Gallery: INTERVIEW: We Talk Repurposed Tire Rubber Sandals With Kyle Pa...

If you've ever been to Bali, then you know that the most popular form of transportation on the island is the motorbike. They are everywhere, and a bit nerve-wracking to drive in the traffic-clogged streets. Kyle Parsons of IndoSole has creatively figured out how to repurpose one of the major byproducts of al those Balinese motorbikes - the tires. His solution? Use the discarded rubber to create stylish, eco-friendly, and locally crafted sandals. We got the chance to chat with Kyle about the history of IndoSole, the island of Bali, and some of the design challenges of working with motorbike tires - read on for our interview!

Inhabitat: Can you describe IndoSole?

Kyle: IndoSole is a lifestyle brand based around resourceful thinking. We do that through footwear that we call “Indos,” which feature a repurposed motorbike sole, and natural and organic uppers. We primarily make sandals, but will be launching a shoe program in the coming months. We also make t-shirts and bags, but are primarily based around footwear.

Inhabitat: How did you come up with the idea to repurpose motorbike tires to make sandals?

Kyle: When I was in Bali in 2004 on a surf trip, I was looking to buy a unique pair of sandals. I wanted something cool and organic looking, and I found a pair in a hole-in-the-wall type shop. They had motorbike tire tread soles and a natural grass weave on top. They were cool sandals, but really clunky and uncomfortable. I was standing in the shop, holding onto these cool-looking but impractical sandals, and looked out the window and saw all the motorbikes buzzing by. All these bikes, all these tires, and here I was with a pair of sandals in my hands. The idea was born right there: make a sandal inspired by what the Balinese were already doing, but make it more comfortable and stylish, and I’ve been working since then to do just that.

Inhabitat: Were you trained as a designer?

Kyle: (laughs) No, not at all. We pretty much have been faking it till we make it. I was a sales rep in the action sports industry for a while before this. Since 2006, I’ve done a lot of back-and-forth trips from California to Bali with my business partner Faye Middleton, who has actually been responsible for much of the design of our sandals. She runs our production operations in Bali, and I’m based in San Francisco, taking care of sales and distribution But no, we’re not designers by training, but we’ve learned a ton along the way.


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1 Comment

  1. quinny September 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

    When I was volunteering at different schools in Kenya in 2005, I asked someone what these black sandals were that many people were wearing.

    Turned out they were made from old car tires.

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