N° 11 – Why LXMI?
Posted by Leila Janah on
Did you know that 1 billion people around the world work FULL TIME and earn less than $2 a day? Does that shock you as much as it does me? These people are working hard, often doing jobs that are illegal in the developed world, like mining or collecting trash in giant urban dumps.
This fact is why I started both Sama and LXMI. Both companies are tied to the issue at the core of my heart and work: impact sourcing. Impact sourcing is a new way of thinking about how to end poverty. Impact sourcing holds that the best way to help people who are living at or below the poverty line is to give them decent work that pays a living wage, and to encourage companies and governments to hire them with social incentives (like good PR) and monetary incentives (like tax breaks).
Enter Laxmi. A few years ago, when I was wowed by Nilotica – one of our ingredients – at a market in rural Uganda, I had an idea: why not apply the same impact sourcing model we have at Samasource to an industry with better margins? What if we created a Samasource in the luxury goods market, where we could pay above a living wage to producers of products and still make enough money to return a profit to investors and fund our nonprofit work? So I started Laxmi, a luxury skin care company, and I donated a third of my founder’s stock to Sama.
Laxmi is sourced from rare, sustainably-harvested ingredients for luxury skincare in the Nile Valley region. Most importantly we pay a living wage which is 3x the local wage to our producers. These payments are vital for basic human needs in some of the poorest parts of Uganda. Our facial care products are considered "skin superfoods" for their clinical benefits, and are all safe enough to eat.
As being a part of the Laxmi community you are lifting Laxmi producers out of poverty AND getting a healthier complexion. It’s a powerful instance of our #beautyinaction promise.