What is LOHAS? LOHAS is a MOVEMENT that aims to bring balance back to our planet by inspiring individuals and businesses to find their own unique way of being environmentally friendly. We believe that every person on this planet has the power to play a major role in saving the planet. They only have to tap into their own uniqueness to discover a way to contribute a sustainable lifestyle that will both improve their health and the living standard of not only themselves but all those around them.
The faces you find on this page are the many who lead this movement by providing the information and tools that will help you find your own LOHAS right here in Asia.
So feel free to browse through the pages or send us an email, because we would like to inspire you to lead a life that brings better days for the planet through better days for you, because to be LOHAS is to be different, and to be truly different is to make a difference.
All around the world people are already taking the leap.
Approximately 19% of the adults in the U.S., or 41 million people, are currently considered LOHAS Consumers.
Research shows that one in four adult Americans is part of this group – nearly 41 million people. These consumers are the future of your business and also the future of progressive social, environmental and economic change in this country. But their power as a consumer market remains virtually untapped.
In Japan, 12% or 17 million adults are LOHAS consumers. Asia-Pacific LOHAS is conducting research across the region in 2010, in collaboration with The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI). We will be able to identify how many LOHAS consumers there are in all markets in Asia, very soon!
The industry that serves these consumers has been identified in a research report by NMI in 2000 and given the moniker of Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, or LOHAS – a market conservatively estimated at $210 billion in the U.S., and growing. LOHAS is not a sexy acronym, but one that we think aptly describes what this movement, and our mission, is all about.
The LOHAS market is split into 6 sectors:
- Personal Health (Health)
- Natural Lifestyles (Lifestyle)
- Green Building (Building)
- Alternative Transportation (Transport)
- Alternative Energy (Energy)
At first glance, it may appear that the six LOHAS sectors have little in common. For example, a manufacturer of recycled plastics or one of the automakers that is working on next-generation, energy-efficient vehicles may not appear to have much in common with an eco-tour operator or a retailer of organic clothing.
But a growing segment of consumers believe there is commonality that transcends any operational and structural differences.
The interconnections between global economies, cultures, environments, and political systems play a large role in the holistic worldview of the typical LOHAS Consumer, but equally important are the interconnections of mind, body and spirit within individuals. This focus on Personal Development, with the ultimate goal of achieving his or her full human potential, is of utmost concern to the LOHAS consumer. The current growth in this market group strongly supports the notion that spirituality is no longer relegated to the New Age periphery but is undeniably migrating to the center of mainstream cultural awareness.
LOHAS describes a way of living that is “conscious”.
The LOHAS Journey
Unconscious to Conscious
Sickness to Wellness
Ignorant to Knowledgeable
For the average person, the LOHAS journey begins with an awareness that they are not doing enough to care for their personal well-being. Initially our motives are selfish – to live a long, healthy, active life. In order to do this we need to do what we can to avoid sickness and frailty, for as long as possible. There are three main strategies to achieve this – moderation/avoidance, good eating habits and exercise. As we embark on the path of wellness by following these strategies we naturally become more aware of the environment. How does this happen?
As we take care to eat healthily, we start to examine what is in our food and what it is made of. This naturally leads to a need to know where it comes from, as only then can we verify its authenticity. So as we start asking these questions we become exposed to the debate around organic food, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics in meat, red meat versus white meat and so on. All these issues have an environmental impact and lead us into a greater subject – The Planet, and how we treat it.
So, Lifestyle choices have lead me to examine my Health, which has lead me into questions about the environment which, inevitably, leads to issues of Sustainability.
And so, the LOHAS journey evolves for us all.
Asia-Pacific LOHAS is a for-profit Social Enterprise. Our intention is to create profits through servicing the Asia-Pacific business community on all things Environmental. Below is our Mission Statement.
Asia-Pacific LOHAS will:
- generate profits, through its online and offline businesses, to be used to research and implement Asian models of sustainable living, both urban and rural.
- be the regional authority on Asian consumers’ attitudes towards conscious living and will mobilise ordinary consumers’ purchasing power to change consumer goods markets through the power of its social networks.
- administer the largest regional environmental online business network, with a target membership of 10,000 SMEs and 1,000 multinational companies.
We believe that Asia needs to find its own way of developing, one that is not based on the Western model of consumption. As it stands in Asia today, people wish to live the “MTV-life”, which means a huge mansion, many flash cars and a lifestyle based on conspicuous consumption. It’s no wonder that this is so, as the marketing messages surrounding this lifestyle are everywhere you look.
However, within Asian cultures lie a deep respect for Nature and an inherent belief in Sustainability through the generations. Asia-Pacific LOHAS wishes to tap into this Asian psyche and fund research into how we can draw upon this to forge a new, Asian way of living that is less wasteful, more family-oriented and modest in its outlook.
Our Team – Profiles
Having charted a highly successful career path through the likes of P&G, L’Oreal, red earth (Esprit), AS Watson and Molton Brown (Kao), Adam decided to leave the “comfy armchair” of corporate life in Nov 2008.
More than half his business life has been spent working in Asia, moving to Hong Kong from England in April 1998 and then to Singapore in Sep 2006.
His personal journey has seen him:
- navigate his way through the shark-infested waters of Corporate life to become a regional CEO and international Board member
- take a year out to play full-time rugby in Hong Kong
- leave Corporate life to pursue a life trying to “do his bit” to Save The Planet, and humanity in the process
His corporate travels have taken him all over Asia; from the capital cities to the countryside; from mega malls to the smallest regional wholesale markets; from Japan to New Zealand to India; all in search of the Asian consumer and what makes them tick.
Adam describes what he saw and how it leads to founding Asia-Pacific LOHAS:
“My business travel in Asia has taken me off the beaten track to small towns and cities, where I saw that progress is not really working. Instead of a better life for those leaving the land and chasing the Western dream, I saw environmental degradation (plastic waste, water and air pollution) and poor quality of life for the people living in these towns (bad sanitary conditions, unjust working conditions, separation from family for long periods).
I guess the knowledge that “business as usual” was not benefiting the average person in Asia sat uncomfortably with me for many years while I worked my way up the corporate ladder. As with many things in life, I shoved this feeling to the back of my mind. It wasn’t until Feb 2008, when trekking in Laos, that I finally felt that I had to change my life and do something to better the lives of people in Asia and also protect the environment and the Planet, which we are so busy wrecking in the name of progress. So, I quit my job as Regional CEO and set out on my journey to find something I could do that would have a big impact.
Asia-Pacific LOHAS is the result of this journey, so far (I do not believe my personal journey is anywhere near over yet, but I am happy with my resting place!). If we can fulfil the promise that Asia-Pacific LOHAS represents, we will be able to educate millions of consumers that consumption can be done in a better way and help facilitate the growth of the LOHAS business community to serve these consumers.”
Liz Smailes, PR & Communications Director
Liz has a passion for meeting people, engaging with cultures, living life with a sense of adventure and telling worthy stories well. Hailing from a childhood on a dairy farm in North Yorkshire, England, she first became truly aware of environmental issues while working a part-time student job for the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy from 1992 to 1998. Since being introduced to recycling techniques, Liz is most at home in a kitchen equipped with more garbage recycling compartments than condiment jars.
A graduate in Political Science, Economics and English from Freiburg University, Germany, Liz juggled her passion for the arts, environment and people throughout her student days and later in her professional life providing cultural management and consultancy services to agents, cultural organizations and individual musicians. Her work included event and tour management, press releases, media relations, cross- cultural events with local Embassies and Governments around the world as well as sponsorship acquisition and procurement. During this time, Liz traveled off the beaten track to countries in South America, Central and Southeast Asia.
A move to Thailand in 2004 saw Liz develop her communication skills further as a writer, copywriter and editor. When Liz was introduced to LOHAS Asia-Pacific she quickly realized she’d found a cause and an organization where her skills and passions aligned. With a desire to become part of the solution she is excited about the future, the palpable vibe of the LOHAS philosophy spreading through Asia and feels privileged to actively participate in communicating with an ever- growing community of likeminded souls.
Tay Lai Hock, LOHAS Singapore
Tay Lai Hock is a Humanitarian worker, Green & Sustainability Advocate, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker, Project Consultant and World Traveller.
Before leaving his corporate life in 1999 to backpack in 35 countries around the world for almost 4 years, Lai Hock spent 11 years in extensive regional and international management experience in IT Sales and Marketing, and Business Development. He also served as the Principal Consultant and Trainer for a Technology Franchise system during 2004-2005.
Being an active volunteer in the social scenes since 1980, Lai Hock has been working especially with the youth; and focused on the area of humanitarian and environmental issues in the last 10 years. Independently, he led and managed humanitarian projects in Mongolia, China and three flood relief missions in Southern Malaysia. He also led students to Chiang Mai to work with Thai NGOs as well as delivered motivational sessions to prison inmates in Singapore. He served as an Advisor in Public Relations, Projects and Training as well as an Event Manager at Kampung Senang (2003–2006), a charity organisation in Singapore that provides support to cancer patients and other holistic cares and programmes for a greener world.
These days, Lai Hock is the Founder and President of a non-profit organisation – Ground-Up Initiative (www.groundupinitiative.org) – founded in 2008 – that promotes environmental awareness and responsible practices by encouraging more people to get in touch with the land. He is also the Development Director of the Kranji Countryside Association (www.kranjicountryside.com), helping to raise the profile and awareness of the Kranji countryside area as a recreational and educational venue.
Lai Hock has backpacked extensively in Africa, the Middle East, North America, South America, New Zealand and Asia in the last 20 years and more. The range of people and personalities he has met, and the depth of their interactions with him, awakened the knowledge that there is a way to make a difference in his own, and in other people’s lives.
Lai Hock believes that by connecting with the land, we are able to reconnect with our true spirit. And it is through how we live, eat and relate to people that it becomes possible to contribute to society and live a harmonious life as whole.
A self-proclaimed ‘Kampung boy”, Lai Hock enjoys a chat about life over a cup of ‘teh-halia’ at his local coffee shop as much as having friends over for dinner with his home-cooked, organic, ethical-sourced dishes & freshly plucked herbs from his HDB ‘garden’.
Doug Green, LOHAS New Zealand
Doug Green publishes magazines and has spent his life devoted to the written word.
He has had volumes of poetry published, ghost written books and been editorial director of publishing companies.
Amongst his publications are The Mirror, a magazine dealing with social issues which is distributed digitally throughout Asia, as is Asia Manufacturing News, a magazine focusing on business growth across Asia.
Doug is also a Trustee of the Healing Water Institute in New Zealand and has deep commitments to environmental issues.
Amena Lee Schlaikjer, LOHAS Shanghai
As the daughter of an American diplomat father, Amena spent most of her life moving around the world every 2-3 years. After being born in Bangkok, Amena quickly transferred to Islamabad, then Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Geneva, Hong Kong, New York, Washington D.C., and finally, came back full circle to Shanghai in 2003.
Having spent 18 impressionable years in Greater China, Amena was naturally inclined to return. To get there, she decided to combine her studies in marketing and merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology with her degree in Asian Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University and packed her bags for Shanghai, where she used her education to pursue entrepreneurial endeavours related to the practicalities of setting up fashion, cosmetics and other lifestyle brand initiatives.
In 2006, she ventured into the more theoretical world of innovation consulting at ?WhatIf!, helping the U.K.-based company set up its Shanghai office and gain a broader insight into the China market. ?WhatIf!’s dedication to social innovation tuned her into witnessing China’s challenge to grow in a sustainable way. This became a major factor in her career transition into LOHAS, along with being disillusioned by Shanghai’s cut-throat business scene to always produce as much as possible, seldom in mindful ways.
Because Amena spent most of her life in large fast-paced cities (and rather polluted ones!), she developed a growing concern for the importance of staying grounded and nurturing your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Her observations of society’s potential to lose touch with humanity in the quest for growth, ambition and prosperity at whatever the cost, combined with her own journey towards deeper personal awareness through the practice of yoga for the past 6 years, finally inspired Amena to dedicate her future to creating a more mindful, healthy way to live.
“But it doesn’t have to be boring!” she says. “The most innovative ideas spawn from primal unmet needs and we are now facing a deep collective sensation of change in this world that can lead to many new ways of living in order to make the right choices. We can put our energies into the right creative purpose and open our hearts to the fundamentally human nature of compassion. And guess what? It doesn’t just have to be through charity. In fact, ‘Good for Profit’ should be the sole objective in moving forward with business, and bringing together diverse communities is the first way to spark the systemic change we want to see.”
Taren Hocking, LOHAS Australia
Taren Hocking is the Producer and Co-Founder of the World Wellness Project providing a forum to share, debate, innovate, celebrate and inspire worldwide wellness. Taren is also a Director of Champion Event Management Pty Ltd and Co-Founder of the internationally revered Serious Women’s Business Conference (SWB).
Her career specialties are in event architecture, production, marketing communications. She has over 15 years expertise in events, corporate travel, marketing and brand experience development, gained in a range of environments from fashion, not for profit and government agency consultation to professional service firms & leading international companies.
Taren is a social justice advocate and committed to women’s leadership advancement. She has served as a board member of Unifem Australia and is a member of the International Entrepreneurs’ Association.
Mary Darling, LOHAS Bali
Mary Darling brings thirty years of expertise from the hospitality world to the LOHAS business world; creating connections, whether between people or resources and services, she enhances businesses to ensure profitability whilst ensuring heart and compassion for both internal and external customers. Renowned for creating order out of chaos, the long term success and sustainability of projecst or new initiatives, quality is always the goal, whilst ensuring the details contribute to the bigger picture.
Mary Darling is considered an expert in the hospitality community. Passionate about making projects successful and bringing about that success in a fun and entertaining way, she ensures an enduring and positive relationship with her clients. She is a regular speaker at various industry conferences and events, and is often published in print media.
Her Roles: Hotel General Manager l Country Manager & Regional Director l Pre-opening Technical Support l Project Organizer and Creative Director l Mystery Shopping l Brand Standards l Event Management l Public Speaking l Media Resource l Community Member APSWC, BSWA, Green Spa Network l Business Development l Trade
Her Clients: AAA Hotels and Resorts Maldives, Bvlgari Bali, Marriott International, Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts, SAGE Organizational Development Indonesia, Steiner Leisure ltd (dba Mandara Spa), Fieldworks
Leonard Hastabrata, LOHAS Jakarta
Leonard is the director of PT. Green Summit International, which is dedicated to helping responsible companies achieve their energy saving goals. His expertise lies in the hospitality and manufacturing industry.
He lives in Jakarta, where traffic jams are already a part of daily life, and no mass transit system exists. However, in the past 3 years he has seen that Indonesians are becoming more aware of the importance of living a healthier life and have started consuming organic food, going to the gym to get healthy and fit etc. He believes LOHAS will grow and have a special place in Jakarta.
Prior to his new path, Leonard was a SAP Consultant for more than 7 years with global experience in Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe and 2 years as a productivity and efficiency consultant.
Leonard believes that, “we can fight global warming starting with our self, then our family, our neighbor and our community and network. It’s about time …. to spread LOHAS!”.
Dennis Cajano, LOHAS Philipines
Dennis works for a multinational trading company that deals with ingredients distribution. In Asia Pacific his main responsibility is to develop and grow the cosmetics and personal care business in Asia Pacific. Being in the industry for more than 13 years, he witnessed the evolution and trends of personal care products from a conventional formulations to a more sophisticated products to date. Seeing all these changes, he is assertively re-formulating all the ingredients to a more natural, green and sustainable finish products.
Apart from his Regional post, he is active in various NGO’s with advocacy on childrens’ rights (All Together in Dignity), Slow Food Movement, WWF and others. He is also active in various local organizations that promotes entrepreneurship and livelihood training in the rural areas of the Philippines.
He also active in natural healing, trying to explore all possible complimentary treatments to illnesses like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc. He is obsessed looking for the best medication to all these disorders as his mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and he is looking for the best options to cure her.
” Being exposed to all my travelling abroad for the last 15 years, I’m seeing more awareness now on how to take care the environment but there’s no real implementation. It’s all advocacy but few are doing the talk and by commiting myself to LOHAS, I will do what is needed to walk the talk. This is the time to get more involved, share the knowledge to the public and create a sustainable community.”
Emily Jones, LOHAS Hong Kong
Emily Jones runs Kleio, a marketing and design agency based in Hong Kong that uses custom content to help brands build a persuasive emotional connection with their consumers. Kleio’s clients include Amex Centurion, Nespresso, Time Warner, KPMG and Canon.
Emily began her career as a journalist writing and editing for international titles including OK! Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar. In 2007, she joined the international publishing group, Edipresse to head up their digital division and launch a series of interactive platforms across Asia.
Emily founded Kleio with the vision of using engaging custom content across both digital and print platforms to build a community around a brand and drive consumer behaviour. The agency has achieved incredible results for many major brands, so Emily saw the potential to leverage this experience to help LOHAS bring about a positive movement towards sustainability in Asia.
As she explains: “I’ve witnessed first-hand how a simple Facebook page can sell out a product or a web community can dramatically change consumer behaviour, so I strongly believe we’re entering an era where consumers will increasingly have a say in the way businesses are run. I find LOHAS an incredibly exciting channel through which individuals can join together to make a real impact – both by pushing businesses to operate sustainably and by encouraging individuals to make the little adjustments to their lifestyle that will contribute to a big change.
Toshi Ide, LOHAS Japan
An acclaimed international visionary and evangelist of LOHAS and green conscious businesses.
Throughout the 90’s, Toshi Ide lived in Silicon Valley as a software engineer and produced and developed best selling music applications.
He came across LOHAS in 2002 when he attended 7th LOHAS Forum in Boulder Colorado. After coming back to Japan, he became an evangelist of LOHAS in Japan and published a first LOHAS book in 2005. It went on to trigger the biggest spread of LOHASian culture throughout Japan.
Now Toshi is one of the most respected pioneers of LOHAS-Asia as over 16% of Japan is riding the LOHAS wave of change along with brands like Coca-Cola hopping on for the ride.
Matthias Gelber LOHAS Malaysia
A professional speaker, international trainer, and businessman, Matthias Gelber emerged as worldwide champion in the award for Greenest Person on the Planet by 3rd Whale in Canada in 2008.
Put simply, Matthias’s passion is in preserving the planet’s natural environment – a passion focused on environmental management and CSR for the last 17 years in around 40 countries worldwide.
Earning a Masters in Environmental Science from United Kingdom, Matthias started his own environmental consulting company dealing with sustainability issues related to natural resources.
He has served as a board member of INEM (the International Network of Environmental Management), ARPSCP (the Asian Pacific Roundtable of Sustainable Consumption and Cleaner Production), and Matthias was awarded one of the Men of the Year in Malaysia by Clive Magazine as well as the Malaysian Lifestyle Magazine M2 as one of the Men of the Year for his eco contributions to Malaysia. Speaking and chairing regularly at international events in the fields of Construction, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental issues, Matthias has been instrumental, involved and influential in the building industry to develop practical strategies and effective systems for environmental sustainability.
Matthias is a member of the Green Building Council Philippines and IISBE, the International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment. He initiated Eco Warriors Malaysia, a Facebook group delivering practical environmental action, such as peat forest rehabilitation and condo waste recycling. As a Co-Founder of Maleki GmbH, his latest achievement is being awarded the 2011 Industry Champion by RFP (Real Estate Facilities and Project) Magazine for his contribution to this area of development in Asia.