Based in rural Thailand, Happy Earth is a sustainable farm committed to creating farm-to-face organic body care products. Agriculture enthusiast and brand manager Mon explains how.
Established in 2005, Happy Earth Farm was borne from a desire to inspire real change through sustainable farming practices. Rooted in the belief that humans are inseparable from the earth, Happy Earth is dedicated to helping people reconnect with nature. Living by their mantra to “live, learn and grow with Mother Earth,” Happy Earth Farm produces organic body care products that are good for human beings, animals and the environment. Tasked with expanding the farm’s products to the international market is Happy Earth’s brand manager Mon, who joined the initiative in 2015. “We don’t sell products; we sell the philosophy of it,” she explains. “This is not just a product. This is a movement that everyone can be part of. We want to help people realise that, even if you don’t have a farm, you can reconnect to the earth.”
At the centre of this movement are founders Nok and Kamphol. Having previously worked for multiple environmental NGOs, the couple decided to leave their hectic lives in Bangkok behind to begin working at a family farm in Uthai Thani, a rural province in Thailand, in 2005. Although the pair had already spent years advocating for sustainable farming, Nok and Kamphol felt compelled to put their words into action and give back to the community. “Gandhi says, ‘Be the change you want to see,’” Mon explains. “If you want to see things happen, you have to make it happen.” After seeing an unsatisfied gap for organic goods in the market, Nok and Kamphol decided to combine their sustainability efforts with their understanding of the organic industry by creating 100% natural and biodegradable body care products using only the produce from their farm.
Dubbed “the heart and soul of Happy Earth Farm,” the pair initially struggled to adjust to their newfound lifestyle. The transition from city life to farm life was not an easy one – not only did the couple have to adjust to social isolation, but they also faced challenges with their families, who were sceptical of their decision. With organic farming being a relatively new concept at the time, the pair were also concerned with how best to settle into rural living. “They changed their lives completely,” Mon explains. “There was a lot of internal fighting: ‘How would you survive without money? How would you find food to eat? How would you earn a living and raise a family?’” Despite facing continuous trials and tribulations, the pair continued their mission of helping people reconnect with the earth and have since recruited like-minded people like Mon, who are dedicated to spreading the farm’s philosophy to different parts of the world.
Growing up, Mon had always been fascinated with agriculture. Although she was born and raised in Thailand, she was given the opportunity to study overseas in Canada and Italy, eventually graduating with a degree in nutrition. “I was always interested in learning how food is produced, where it’s made, who produces it. So there was always a longing to go back to the farm and see what the reality was,” she laughs. Aspiring to leave city life to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a farmer, Mon seized every opportunity to attend organic fairs, events and exhibitions upon her return to Thailand, leading to her eventually crossing paths with Nok and Kamphol. Mon recalls being captivated by the couple’s story and personal philosophy. “We shared the same spirit of bringing back the old ways of living, of getting people back in touch with the earth,” she remembers. “We wanted to help people understand how to live, learn, and grow with Mother Earth.”
Now a proud member of the Happy Earth Commune, Mon continues to spread the couple’s vision, working on expanding the Happy Farm brand to other parts of the world. Currently, the farm’s products are available in Singapore. “Because Singapore is such a small country, they don’t have a lot of farmland where they actually grow their food to eat,” she explains. “That’s why we started off there because there’s a lack of reconnecting with the earth.” Looking forward, Mon hopes to promote Happy Earth’s products and, ultimately, its philosophy to other countries that have lost touch with nature. “I believe in what I do, and I believe in what we’re doing as Happy Farm,” Mon says. “We believe that when the earth is happy, we are happy. And that’s what we want to convey to people – to change them to create a movement.”