Social Scenes - Thailand

We are all the same. We can do beautiful things together.
— Gift Preekamol

 

We checked into Ma Dee Hub in Bangkok and met its founder Gift. She told us about Thailand's growing social enterprise scene and how you can get involved if you're travelling or visiting Thailand. It’s great to see so much developing, from hostels to stay in, where your stay betters the city, local tours where you're money goes to support the community you're visiting and a clothing company helping local artisans. You can enrich your travel experience, by buying social and helping others.

When we stepped off that plane in Bangkok we felt as if we’d come home. Both of us have been to Thailand several times and there is so much we love about the country. Its food, culture, people, weather and nature are all things that entice millions of us to come here over and over again. Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s 9th on the world rankings with over 30 million tourists visiting the country and Bangkok itself was ranked number 1 in 2016! Anyone who has visited Thailand more than once in the past 10-15 years, can attest to the fact that tourism has changed the country significantly, both for better and for worse. It is increasingly difficult to find those secluded quiet paradise beaches and if you do, often they are covered in plastic, a reminder of how our consumerism is impacting the world. On the other hand, the country has also benefited from the influx of tourist money, cultural exchanges and more opportunity for its people.

This is why Thailand is a perfect example of how tourism can affect a country. If tourism continues at the rate that it is now, then there won’t be much left to travel for. Turtles are abandoning the beaches, scared off by holiday makers, the coral reefs are dying out at an alarming rate from the thousand snorkelers, and plastic is slowly replacing sand. Sounds morbid? Yes, but true. What is the solution then? To stop traveling to Thailand? Well, the authorities are considering the options and have closed down the island of Koh Tachai due to the destruction of nature. But this is only one solution, for one island, and it isn’t a sustainable option when tourism brings such a large percentage of Thailand’s GDP.

 Ma:D Hub - 42/3 Soi Ekkamai 4, Sukhumvit 63 Rd, Bangkok

Ma:D Hub - 42/3 Soi Ekkamai 4, Sukhumvit 63 Rd, Bangkok

Instead of avoiding the country, or even worse, ignoring the impact that our traveling is having on it, we can enjoy being here and leave a positive impact. Loving this country as much as we do, we have done our best to show you how you can be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. This is why we’ve compiled a list of social enterprises for you, so that you can eat, dress and travel in a conscious and sustainable way.

 Take a tour and directly impact a local community 

Take a tour and directly impact a local community 

Having met with the founder of Ma:D Hub – A Club For Better Society – Gift Preekamol in Bangkok we felt really uplifted. Social enterprises and businesses doing good are on the rise in Thailand. The hub is an open working space for different social enterprises, where they share their common goal of making the world a better place. Having grown up witnessing great inequalities in society, Gift has always wanted to do something to address this problem in Thailand.  Chatting to her we really felt that we can make a difference, even if the rest of the world thinks we’re mad for thinking it!

Here’s your sustainable travel list for Thailand:

Please share with us your stories and experiences of buying social in Thailand so we can share and pass onto others, together we can make a bigger impact #buysocial

CLOTHING:

Folkcharm (ethical, sustainable, organic cotton) 

Bhukram

HEARTISTdid (bags)

Larinn (shoes) 

Ruayboon

Mae Teeta

TRY ARM (underwear) 

141 Social Enterprise (Toys) 

Green Style Thailand

Wanita (handicrafts)

 

FOOD:

MiVana Coffee (organic coffee) 

Nok Hook Group (coffee) 

Dairy Home

Urbie (organic coffee) 

 

TRAVEL:

Once Again Hostel 

Local Alike

Hivester

Trawell Thailand

Social Giver (one stop shop to all travel) 

Cul.Jour 

EVENTS:

Trash Hero - Collecting rubbish on beaches

Klong Din Sor - Runners' club buddying up with blind people to go out for runs