A world with opportunity for all
We create ethical artisan products to fight disadvantage and poverty in South East Asia
Before migrating to Australia, Suwanna Hardwick, a Thai native, worked with refugees living on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. In the 1980s large numbers of people arrived in Thailand, fleeing the civil conflict between ethnic groups and the military government in Burma. Being stateless, these people had little access to support systems, including healthcare and education. Suwanna worked tirelessly for over ten years in homes for disadvantaged children, helping in any way she could. She sought out donations of money or materials from companies in Thailand, recruited friends and used her own income to help the children. She also assisted refugees in locating Thai relatives which meant they could apply for Thai citizenship allowing them to leave the refugee camps and build lives for themselves. “There are so many social problems in Asia caused by poverty and lack of opportunities, especially child trafficking and sex industry exploitation which has mushroomed over my lifetime,” tells Suwanna. “Education is fundamental in helping someone build up their life and give meaningful opportunities.”
After moving to Australia, Suwanna and her Australian husband, David, continued fund raising for the children’s homes and schools. The funds were used to purchase play equipment, used toys, books and school supplies and in particular bicycles, which enabled children to attend schools which were often some distance away.
Inspired by the book, “Social Business” by Mohammud Yunus, and other social enterprises she had come into contact with while living in Australia, Suwanna decided to take the next step in generating funds in a more regular and sustainable way. Believing that a trading business set up to help people in positive ways would have a more lasting effect than direct donations, Suwanna, her husband and several like-minded friends who were keen to assist with funding the start-up social enterprise started – Life Interwoven in 2014.
Donating 10% of its sales to fighting disadvantage and poverty in South East Asia, Life Interwoven helps to conserve traditional and sustainable textile and handicrafts by working with villagers, artisans and small entrepreneurs.
Our Management Committee
David Hardwick – President
David is an agricultural ecologist and he has worked in sustainable agriculture and community projects for many years.
David Tanner – Vice-President
David is an accountant with many years experience in accounting and auditing of organisations.
Amy Wang – Treasurer
Amy has just completed a course in bookkeeping and has worked in community for many years. She comes originally from Taiwan.
Suwanna Thananupradit – Secretary
She has extensive experience in banking and small business management as well as co-operative management.
Ian is a professional web and graphic designer who works in the industry.