An Essential Guide to Understanding Impact Sourcing and Its Impact

It’s no secret that consumers want businesses to have better practices. And to be held accountable for the impact they have on people and the environment. Shared values and a  positive social impact are becoming priorities for consumers when choosing their favorite brands.

As awareness of issues like modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labor grows, so does the need for better businesses. To achieve systematic change, companies need a business model that empowers others— not as an afterthought, but as part of the business DNA. And with a fair supply chain that everyone benefits from. 

A global economy should be helping everyone on the globe— not just the few at the top. Impact sourcing is a gateway for businesses to create a long-lasting, positive impact that changes people’s lives. It’s not charity work or cause marketing, it’s actual work for people who need it most. 

What is Impact Sourcing

Impact sourcing is a business practice prioritizing the sourcing of ingredients or services from low-income, marginalized people. In other words, it means employing high-potential but disadvantaged people. 

Impact sourcing is not the same as fair trade or charity. The impact is way bigger and deeper. It means creating a more inclusive and equitable economy that leaves no one behind. And ensuring the global, mainstream economy supports and empowers everyone— including the most vulnerable. 

By providing jobs, training, and opportunities to marginalized people, impact sourcing helps them break free from the cycle of poverty. It helps them lift their families and communities, develop practical skills, and improve their livelihood. 

The power of the global supply chain should be used to empower those who need it most. 

With impact sourcing everyone gets to participate in the global economy we’re building— not just a few. It gives people who are at risk of human trafficking, poverty, forced labor, and more, a chance to live a dignified life.

How Does Saathëa Practice Impact Sourcing?

Impact sourcing is the business model at Saathëa and what moves us forward. It’s the reason why Saathëa was born. We want Saathëa to be a people’s business, where you get to actively participate in creating positive social impact with every purchase. 

By impact sourcing our main ingredient, the Butterfly Pea Flower, we’re breaking the cycle of poverty that fuels human trafficking. We’re empowering people, especially women, who didn’t have the same opportunities as us but who are equally deserving of living a life of dignity. 

Saathëa’s commitment to using impact-sourcing as a business practice is: 

  • Butterfly Pea Flower, our signature ingredient, is impact-sourced from Cambodia. We create income-generating activities for women at risk of human trafficking and empower them to escape the cycle of poverty.
  • Women work in shared Prosperity Gardens, where we grow Butterfly Pea Flowers and other crops. They’re trained to learn about organic agriculture, entrepreneurship, and how to sell their crops strategically. 
  • By directly supporting women at risk of human trafficking, we help their families and community indirectly with a greater income influx. 
  • We’re addressing human trafficking at its root by tackling poverty and giving equitable chances to communities with a lack of jobs and economic opportunities. 
  • To create long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our partners. We’re here to listen to the locals, partner up with them, and co-create— never impose. 

The Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking Issue

Modern-day slavery impacts over 40 million people worldwide. It manifests in different ways like human trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labor, and forced marriage. And all of these severely abuse human rights and women’s rights.

Asia is greatly suffering the impacts of modern-day slavery, where over 25 million people are victims. In Cambodia alone, there are over 261,000 people suffering from forced labor and human trafficking. And 71% of the victims are women. 

The root causes of this problem are extreme poverty and corruption. Most people in Cambodia grow up in rural areas without job opportunities and without education. This leads them to easily fall prey to fake job opportunities that end up in situations of abuse. 

The best way to solve this problem is to tackle poverty at its root by giving people fair jobs and economic opportunities. Saathëa’s Prosperity Gardens, along with our local partners, are addressing this issue by doing exactly that— creating income-generating activities for women who are prone to human trafficking. 

The Relevance of Impact Sourcing: Why Is It Important and What’s Its Impact? 

For years, we’ve been taking advantage of the world economy and globalization. But not everyone benefits equally. The people at the top are getting richer, while the ones at the bottom struggle more and more. 

Far too many people in the Global South are still battling hunger, poverty, forced labor, and human trafficking. This leaves them vulnerable and without many opportunities to live a healthy, free, and dignified life.

At Saathëa, we’re using impact sourcing as a strategy to prevent human trafficking and modern slavery at the root. It's about building an inclusive and sustainable economy that leaves no one behind—  so everyone enjoys the benefits of globalization. 

And there’s a lot more impact from impact sourcing. 

The Impact of Impact Sourcing 

A business using impact sourcing is transforming the lives of disenfranchised people by providing meaningful work. Plus, we all benefit from a kinder and more compassionate world. But there is more impact that comes from impact sourcing.

  1. Tackles poverty at its root. Impact sourcing brings stability and security to entire communities in need. Instead of giving out short-lived handouts, they get a dignifying job and earn a salary— giving them freedom and balance. A study showed a 40-200% income boost for families employed by impact sourcing businesses. 
  2. Creates and promotes positive, sustainable change. Employing people in need directly impacts their lives. You help them support their families, and indirectly, boost their communities with a better influx of income. 
  3. Gives a boost of self-confidence. People in marginalized communities are taught practical skills to perform work. This gives them self-respect and makes them a role model for other people— empowering them to live a better life. 
  4. Creates fair jobs for women. The global unemployment rate is higher for women, with 6.2% of them unable to find dignifying jobs. Impact sourcing addresses this issue from the root and provides a sustainable source of income for women. 

How to be a Changemaker With the Power of Your Choices 

The businesses you support and the places where you spend your money matter. Your choices are meaningful and they have an impact— use their power to support the right businesses. Those taking their social initiatives beyond charity and giving better, lasting opportunities to people in need. 

To be a changemaker with the power of your money, research the companies you buy products from. Learn about their practices and what they are doing to truly empower the people and the planet. Also, hold them accountable for their actions and their impact.

Support companies who are not only talking the talk (greenwashing) but also walking the walk and you’ll be scaling their impact. Be a changemaker today— shop for our products here

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