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May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, which means it’s a great time to harness your spending power by supporting AAPI-founded and owned brands. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite AAPI-owned brands that we love to shop at any time of the year—not just in May.
From “surprisingly healthy” instant ramen and 100 percent bamboo sheets for hot sleepers to clean Korean beauty brands with solid sustainability efforts to boot, scroll through below to check out some of our favorite AAPI-owned brands to support any time of the year.
I’ve been obsessed with this Korean brand ever since I saw a TikToker use Kaja’s Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blush, which features a heart-shaped stamp applicator. Not only is it cute AF, though, it’s also highly pigmented, easy-to-blend, and long-lasting. What makes this brand even better is that its products are cruelty-free, and the brand strives to be a K-beauty destination for all skin types and skin tones. Other best-sellers include its adorable Eye Bento Bouncy Eyeshadow Trio and its equally as adorable Wink Stamp Eyeliner.
Immi Instant Ramen
Ramen is one of my favorite foods of all time (and I know I’m not alone); it can spice up your palate, help cure a cold or hangover, and warm you up when you’re over basic soup. As someone who is mostly plant-based and hasn’t eaten red meat in over ten years, I was thrilled to discover Immi and the “surprisingly healthy” brand’s 100 percent plant-based, protein-rich instant ramen. Immi was founded by Kevin and Kevin (Lee and Chanthasiriphan, respectively)—they both grew up in Taiwan and Thailand eating ramen as part of their everyday lives and joined forces to create healthier versions of instant ramen with high-quality ingredients. From black garlic “chicken” to spicy red miso, Immi offers a variety of tasty flavors to kick your taste buds into drive without all of the questionable ingredients you can’t pronounce.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling ettitude. Seriously, everything about this brand, from its mission to support the planet by creating eco-friendly products, the literal scientifically-proven improved sleep from using its products to the brand’s name itself, “Ettitude,” which means “living with an eco-attitude.” Not to mention Etittiude’s best-selling Signature Sateen Sheets are made from the brand’s own silky soft and sustainable CleanBamboo® fabric, which keeps the sheets cool during the warmer months.
Brightland’s Pizza Oil is brand new, but I’ve already seen more rave reviews about this jalapeño herb olive oil than slices of pizza I’ve devoured over the past year in NYC. This product is hot off the press, and I will be pressed until it’s hot on my doorstep. Until then, I’ll continue to browse Brightland’s authentic array of products from the brand’s own family-run California farm. All these oils are from the Golden State with a golden taste!
If you want to elevate your look while working out, look no further than Girlfriend Collective’s best-selling fitness apparel. Admittedly, I need to shut my laptop every time I look at its site so that I don’t buy everything, but I trust that you have more self-control than me, so I’d highly recommend checking them out. My favorite pieces include the brand’s Paloma Racerback Dress (it has pockets!) and the fan-favorite Compressive RIB collection, featuring textured and sweat-wicking items in two new bold, limited edition colors: Heat (“a sweltering summer orange”) and Breeze (“a vintage beach-movie baby blue”). Even better? The Compressive rib fabric is made from 83% recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and 17 percent spandex, so Girlfriend Collective is also one of our fave sustainable brands.
If you’re someone who menstruates, have you ever thought about where all your used period products go? While I’m relieved once my “time of the month” is over for the month, I find fear and guilt in the cycle of rapid global climate change. I hate to think that dealing with a natural bodily function could be hurting Mother Nature. While I can’t fully control getting my period, I can control the products I’m using, and the sustainable menstrual care brand August makes getting these products easy. Made with 100 percent organic cotton and other eco-friendly materials, August’s products are there not only for you during your period, but for the planet. Check out their Period Subscription Box to pick exactly what you want the brand to send you.
Here comes the bride—yes, here they come, and yes, they deserve to be the star of the show on their wedding day, but you also deserve to feel confident in your look as a beautiful bridesmaid or wedding guest. At Birdy Grey, you can find gorgeous bridesmaid and wedding guest dresses in a slew of different colorways and designs—most for just $99 a pop. Here come the savings!
Selfmade is another AAPI-owned beauty and wellness brand that I can’t get enough of. The brand’s passion for both people’s emotional well-being and the science of self-worth is so impressive. Instead of offering product categories like “anti-aging,” “acne control,” and “perfecting,” the vegan and cruelty-free brand has categories named “attachment,” “resilience,” and “intimacy.” Speaking of which, Selfmade has an award-winning, multi-purpose body oil called the Self Disclosure Intimacy Serum that’s the perfect concoction of the brand’s guiding ethos—finding and taking pleasurable moments with and within yourself.
Did you know that The Rock (a.k.a. The Rock Dwayne Johnson) owns a tequila brand? He launched Teremana in March 2020, building a unique home on the grounds of a family-owned distillery in Mexico to craft premium tequila in small batches by hand. Teremana’s Tequila Añejo is arguably the best tequila I’ve ever tasted—and not just because I’m a fan of the actor-entrepreneur. Made with 100 percent blue Weber agave and aged in American whiskey barrels for a smoky-sweet flavor, this tequila goes down smoothly when sipped neat or mixed into your favorite cocktail.
This luxury handbag company is the ultimate purveyor of “quiet luxury” handbags. Not only are the brand’s handbags and accessories gorgeous, durable, and thoughtfully designed, but they’re made to be functional, too. Founded by Coral Chung, Senreve’s versatile pieces have been spotted on a variety of celebrities and tastemakers, including Kristen Bell, Anna Kendrick, and Priyanka Chopra
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