In Episode 146 of the Disruptors for Good podcast I speak with Kyle Parsons, the Founder and CEO of Indosole, a leader in social impact and on a quest to become the most sustainable footwear company in the world.
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Indosole is a social enterprise that produces sustainable footwear made from recycled tires.
The company was founded in 2007 with the mission of reducing waste in the environment and providing employment opportunities for marginalized communities.
Indosole’s shoes are made from upcycled tires that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The company works with local artisans in Bali, Indonesia to handcraft each pair of shoes. This not only provides employment opportunities for skilled workers, but also helps to preserve traditional craftsmanship techniques.
Indosole is a certified B Corporation, which means they meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
The company is also a member of 1% for the Planet, and they donate 1% of their sales to environmental nonprofits.
If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that are good for the environment and your community, Indosole is a great option. Their sustainable footwear is stylish, comfortable, and made to last.
Indosole takes old tires that would otherwise contribute to Indonesia’s massive landfill problem, and transforms them into beautiful sandals and shoes through a production process that is organic, toxic free, and environmentally sustainable. Not only that – the process provides dignified work to many in Indonesia.
To achieve growth while significantly reducing global negative impact, Indosole engineered its own R&D team, and set aside 12 months to investigate how to best advance the circular economy with footwear.
Through this research the company discovered SETT® (SOLE ENGINEERED TIRE TECHNOLOGY), a method that mimics the natural zero waste that nature’s eco-system produces.
Scientists experimented with destroying the existing old tire to rebuild the rubber from scratch. Through this process researchers grind the old tire into a fine powder and resets it with natural and recycled rubber.
This malleable tire gel has potential to revolutionize the footwear industry by maximizing the volume of recycled rubber that contributes to pollution elimination.
It’s no secret that we have a tire waste problem. Every year, 1.5 billion tires are discarded every year.
As they’re almost impossible to decompose, they’re being burned as a cheap alternative to fuel or sent to landfills, where they take up valuable space and release harmful chemicals into the environment.
What’s even worse is that tire waste is one of the most difficult kinds of waste to recycle. That’s because tires are made of a variety of materials, including natural rubber, synthetic rubber, steel, and nylon. separating these materials is a complex and costly process.
As a result, only a small fraction of tire waste is actually recycled each year.
The benefits of Indosole shoes
Indosole shoes are not only good for the environment, but they’re also comfortable and stylish. The company’s mission is to reduce waste in the environment and provide employment opportunities for marginalized communities. Here are some other benefits of Indosole shoes:
- They’re made from upcycled tires that would otherwise end up in landfills or incinerators.
- The tires are collected from local scrapyards and then cleaned, cut, and vulcanized to create a durable rubber outsole.
- The uppers are made from recycled materials like hemp, organic cotton, and recycled plastic bottles.
- They’re designed for durability and comfort, and they can be worn for all types of activities including hiking.
Why sustainable footwear matters
Sustainable footwear is important because it helps to reduce waste in the environment. It also supports local economies and provides employment opportunities for skilled workers.
When you buy sustainable footwear, you’re not only supporting a good cause, but you’re also getting a high-quality product.
For a decade now Indosole has strived to be the environmental keepers of the future. They have successfully merged artisan skill with social impact, developing a custom shoemaking process that transforms tires to shoe soles by hand.
Through this crafted concept and forward thinking, Indosole has been able to save over 100K+ tires from landfills, but to have a mass scale environmental impact a breakthrough technology was needed.
Listen to the original story of Indosole here.
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Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 150 countries. Grant has personally interviewed 700+ impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.