Samatoa Lotus Textiles

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Samatoa Lotus Textiles: The Most Spiritual Fabric In The World

Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Samatoa uses socially responsible techniques to produce luxury Eco-fabrics that support vulnerable women. Its best innovation, a fabric from lotus flower is produced with the pure respect for Nature and Humanity.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if textile were healthy for user, maker and environement ?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Use socially responsible manufacturing techniques to create luxury Eco-fabrics that support vulnerable women in Cambodia. - A social Business Model: bridges the gap between the rich and the poor using fair-trade and ethical commerce, allowing for the formation, emancipation and international recognition of them. - A Eco Friendly Business Model: create sustainable innovative process which doesn't damage the environment.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

An innovative and socially responsible producer of luxury Eco Fabrics. 1.Environmental Benefits Equation: Reuse natural waste and transform it into productive resource with an Eco-friendly process in a full integrated circular economy model (reduce, reuse, recycle). 2.Social Benefits Equation: Providing new and quality craft skilled employments for vulnerable women, strict social compliance, quality training, quality live at work. 3.Economic Benefits Equation: Strict commitments about quality. Innovation/R&D to develop new sustainable process in an "open" collaboration.


Award of Unesco 2012 - Seal of Excellence. Award "France commit to the South", Nov.2015, innovative social enterprise in the South
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Economic benefit equation = Quality+Innovation We continuously create unique vegetal fibers fabrics with exceptional properties as lotus, kapok, banana, ... in demand by the many fashion brands and designers. Price: Our lotus fabric is the cheapest (four times cheaper than our competitor) and best quality. Environment: Our lotus fabric is probably the most ecological fabric as it doesn't used any non-renewable energy -no electricity, no petrol, no gas- nor any chemical products, during all the process. Lotus grow in pond filled by rain only and the process doesn't need extra water. Social: Lotus spinners got revenue twice more than the average salary, work near home, get health insurance and holidays. Healthy: non allergenic fabric

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

-From social audit by NGO AAC, lotus's workers revenues are double than local average. -Since the UNESCO's Award, Samatoa Lotus fabric is praised by international designers and can fulfill 10% of the demand only with 50 producers. -Kering group support since Oct.2015, Samatoa has now a consistent 5 years strategic plan to duplicate its production capacity by 10. -Following the French government Award in November 2015, Samatoa extends largely its network (laboratory, commercial agents, universities, medias...) and benefits from incubator programs by Sensecube and Bond'Innov for one year (2016). In 2015: Samatoa recycle 200 tones of lotus stems annually with 50 employees, 17 clients, 35,000 fans on facebook, 10,000 web visitors/year Plan 2020: Duplication by 10 Plan 2040: Duplication by 60 to employ 30,000 women and recycle all the lotus stems waste in Cambodia (1 million of tons).

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

-Increasing Brand Awareness with a strong digital marketing - a community of more than 10 million persons interested in natural fibers, social business, lotus symbolism, innovation. -Implement best social (certification SA8000, salary increase, profit sharing) and environmental practices (certification GOTS, recycle all wastes, impact zero). -Engage NGOs for social assessments and improvement plan (AAC). -Participate to fair, forum, conference to inspire and exchange with other social entrepreneurs. -Duplicate in other countries and with other fibers (kapok, water lily, pineapple, ...).

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

2015-INITIAL FUNDS: 100,000 usd 2017-EXPANSION - LEVERAGE Funds by profit re-investment: 500,000 usd Initial fund=Investment: 57,000 usd (buy land concessions, weaving and spinning equipment), 47,000 usd (cash flow) Samatoa has already get 70% of the initial required funds. Others funding: Subtil blend of Social Investment and Equity with partners who share the same ambitions and the same ethic.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many business tend to propose healthier fabrics. Samatoa is probably one of the most innovative and socially responsible producer of eco-fabrics. For lotus fabric, our only one competitor Loro Piana (LVMH) is a well established luxury business. Although Samatoa is and ''emergent brand'' , thanks to determination and constant innovation, Samatoa has created new processes to produce a much higher quality with a lower price while fully respecting strict social and environment commitments.

Founding Story

With a mandate to provide sustainable products for the environment, Awen Delaval serves as Founder & Manager of eco textile company Samatoa. Since its founding in 2003, the company has expanded to offer a full line of high-quality fabrics, clothing, handbags and scarves. In 2009, he was introduced to the art of robes made from lotus fibers and worn by Burmese monks during an annual celebration. As a designer of eco-friendly fashion, he pursued this craft, setting up a laboratory at his Siem Reap home in search of the perfect lotus to create the unique fabric. Setting his eyes on a spectacular 15-hectare lotus lake at Kamping Poy (near Battambang), Delaval knew he had found his nirvana.


TODAY (Oct. 2015):, one director, one production manager, one accountant, one sale manager, 2 sellers, 1 commercial, 1 marketing and com, 8 dressmakers, 2 pattern maker, 2 lotus stem cleaners, workshop supervisors, 38 spinners, 3 weavers, 8 cleaners+7 farmers PROJECT 2020: Create a Board of direction+ethical comity+2 commercials+1 finance director+1 accountant+11 lotus workshop supervisors+ 462 spinners+ 80 weavers+ 50 lotus stems cleaners. PROJECT 2030: +3 directors+3 commercials+3 accountant+236 supervisors+9,490 spinners+942 cleaners+942 farmers+1577 weavers. All are full time job.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Factory Owner, Researcher, Supplier - contractor.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Auditors, Brands, Consumers, Designers, Farmer or Farmer Associations, Factory Workers, Retailers - Department Store, Retailers - Specialty Store, Retailers - Mass-merchandise Chain, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Supplier - contractor, Supplier - subcontractor, Trading Companies, Women.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Recycling or Circular Economy.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Capacity Building, Standards, Technology.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders, Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

A new sustainable innovative model to create unique value in the world of finite resources. We sell to the rich to redistribute.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

Be the bridge between the Luxury Leader like Kering (Puma, Gucci...,) and the most poor but always smiley local communities.