessing the exponential rate of industrial world waste, we knew that we would need some breakthrough technology to match it in order to make a significant dent.
After years of deep research and development, our lab researchers discovered our own Sole Engineered Tire Technology (SETT).
In the new and improved method, our waste tires are pulverised into fine powder. This powder is reset with natural and recycled rubber, turning it into a malleable tire gel. From this we can mould it into soles and revolutionise the footwear industry, one flip flop at a time.
In this way, we are in a constant evolution of developing, working towards the 3 essential aspects to a circular economy, according to the Ellen Macarthur foundation:
- Keep products and materials in use
- Regenerate natural systems
- Design out waste and pollution
Despite having come as far as we have come, this is only the beginning for Indosole. We will continuously challenge the boundaries and strive for innovative ways to better protect the nature we so dearly love while producing stylish, quality slippers.