Kyle Parsons Founder of Indosole Shoes

How did Indosole begin?

During a surfing trip to Bali in 2004, Kyle Parsons purchased a pair of sandals with soles made from motorbike tires.

The unique sandals prompted Kyle to learn more about the worldwide tire problem, and he found that over one billion waste tires end up in landfills every year. It was also during this trip that Kyle became profoundly aware of the destruction of natural habitats through waste being created and discarded at alarming rates. The rubbish he witnessed just while surfing in the ocean was just the beginning of a huge problem Bali and the world were beginning to wake up to.

1.5 Billion Tires Used Every Year Globally

It was this startling statistic, and what should be done to alleviate this problem that was the impetus to launch the Indosole brand in 2009.

Fact: Did you know that the average tire has about 4 litres of oil in it? This is why they are burned for fuel in many countries. At Indosole, we have to pay for the tires so they do not get burned so keeping up with this competition drives us to make more shoes and grow our global footprint for this solution to an environmental and human health issue. 

Production: How Indosole Flip Flops and Slides help to save our planet

The development of a unique product like Indosole has taken some time - we had to create a process to work with raw tires and turn them into shoe soles without compromising the integrity of the product, all while keeping the entire process organic.

Turning tires into soles of shoes

We dedicated the last 10 years to be the environmental keepers of the future. We merged artisan skill with corrective impact, developing a laborious shoemaking process that transforms tires to soles by hand.

Through this analog technology and circular thinking we were able to save over 80K+ tires from landfills but looking at the exponential rate of industrial world waste, we realized we had to up our game.

Then, we decided that instead of leaving behind scraps, we could use 100 percent of the tire if we found a way to grind down the rubber into a fine powder and melt it into soles. 

Nature is a zero-waste, non-polluting system and Inodsole benchmarked the same. Mimicking nature, our lab scientists experimented with destroying the existing tire to rebuild the rubber from scratch.

We set aside a whole year for deep R&D, investigating how to best advance the circular economy through footwear. 

The Indosole Production of Turning Tires into Soles

Mimicking nature’s own zero-waste, non-polluting system, we developed our own Sole Engineered Tire Technology (SETT®) which pulverizes the tire into a fine powder and resets it with natural and recycled rubber. This malleable tire gel is set to revolutionize the footwear industry.

And it's not just being used for Flip Flops, Slides and Sandals - Indosole has begun the process of using this technology for other products too.  One recent use is to create Menu boards for 'ijen' - Indonesia's first zero-waste restaurant at the Potato Head Beach restaurant in Bali. Their menus are printed on sustainably harvested paper bound to boards made from recycled truck tires provided by Indosole.

Here at Indosole, we are proud to say that our technology and its impacts on the global shoe industry shows that ideas and perseverance can result in positive action. There has been an evolution in the industry all the way to the top and largest footwear brands. We hope to continue to push and develop the industry forward and be at the forefront of that evolution. 

ESSNTLS Flip Flops & Slides made with SETT®

This is the ESSNTLS Range of Flip Flops & Slides represents the second stage of Indosole’s mission to become the most responsible footwear company in the world.

Indosole Flip Flops Made Using Recycled Tire and Recycled Rubber

  • Soles are 100 percent recycled tire mixed with 40 percent recycled EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer) and calcium deposits.
  • Uppers are natural rubber mixed with EVA.
  • Straps are a material called enviro fiber, which is made without water and is used by only four other footwear brands in the world.

In addition to the tires it uses, Indosole turns to the Earth itself, using natural rubber, all natural dyes and as little water as possible. 

You won’t find any animal materials in Indosole products; they’re a “vegan” company, one that operates without fuel-powered machinery or smokestacks.

As landfill guardians we track each step of our production process to be the greenest and the cleanest.

To this day, recycling tires is still the foundation on which Indosole is built. Repurposing rubber tires, which are consciously sourced from landfills, mechanic garages, and gutters from all around Bali and other islands of Indonesia.

We have built continuous relationships based on respect and trust with the original suppliers and artisans employed since the brand's humble beginnings.

Indosole Values: Reducing Waste, Fair Employment & 100% Indonesian Production

Indosole wants to reduce the worldwide waste tire problem by upcycling and recycling tires into footwear and soles. We are on a mission to save 1 million tires from landfill in Indonesia.

The company also provides fair employment to the Indonesian artisans and is a certified B Corporation, which means using business as a force for good. Indosole is headquartered in San Francisco and Bali.

Indosole manufacture in Java and Bali, Indonesia. Waste tires are available everywhere, but for now, as we grow, we prefer to stick with the people and the culture that created Indosole and have been with us since its inception.

The Universal Flip Flop - Our Impact & Goals

Environmentalism isn’t for the elite. We’ve taken the universal appeal of the flip flop and made it easy on the environment, without the usual cost prohibitions. We want to:

  1. Make as much impact environmentally and provide as many new jobs as possible.
  2. Save one million tires from overflowing Indonesian landfills: Make strategic partnerships with tire companies. The company invests a lot of money and time in research and development and has come with new technology. Now we have a zero-waste system and can save more tires.
  3. Be the global brand and leader in responsible fashion production.
  4. Help people make the seamless shift towards conscious consumption, whilst at the same time, shape the shopping patterns of future generations. 
  5. Be community-oriented brand - we want to enact a change in our customers but also in the communities in which we live.

Source / Links:

The Indosole Story

Interview with Kyle Parsons, Founder of Indosole

Recycled Tire Menu Boards at Potato Head Bali