At A Glance – Organic Savanna, Kenya’s Most Sustainable Skincare Brand
Organic Savanna is a Kenyan born sustainable skincare brand that inspires change within the beauty industry.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to meet Luke Kincaid, the founder of Organic Savanna to hear more on how the organisation is driving sustainable development in Thika for long term positive impact.
Truly ethical companies have a competitive advantage over masstige cosmetic brands, with the simple reason being customers fall in love with their sustainability story.
The purpose of Organic Savanna and the uplifting impact it has had for the beautiful hands that have crafted the brand has resonated with me since meeting with the team in 2019.
Luke’s return to Kenya in 2016 gave birth to what is now this transparent, authentic social enterprise. Through their operations, Organic Savanna have cultivated a collection that benefits the local community and planet at every stage of their products’ life cycle.
Since the company’s inception in 2016 where the Organic Savanna team planted over 30,000 aloe vera plants on their community run farm, the company has:
- Reinvested 100% of its profits back into local communities, thus far this stands at $640,000
- Created 94 jobs
- Educated over 1500 children
- Planted 400 trees
- Upcycled 3,800 glass bottles
Why is this important? 42% of Kenyan preschool aged children are not in school because of lack of funds. It is these children that are at the greatest risk of falling behind and being flushed out of the school system, furthering the poverty cycle. Through education The Karibu Centre in collaboration with Organic Savanna is helping to break the cycle of poverty in the Umoja community area.
Numbers only say so much, the true measurement of sustainable impact can be found in the smiles of those now employed and the children now in education thanks to Organic Savanna. That’s before you see the thriving healthy land that surrounds the farm, a clear marker of their duty and care for the surrounding environment.
Locally Sourced Ingredients
Often products marked as ‘natural’ contain skincare formulations manufactured in factories around the world. Handmade and produced in natural batches, Organic Savanna use no animal derivatives and are palm oil free.
The raw ingredients sourced from local women’s groups and farming cooperatives across East Africa redefine the ‘farm to face’ philosophy.
All avocado and aloe vera is grown on the site, thus has a minimal carbon footprint. Other key ingredients include Kenyan essential oils, Kenyan baobab and coconut, Rwandan coffee beans, Ugandan Shea butter and Sudanese frankincense.
From conscious creams, responsible bath and body items, to nourishing lip balms and conditioning hair formulas – the quality of the range is a reflection of the provenance of its ingredients. Their natural soaps are a simple sustainable swap to make within your household and come in three different scents; coffee and hibiscus, cedar and shea, aloe and avocado. My person favourite is the Organic Savanna soy candle fragranced with fresh eucalyptus. All products range from $9 – $40.
Organic Savanna package with purpose. They seek to utilise 100% recycled, recyclable or reusable materials at every stage of the supply chain. For example, glass containers comprise of glass found on the streets in the local villages that are then re-fashioned into what may be the candle casing! Not only is this generating value from waste but it employs members of the community in doing so. A win-win!
Dedicated to Communities
In my article on corporate social responsibility throughout the COVID-19 era, I put forward that businesses will be judged in years to come on how they navigate the crisis to reflect their values and to use business as a force for good.
Here, Organic Savanna proves you don’t have to be a beauty conglomerate to contribute to the coronavirus relief. The team have worked tirelessly to protect their local communities by setting up handwashing stations in local villages, have donated food packages to over 300 families and are partnering with a Kenyan NGO to create hand sanitiser from the farm’s supply of aloe vera for the population in Nairobi.
If you’re interested on the impact of the beauty industry through a life cycle assessment, take a look at the decoded piece here which explains all.
Organic Savanna has been sustainable since its outset. Having been awarded Eco Age’s brandmark for outstanding Social Engagement and Community Development and shortlisted at the Vogue Beauty Awards, it’s one to watch.
The products transport you to Kenya with their naturally farmed fragrances and rich textures. Whether you’re looking to incorporate more sustainable skincare into your beauty cabinet or on the hunt for perfect gifts that gives back, this is a go to.
I will continue to watch with eager anticipation as the story of Organic Savanna unfolds and the community it so dutifully supports continues to thrive!
To learn more about Organic Savanna and browse their collection head to their website. I wholeheartedly challenge you not to be moved by this incredible story.
Organic Savanna can also be purchased via Wolf & Badger in Coal Drops Yard, London.