How Idris and Sabrina Elba are supporting African farmers with their skincare line

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Sabrina and Idris Elba
Sabrina and Idris Elba
Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images fo
  • In July, Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina launched their "genderless" skincare line.
  • The couple saw a gap in the market for a skincare range representing people of colour.
  • In a new interview, Sabrina Elba opened up about how the ingredients for their skincare line are sourced in Africa and what they're doing to support African farmers. 


Actor Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina ventured into the skincare market in July, launching their range of "genderless" products called S'able Labs.

In an interview with Vogue at the time, Sabrina revealed that the idea to start the product line began when she and Idris felt "disconnected from our community".

The couple saw a gap in the market for a skincare range representing people of colour.

Sabrina also explained where the company's name came from, saying: "Sable is actually 'Elbas' backwards," adding that Idris came up with it.

READ MORE | Everything you need to know about Idris and Sabrina Elba's gender-neutral skincare range

Now, speaking to Refinery29, Sabrina opened up about how the ingredients for their products are sourced in Africa and what they're doing to support African farmers. 

"Idris is West African, and I'm East African. Between us, we span a large part of the continent," Sabrina told the publication. 

"One example: It's a Somali tradition to use Qasil. My mom and every Somali woman I know of that generation has been using it. It's a natural soap found in Somalia, and it's in our cleanser, along with vitamin E, squalane, and shea."

READ MORE | Microneedling vs chemical peels for acne scars: which is more effective?

The couple has been working with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help rural communities support themselves through farming. 

Sabrina explained: "Farmers are really important to us. The part of IFAD that we work for helps rural communities look at agriculture as a means to find work so they can support themselves, wean off the aid model."

She continued: "There's a time and a place for aid, but it's not sustainable. People need to be able to work and take care of themselves. But a lot of the time, the infrastructure isn't there."

Sabrina shared another example where her mother went to Somalia to help a farmer fill out forms to complete safety checks in order for products to be shipped out. 

"We need to know the farmers and who they [are] and how we can support them. We work with amazing organisations like Farm Africa. Fifteen per cent of sales go to Farm Africa because they help farmers set up these initiatives."


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