One of the things I’m asked often is
“How did you get started in all this?”
I used to work in a managerial capacity for a multinational corporation based in Bangkok. Enjoying the perks and overseas travel that came with it for almost a decade. I reached a point where the stress of the corporate lifestyle was beginning to take a toll on both my physical and mental health. I gained a ton of weight, suffered from low energy levels, and felt generally unenthusiastic with life. Waking up and going to work each day became a chore. That is when
I decided to listen to my body and take the plunge to quit my job!
Little did I know that this decision would set a new path for me soon after: I was introduced to Robert Morgan, a Chiangmai-based Nutritional Balancing Practitioner, who needed some assistance. I took the opportunity to work for him from home on a part-time basis.
The Hair Test
I simply bought whatever shampoo was on promotion at the supermarket, assuming that an FDA stamp of approval saved me from having to read labels. Robert was recommending 100% chemical free probiotic shampoo to his clients and, having been alarmed by my hair test, gave me a bottle to try.
My further research on the long-term side effects of these chemicals on our bodies and environment were eye-opening. Selenium is essential for our body but as we all know excess of anything is never beneficial.
Just like I naively assumed everything on sale was safe, I wondered how many more people were still in the dark about this. We seem to be more concerned with what we digest than what we apply to our bodies!
Seeing my selenium levels drop gradually and having fallen in love with the pure ingredients, I do not think I could ever go back to the commercial chemically laden shampoos.
These products have a special formulation where absolutely no chemicals have been used, unlike other similar products in the market. It was created, tried and tested for years by an American and Thai microbiologist who later successfully introduced these to the US market.
The fact that these premium Thai made products were not accessible to the Thais was something that really bothered me.
With a tested formula in hand and a local community ready to support us on the production side, I started to share these products with friends and families especially those with sensitivity to chemicals, exhibited at local fairs and the positive and unanimous feedback from all led to the birth of the brand – Conscious Living.
The conscious Living brand was developed with this primary purpose of making this premium quality chemical-free personal and home care available to the Thai market at an affordable price.
The fact that these products are environmentally friendly and support local communities were additional forces that motivated me to sustain the brand despite its very niche market size.
“Over the years, as my interest in sustainability
grew, I began to slowly understand the power
of these products”.
Suchanan Rasnam Thakral
BSc – Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE), University of Amsterdam
I was just about to start high school when my mum launched Conscious Living. With my free summer holidays, I remember helping her with the booths at various farmers markets and exhibitions. The only thing that initially stood out to me was the fact that the product was chemical free.
It was through a sustainability camp organized by Compass Youth, a U.S. based non-profit education organization, that sparked my interest in the subject.
This inspired me to get involved with local Chiangmai-based initiatives that were centered around sustainable development. As I became more passionate about the field, I returned to Compass Youth in the following years in the capacity of a Youth Leader.
The turning point was when I got the opportunity to serve as a facilitator at UNESCO’s sustainability workshop for global change makers. Interacting with these inspirational entrepreneurs and learning about their various social enterprises, I realized the value of the products I was introduced to at a young age.
Not only did they benefit consumers, but they were also both good for villagers producing them and the environment.
I decided to use my expertise to help Conscious Living move towards a business working with the CIRCULAR ECONOMY– a concept developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
For instance, our plastic bottles were creating waste and I knew having a Refill Station could easily solve this issue so when the first bulk store opened up in Bangkok, I just knew we had to approach them with our bulk products.
This is just the start of my work with Conscious Living, as I believe the whole concept of this kind of business model is relatively new with incredible potential.