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 did a hair test from the Analytical Lab in Arizona under Robert’s guidance. I was shocked to see the exceptionally high selenium (see chart) on my first hair test and was puzzled with the question that came my way:
‘What shampoo are you using?’
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 troubled 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.
Some of the problems we successfully managed to tackle for the farmers, villagers and the end-consumers, join us in our mission!
Produce is by nature perishable, so storage is not possible. Prices are dependent upon the market mechanism and an oversupply means a reduction in income for farmers or food wastage as the produce is left to rot.
Conscious Living Thailand allows for fruits to be stored through a process of fermentation. We buy the bulk of our fruits when there is an oversupply to prevent price drops or food wastage.
Farmers are at the mercy of middlemen as they block access to retail markets. One Thai fruit producer attested to this and said that middlemen set prices that are unfair to growers. As they are unable to survive on agricultural work, many farmers unwillingly travel to cities for low paid menial jobs. Families are torn apart, children left vulnerable, and a myriad of social issues follow.
Farmers are given a fair price, giving them the option to stay in villages with their families. Our ethos is to support the local community because they are the backbone of our company.
Those who remain are forced to grow one type of crop all-year-round (monocropping) often using chemical fertilisers which affects both the health of the soil and the farmer. Land also becomes barren when there is no time to allow for regeneration.
Supplying to us means that farmers do not have to overwork the land to make a decent income. We also use seasonal fruits which allows crop rotation and prevents resource depletion. Our wild-harvested soap nuts also do not need to be farmed.
Commercial products are packed full of toxic chemicals which can lead to health problems in the long run. Even the so-called “natural” products are not always safe for use and may be packed with fragrances.
Conscious Living Thailand is a 100% chemical-free and probiotic solution with no added fragrances. Our products do not lead to health problems through either inhaling or usage.
The use of harsh chemicals also necessitate testing on animals. The ‘Beauty Without Bunnies’ campaigns aims to shed light on the extent of animal testing in everyday products.
The beauty of our products is that all our raw ingredients are edible – from pineapple to kaffir lime. We do not need to conduct animal testing to ensure our products are completely safe for use.
Despite many cleaning products being versatile, market segmentation has filled shelves with a multitude of products and increased costs for consumers. From toys cleaners to toilet cleaner, more products also mean more wastage.
Our product line is limited as we believe there are only a few core items you need to effectively clean yourself and your home. We do not encourage unnecessary spending or wastage.
Commercial products are most likely to be mass-produced in factories through a process of compounding, heating, and cooling. This invariably leads to C02 emissions and pollution.
Conscious Living Thailand uses a traditional fermentation method for production that does not require any heavy machinery or cause C02 emissions. All you need is a knife, a cutting board, and barrels to produce our products (plus the ingredients of course!).
Biodiversity is adversely affected when chemically-laden products go down the drain. One Thai island has also banned the use of personal cleaning products to protect marine life.
Our probiotic solution contains effective microorganisms – not only does it not cause damage to biodiversity, but studies also show that it can increase the beneficial microbial population in the soil.
Product packaging is often made of plastic which takes hundreds of years to decompose and ends up polluting the environment. In fact, Thailand ranks within the top 10 of countries with mismanaged plastic waste.
We work with retail partners to encourage refill stations as much as possible to cut down on plastic waste. Our sustainability goals are at the forefront of our brand and we constantly look for new ways to improve on this aspect.
Trust is of utmost importance to us – we keep on our words, deliver goods on time, and let customers know if there are any delays. We strive to build trust with our customers through being reachable, responsive, and reliable.
Our philosophy is to treat our stakeholders with respect, kindness, and compassion. From the fruit growers to bottle suppliers and retail partners to overseas distributors, we do not believe in exploiting those we work with.
At the heart of Conscious Living is the recognition that we do not operate alone but rather within a wider ecosystem. The drive to grow our business comes from wanting to support the community of villagers who are making a good livelihood from supplying to us.
We believe our growth needs to be sustainable and we do not sacrifice on these values for the sake of the bottom line. Our business is run according to principles of circular economy where we put ‘people’ and ‘planet’ ahead of ‘profits’.
Get to Know the Team
Robert Peter Morgan
About Robert Morgan
Robert Morgan was a Chiangmai-based nutritional balancing practitioner who worked under the guidance of Dr Lawrence Wilson in the US. He founded the company Conscious Living, offering consultations and retreats to clients from all over the world. He had a fiery passion in him for the holistic way of life and never hesitated to help those around him follow the same path. Even stray cats that wandered into his garden were welcomed and loved by Robert. His compassion and kindness ensured that they received the best care and organic diet. Robert sadly passed away in November 2019, but his legacy remains in all that Conscious Living stands for. May he forever rest in peace.
Suchanan (Rasnam) Thakral
Rasnam recently graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics from the University of Amsterdam. She is currently working as a Client Manger at Design Bridge, Amsterdam. She is passionate about sustainable development and is a certified trainer of Compass Education tools for sustainability leadership. Having trained Asian Pacific youth leaders and entrepreneurs at a sustainable development workshop organized by UNESCO, Rasnam’s interest has pivoted towards helping businesses redefine and implement their goals in line with sustainability. She has used her expertise to help Conscious Living move towards working within the Circular Economy – a concept developed by the Ellen McArthur Foundation.
Founder & Director
Kamolthip has over 10 years experience working within a managerial capacity for a large multinational in Bangkok, Thailand. But above all, she remains an entrepreneur at heart. She founded the product division of Conscious Living, one of the pioneers to introduce probiotic and effective microorganism (E.M) based cleaning solutions to the Thai market. Her relentless educating of consumers in the early days led Conscious Living to become an established brand in the sustainability-aware communities in Thailand and beyond. Today, Kamolthip works with retail partners and overseas distributors to further grow the business and support the villagers producing the product.