After an eye-opening trip to Bali, Indosole founder Kyle Parsons decided to work on the global issue of tire waste while simultaneously developing some of the most comfortable and sustainable footwear on the market. Host Amy Koonin Taylor is joined by Parsons to talk about the brand’s journey, conscious consumerism, and how big ideas can bring about big changes.
On the inspiration behind the Indosole sandal:
KYLE PARSONS: “I needed a new pair of sandals in Bali. I went and ducked into a few boutiques looking for a unique pair of sandals, maybe something with a natural weave on it or something that just really represented Bali. When I found them, they had that natural weave on top, but on the sole there was a tire. It was a thick tire that came from a motorbike, and I had never seen that before. There was a vision surrounded by that, and also after doing some research I found that tire pollution was one of the biggest problems that no one realized was a problem. There wasn’t a lot of education on tire pollution. So the timing seemed right [and] there was a need to give more awareness to waste tires and what they do to the environment.”
On the challenges of working with an overseas team during the COVID-19 pandemic:
KYLE PARSONS: “Our core team still lives in Bali, and we have a flagship store there, and we have an office, and I have a great team that helps manage the business. The challenges, once COVID hit, were numerous. So to get started, first and foremost with our distribution channels where we saw our wholesale business and our retailers kind of shut us down almost overnight. That was tough. So we felt a bit stuck there. Of course as everyone did, we started to lick our wounds and reevaluate what we were going to do and direct it as much as we could online through our website. We got through 2020, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We have a fresh, new outlook here in 2021.”
On where he sees Indosole in five years:
KYLE PARSONS: “Well, things are moving quickly as far as eco fashion is concerned, and we’re really happy to see a lot of other brands getting on board. We like to think that we were in the game quite early and are doing our best to keep on evolving. With a niche of taking one person’s trash and making it into someone else’s treasure, we’re just diving deeper into the landfill and trying to find more cool materials to make more things. That’s really the next step, to take Indosole beyond the use of what it has been in tires and implementing other materials as well, which will be really fun.”
On his morning routine:
KYLE PARSONS: “Coffee, and if there are waves, I’m surfing!”
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Amy Koonin Taylor is Marketing Content and Media Manager at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.