TED Talks, redesigning consumer habits and turning trash into shoes in Bali



The road to TEDx was a real life journey of will-power and dedication like I had never experienced before. Although I have given many talks in my career this one was different. To me, it was the superbowl of talks so I needed to be ready. Luckily, I had a great coach named Heather and my Indosole team – Mutia and Kai who helped sharpen up the content. Together, we wrote a talk that we felt would be compelling and give the listener something to take home with them and apply to their daily lives. I fell into a daily groove of rehearsing the talk in my head and even had it recorded on my iphone and playing in my car as I drove around town talking to myself like a crazy person. I was deeply committed to memorization and drilling the content into my head to the point where I was literally saying it out loud in my sleep. When the big day arrived, I was well prepared and only my nerves remained as an enemy. I nearly had a panic attack in the moments before walking onto the stage, but as soon as I walked through the curtain I was ON and had an adrenaline rush like never before. I was truly in the “zone” and felt like I rose to another level. It was an amazing feeling and one I will never forget.


Surprisingly, I found that giving a TEDx talk was a very emotional experience as well. I seriously felt every kind of emotion–excitement, nervousness, anxiousness, and finally being very content and riding a high! It was an uplifting experience while at the same time very humbling. Additionally, it was nice to feel a connection to the other speakers and performers as we all rode the emotional roller coaster together on that day.

Performing this talk in Bali was special to me. I consider Bali to be my second home, and will often tell people I live in “Balifornia” because of my cross-over lifestyle. Balifornia is a tropical oasis and a serene mental state that we have created at Indosole.

Bali itself is polluted and there is a lack of awareness there and frankly there is some denial of it too. The problem needs to be called out, and education needs to be provided to the children while action is taken by the entire community so a difference can be made. For me, I saw a major opportunity to get involved with Bali on a business and personal level. I was captivated by the beauty of the land, people, and talent in manufacturing process. I wanted to be a part of it and create something that was different than most tourists that just come to the island, manufacture stuff, surf, party, leave waste, and head home. I wanted to introduce something that could counterbalance with the local culture and consumer needs. The concept of making sandals and shoes out of waste tires was a natural fit. The materials are there, the craftspeople are talented and do everything with a smile and Bali provides a canvas of natural beauty.

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The evolution of Indosole has been long and grueling. We have almost lost it so many times over the 7 years of business but for some reason the universe has looked out for us. Pioneering a new category and creating a manufacturing process from scratch has not been easy. Competing against fast fashion and convincing people they should wear tires on their feet has not been easy. But, at the end of the day we are living a lifestyle we truly believe in and want to pass on to our friends and families. We believe that the future of consumerism will shift towards brands that are more transparent and use better processes. It is a slow process in spreading this message but it is trickling down into all product categories and is gaining more ground every day. Together we are making more conscious choices in our daily lives.

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Thanks for the support Korduroy.tv and contributing to raising this awareness.” – KYLE

Check out Indosole’s line of shoes and sandals made from recycled materials



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