Meet Kai of Indosole; One of the two incredible beings behind the Indonesian socially and environmentally made footwear brand.
Through ingenuity and mindfulness, their products embody a lifestyle of resourceful creation – All artisanally crafted using repurposed tires and natural materials while showcasing a verve of contemporary style.
It’s an absolute delight to share this interview with you!
Hey Kai, let’s start from the beginning… Where are you from and how did your love for Bali begin?
Hey Beat Mag! My parents moved from California to Indonesia in 1977. I was born and raised in Jakarta and I guess my love for Bali began from before I turned 1 year old when my parents started bringing me to Kuta Beach. This continued through my Childhood into Legian and Seminyak and good days on 66 beach; to now as and adult and part of the community in Bali.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you grew up in Jakarta
What struggles do you still experience as an adult – “third cultured kid”, if any?
The question of home exists from time to time where my family is in the US but my heart and life that I see for myself now and into the future is here in Indonesia. I do miss my family, and wish I could see them more.
You’ve created such incredible collaborations between communities and NGO’s.. From 3 on 3 charity basketball tournaments, beach clean ups, fashion revolution week, a line with Sea Shepherd… Do you have any Indonesian artists in mind that you’d love to collaborate with for a line?
Yes many – Divis62 – Wahono, Eko Nugroho, Sejauh Mata Memandang,
Ican Harem, Alip Jon, Lee Wilson, Abenk Alter, Agan Harahap, Natisa Jones, Pleasure Collective, and many natural dye textile artists either in traditional batik methods, or in more modern textile designs, musicians such as Bam Mastro, and activists such as Hamish Wylie and Melati Wilsen and the Bye Bye Plastic Bag crew we have loved since Day one. There are so many opportunities and areas to explore artistically and actively here in Indonesia. The culture and heritage is so deep and it fuels the artistic expression in so many ways.
We recognize and stand for your COVID initiative collaboration with Room for Dessert and PNNY. How did that initiative come to be?
We have been Working with House of Pnny for several years on our Community Assist initiatives through our 3on3 Basketball tournaments we have done the past 2 yrs to raise money for the community in Indonesia. When the Corona quarantine started we got together and started asking ourselves how we could help in the best way possible. When we found out the team at Room 4 Dessert was providing meals to people who had lost their jobs and were in need of food, we asked if we could help with their Dharma Buns program and try to feed more people. We all agreed that getting food to the people who need it would be the best solution during this time. In addition, we wanted to support the organic and natural farming techniques in Bali and allow this movement to sustain into the future – all meals from Room 4 Dessert are made from natural, and organic produce from farms that they have been working with since Day 1 and continue to work with. By supporting the Dharma Buns program this both gets food to people who need it and helps to sustain the natural and organic farming techniques in Bali. This program is deep and feels the most in line with our values.
What advice would you give someone starting up a sustainable fashion line?
Make sure the product that you produce is high quality, durable, and looks great. Remember you have to be a better product than products that are “non-sustainable”. Challenge yourself with this goal.
What’s next on Indosole’s mission?
We have new materials we are processing beyond tires – new foams, and rubbers we are taking from the waste stream and turning into new products. Stay tuned for the release of these products in 2021.
Where are your go – to local eateries?
Pasar4D in Canggu as it lies right next door to us in Canggu. We love having a coffee at Mimpi, and at Seseh General Store, Jackfruit Katsu Curry at Tygr Sushi, Swich Sandwiches, sunset at the Lawn, and Ibu Sri’s on Padang Linjong,
And your go- to surf breaks as of lately?
Your current favorite Indosole product?
The Cross – for it’s elevated look
Bali in 3 words?
Respect Beautiful Fun