Luke Kincaid, founder of Organic Savanna, is pioneering change through social impact along with the team in Kenya – he tells us of the power of community and the important role that it plays in his brand.
1. What inspired you to launch Organic Savanna?
I wanted to showcase the incredible essential oils that are naturally found across East Africa but more importantly, I wanted to create local jobs for women in need, believing that products should not only be made well, but also do good and empower people.
2. Can you tell us about the Karibu Centre?
Karibu Centre is the “social impact” arm of Organic Savanna. It is an oasis in the middle of a difficult neighbourhood and home to a variety of educational initiatives including a pre-school, youth clubs, adult vocational training, financial literacy programs and the most amazing organic farm that is feeding the children from the local community.
3. What are your sustainable priorities for the business?
To create products that are 100% natural whilst helping to build the local Kenyan value chain by supporting local farmers, artisans, tailors, as well as the women making each product. For so long, these raw ingredients have been exported to the west without creating jobs locally or creating much local profit – we want to change this.
4. How has your eco strategy developed as you have grown?
We have realised the unique role we have in our community – if we are not setting an example then who will? This idea has encouraged us over the last couple of years to do more to clean up our environment. It has encouraged us to focus on creating products that are ecologically responsible and to use our platform to help implement clean-up days, upcycle waste and plant trees. We love seeing when others get involved too.
5. How challenging has it been to maintain your eco principles?
It is certainly a commitment to ensure we are consistent. It is neither easy nor that cost efficient to produce a natural eco-friendly skincare range. However, living amongst the communities that are benefiting from the creation is the best possible reminder of why we do what we do. When we see the smiles on the faces of the women making our products it makes the commitment seem easy!
6. What have been your biggest milestones and triumphs until now?
Hands down our greatest achievements are the more than 1,000 children that have been educated with the profits from Organic Savanna products – this takes conscious consumerism to the next level for us.
7. As a non-profit – what have been the main prohibitors?
We have not experienced any barriers yet, fingers crossed.
8. Do you feel pressure from your customers to be more eco?
Our customers seem to love our products but we are still trying to be as eco as possible. We are always listening for their feedback!
9. What advice would you give to anyone hoping to launch a sustainable business?
Know your brand values when you start, otherwise it is easy to get distracted along the way.
10. Which other sustainable businesses have inspired you?
We are inspired by FEED and their commitment to empowering people through the production and sale of their products. Also Maison de Mode with their commitment to ecologically ethical fashion.
11. What lies ahead for Organic Savanna?
We are very excited to expand our natural bath+body offering with rich body oils and body scrubs as well as other African items for your bathroom.