86. Leiho

A kind and caring purpose-driven brand that helps improve the quality of life of those in need.

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Startups 100 2024 NOMINEE
Social Impact Award Shortlisted

In recognition of the startup which is putting purpose ahead of profit, with evidence of a commitment to making the world a better place with its business model.

Startups 100: Social Impact Award

Founders: Joey Li and Thuta Khin
Year founded: 2019
Website: leiho.co.uk

Popping on your socks first thing in the morning rarely feels like a moment for sharing a little joy around. But, Leiho has hopes to change all that, with its socially-conscious socks, beanies, and caps. 

Through its internal impact fund, which uses 5% of its monthly revenue, Leiho’s products are designed to spread warmth further than just your own toes.

Every month, the business chooses a charity to support, allowing Leiho to ensure it can help underserved communities. The type of support given can be tailored at each turn, and the business has been shortlisted for the Startups 100 Social Impact Award as a result of its charitable approach.

The cofounders’ past experiences closely inform their approach to Leiho’s charitable efforts and the overall mission of the business

“Living in five different countries has opened up my eyes to all the structural inequalities in big cities, and has helped me have a deeper understanding of humans and how we work,” founder Joey Lie tells us.

“Life can be quite hard sometimes, and we all face different challenges, but what we should never forget is the little things in life that we might take for granted – such as having a nice hot meal whenever we want, clean water, a job that pays the bills or something to stimulate our mind.” 

Cofounder Thuta Khin focuses on the business’s operations, logistics, supply chain and finance. Originally from Myanmar, Khin had experience working with NGOs and community projects around redevelopment in villages and impoverished communities. “I’ve worked with housewives from low income families that want to do anything they can to contribute to their family’s livelihood,” Khin tells us. “I’ve also worked with school children in villages who are incredibly passionate about learning and absorbing new information that will help them transform their lives. 

“This is a big part of what we are trying to do through Leiho – to help people within vulnerable communities achieve their potential through impactful ways, whether it’s through the basic essentials they need or opportunities that will help them redevelop their lives.”

Leiho brings its customers along on the journey with a focus on transparency. It publishes regular updates on its website and social media, so customers can see how their purchases are making a difference. All of its products are ethically sourced and kind to the environment, too. 

It may be a young brand, having started out in 2019, but Leiho has already donated over £100,000 to charities. And, its ambitions don’t stop there.

It also aims to curate a ‘House of Impact’ with handpicked products that make for kind, meaningful gifts. The Leiho team are also looking to host pop-up events and even physical retail stores that are experiential, immersive and impactful. The founders’ aim is to create “a happy supermarket of gifts,” with stores run by individuals looking to rebuild their lives.

Leiho hopes to grow into a household name, known for its kind products, its transparent impact, and its commitment to making the world a better place.

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