On January 01, 2017 we awoke with a realization that Indosole needed a face lift, a brand elevation, a breath of fresh air if you will. So, we decided to slow down and take a look around by analyzing the market and what the average consumer actually wants in year 2017. What we found was that sustainable fashion and vegan goods are getting popular, very popular. But we also found that people do not necessarily want to step outside their comfort zone unless they can perceive a real value and style upgrade along the way to justify spending hard earned money. Well, truthfully we have observed this dilemma for years. So, we decided we needed to shock the system, dig deep, and conceptualize a new product that would have us continue to raise the bar in our market while offering our customer a comfortable, affordable, and easy product they can relate to in their everyday lives. We wanted to create a legacy product for our brand and also for the future of the conscious footwear market. The idea for “The most ECOnomical Flip Flop in the world” shone through when we decided on our new product, The ESSNTLS. However daunting, we looked down the barrel of 8 months of hard work to get this product to market, but knew that it would be well worth it if we could check all the boxes and follow our brand ethos of responsible sourcing and manufacturing along the way. Holding this commitment kept us faithful through the slogging months and had us believe that the ESSNTLS will be special and will positively influence our industry and world. We followed a 3 phase process to take: Concept - To Action - To Your Feet: Here we are at the end of 2017 having worked nearly a FULL year on this product. ESSNTLS have been on the market for 3 full months and the response has been phenomenal as we begin the next phase. We have some exciting announcements coming soon! What is the next phase you may ask??! EXECUTION in 2018 is our answer. For us, you, Indonesia, and the rest of the world. Thanks for your support in 2017 and enjoy our highlight photos from this past year: Love, The Indosole Crew
Meet your new favorite slip-on Travel Shoe, The Pantai. We are proud to introduce this shoe to you and we have a good feeling that you are going to like it….a lot. A year ago, we had a vision for Indosole’s version of the classic Espadrille. Market research lead us to believe that most of the Espadrille’s on the current market were lacking some key elements: Comfort, Arch Support, and Machine Washability. We wanted to offer a solution, we wanted to make a better shoe and do it while following the brand ethos that Indosole is known for: Responsible processes and materials, style, and function. Now, after months of focused design and development we are happy to unveil our latest creation: The Pantai Travel Shoe. The Pantai is 100% vegan and made with organic canvas that is sourced locally and then custom dyed using natural processes. It is then finished with Indosole’s signature upcycled tire soles and ready for all your wild adventures. LEARN MORE AND BUY NOW
As a brand that started as a hobby and with suitcases full of sandals wheeling through airports, we at Indosole enjoy hearing about other brand's journey and their respective labor of love. We are all underdogs! We met the Topiku brothers Max and Monty last year at an event in San Francisco. Turned out they have a similar mission for the country of Indonesia and a cool conscious product. We asked them to tell their story and equally important to touch on the challenges they have faced along the way. Here it is and we hope you enjoy Topiku's story! "The Accidental Entrepreneur" Building a business is tough. Building a socially-minded one is even tougher. Add 9,000 miles of separation and being a full-time college student into the mix, and you have Topiku’s current situation. Hi, I’m Monty, a 22 year old senior at the University of Southern California, founder and CEO of Topiku: a social enterprise based in California and Indonesia. We’re on a mission to become the world’s most sustainable hat manufacturer, with products handcrafted from upcycled + recycled waste by Indonesian artisans. We’re still young (we’ve been building our brand for the lesser part of two years), but it’s been incredible watching our mission and network organically grow. However, it’s been a constant struggle learning how to balance and schedule my time between school and personal endeavors. Back in the summer of 2014, I was an aimless freshman in college who had just given up his dream of becoming an architect. I hated having to fly back to Jakarta to visit my family with all its traffic, craziness, and dirtiness—a stark difference from the comfortable southern Californian atmosphere that I had grown accustomed to. Driven by an overarching desire to create a positive social and environmental impact, I took an internship at a NGO called XS Project. They worked with a community of trash-pickers who lived in a slum of Jakarta, creating value-added products out of the waste that they collected as well as providing front-end jobs. Whilst working for them, I proposed a new product for them: a hat made from upcycled car seat vinyl. Long story short, they rejected my idea; disheartened, I tossed the idea on the backburner. It wasn’t until I returned to campus—when I showed my friend (who eventually became my business partner) my prototype hats (see below) and told him my story—when the notion of Topiku as a business was born. Reflecting back on Topiku’s formative days on the heels of a quick Topiku Indonesia trip reminds me of just how far I’ve come on this journey of accidental social entrepreneurship. Back then, I definitely did not fully understand the multifaceted and complex concept of sustainability—I simply had an idea for repurposing discarded materials. Was using salvaged material enough to justify sustainability? I wasn’t thinking about who or how they would be made... Today, Topiku has grown to encompass more than just a mish-mash of up-cycled materials; it’s really come to represent an entire ecosystem of not just professional meaning, but a deeply personal one as well. Over the past few years, I’ve had the honor of working closely alongside inspiring artisans, whom I count amongst the most dedicated and passionate individuals that I’ve ever met. Some highlights: Watching Ninda, who hand-sews all of our bamboo tees, grow from a sole-proprietorship to managing a team of five Visiting Anton’s innovative factory in Gresik, Surabaya, which has engineered a process for recycling cotton and polyester sourced from old clothes and plastic bottles Collaborating with Bang Sano, who leads the environmental movement in Indonesia through his organization, Waste4Change, on various initiatives, from mentorship, to advocacy, to sponsorship of 12 of his trash-pickers’ health insurances And finally, last but certainly not least, observing our community of hat artisans in Cigondewah, Indonesia—led by Kang Asep—develop into a thriving village, where incomes are re-invested into things such as education and health, and corollary industries have emerged as a direct result of exposure to sustainable products and international markets. “I want to dispel the notion that sustainable, socially-impactful products come at the cost of good design and affordability.” As our brand has grown, the bottlenecks and challenges of working with trash as an input have become more apparent. At times, there can be a tension between the trade-offs of good design and good recycling; it really is a balancing act. Many companies with an emphasis on recycling can have some very—for lack of a better term—obvious-looking recycled products (read: ugly and badly designed), take for instance the blatantly upcycled/recycled tote bags that you might find in Ubud or Costa Rica (or even Whole Foods now!). Do a Google search for “recycled hat” right now—you’ll find some creative ideas, but nothing you’d wear casually. The designs really don’t leave much to the imagination. I want to dispel the notion that sustainable, socially-impactful products come at the cost of good design and affordability. Thankfully, this past trip has addressed many of the issues that we’ve been facing—particularly scalability. For the past year and a half, the main base of our hats has been made out of upcycled cotton jacket cuts. Upcycling is awesome because it diverts materials from ending up in landfills as well as incentivizes upstream, sustainable employment (read: trashpickers) and even has additional positive externalities, such as waste management and ecological responsibility advocacy. However, small-batch upcycling is not inherently sustainable and is a true bottleneck to spreading our message. This is where Anton, who I mentioned earlier, comes into play; unlocking an efficient production system that can enable sustainable production—in both the environmental and economic sense—is truly pivotal. His source of raw recycled cotton and rPET yarn will allow us to expand our capacity and catalogue in the long run. I couldn’t be more stoked to be where I’m at today; passionately putting hours on a project that has quickly become my top priority. As the company has grown, so have I. It’s funny to be able to participate in events that would have made me uncomfortable in the past, namely, public speaking. Last week I had my first ever business pitch competition, and I just got word I’m moving on to the final round. On Tuesday I was invited to speak at UC San Diego for their Green Talks event to speak about my understanding of sustainability. Totally had to miss class for all these events ;) In this age of mass information and demagoguery, it’s easy to feel pessimistic about the world; but looking ahead, I am optimistic that folks like you and I are beginning to appreciate values such as fair trade, women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, responsible waste management, and cultural preservation through conscious capitalism. I truly believe that social enterprises such as ourselves and Indosole can empower these values to flourish—but we can’t do it alone. It will literally take a village. Monty | firstname.lastname@example.org You can find Topiku at topiku.co or: Instagram Facebook Store
To all who came out to the Santa Barbara Earth Day festival last weekend, it was great to see you and thanks for celebrating with us! We have one more event coming up this weekend: a beach cleanup & BBQ. We will be cleaning up Ocean Beach in three different locations with the SF Chapter of the Surfrider...
You'd never guess that this used to be an old GUESS outlet. The space at Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco has been transformed for the holiday season into the Ocean Beach Outpost, a collaboration between Indosole's Kyle Parsons and Hans Geiszler of Japhy Surf Co. The carefully curated marketplace was built in effort to bring local shopping back to the American mall, and features nearly 30 independent brands under one roof: Amos Goldbaum | Bedfellows Roasting Company | Bureo | Establish | Girl Chewing Gum Hook Fish Co. | Indosole | Japhy Surf Co. | LSTN Headphones | Mafia Bags | Nosotros | Pacific Shaving | San Franpsycho | Stoked Goods | Sunskis Sunglasses | Tahomemade Attire | Urban Barrels | Whitney Shelhamer | Yellow Leaf Hammocks ...and more! Open for business since November 25th, the Ocean Beach Outpost will be accessible until January 31st so go check it out! It's a great opportunity to find unique gifts made by thoughtful local brands. For more information visit the official FB page here. If you don't live in the area, please make sure to click the links to learn more about these amazing apparel, accessories and home ware brands.
b the change
Indosole represents a lifestyle of resourceful creation. Each year, over one billion waste tires end up in landfills worldwide. We are on a mission to salvage discarded tires and give them new life as soles for our footwear. So far, Indosole has prevented over 30,000 tires from ending up in landfills and have turned those tires into over 60,000 pair of shoes. As a whole, Indosole features a toxic-free manufacturing process and does not use fuel powered machinery to make its footwear, just strong hands and minds. While based in San Francisco, CA and Bali, Indonesia the company's ethos is to take care of their people while chipping in to protect the environment's bottom line. We've partnered with organizations that contribute to the planet's well being and often conduct beach clean-ups, give backs, and community based events. B Corp is a natural fit for Indosole as it represents the values of our brand's integrity. Together, we believe we can produce high-quality products with a conscious effort to take care of our people while making our planet a better place to walk on.
Indosole is proud to announce a big step in our small backyard of San Francisco. We have grown our operation from the grassroots of a home based office and backyard shed, to a real-deal office/warehouse space in the heart of San Francisco's surf community. In partnership with San Franpsycho, we have opened a retail shop offering apparel, jewelry, accessories, and of course Indosole footwear. With 2500 sq. feet of workspace, we are also running our warehouse and HQ at this location. 3830 Noriega St. has been the long-time home of a Korean Church. The building itself holds a special charm and warmth that has changed hands to our handsome/beautiful crew and we have re-branded it as "The Church of Surf." Please stop by and say hi and pick up a San Franpsycho T-shirt and some new kicks!