17 Brands to Support for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month — and Always
May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States. Our lifestyle editors compiled a list of AAPI-owned brands to shop, share and celebrate this month — and forever. Click here for ways you can continue to donate to important causes in light of ongoing violence against the Asian American community
Mo Mi, short for Modern Minerals, is haircare that not only is vegan and cruelty-free, but it looks good on your vanity. Founder Diane Read credits her heritage with helping her source the plant-based ingredients that make up the line.
Buy It! Cleansing Essentials, $24; momibeauty.com
Co-founder Jen Tsay wanted to make it easier to pair pro photographers with people looking to book shoots, so she helped launch this site in 2018. Users can book a 30-minute session for free with a freelance photographer that posts up in one location that day, and only pay for the photos they want to keep.
Buy It! Shoott photos, starting at $15 per photo; shoott.com
Alicia Sandve launched her elegantly trendy jewelry line during the pandemic with the intention of giving back ($1 from each purchase goes to women-focused initiatives) — but a full $10 from the purchase these Fifth Ave earrings goes towards anti-Asian-hate initiatives.
Buy It! Fifth Ave earrings, $49; heymaeve.com
Designer Virginia Sin crafts simple and beautiful ceramics (including the curvey, coiled candlesticks seen here) out of her Brooklyn studio. The chic designs shoppable on her site — and now available at West Elm — are still refreshingly affordable considering her pieces have been acquired by museums and a set of plates she designed is used in one of the most exclusive restaurants in the world, Eleven Madison Park.
Buy It! Uni Candlestick (center); $38; virginiasin.com
Angela Jia Kim knew early on about the benefits of Korean skincare — she says her mom was always trying something new sent from her sisters in Seoul. When she grew up and couldn't find anything she liked as well, she began concocting her own potions for herself and friends, and her following got so big she couldn't help but launch her line of handmade, organic and high-impact beauty products.
Buy It! Savor Beauty Fountain of Youth: Restore Elixir, $185; savorbeauty.com
There is definitely a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, teacher or vet in your life who'd love one of the cheeky enamel pins or jewelry charms created by Dr. Lynna Van Merkey, the dentist who decided everyone's scrubs needed a little cheeky style.
Buy It! V Coterie enamel pins, $10 and up; vcoterie.com
This Korean American-owned Instagram shop sells vintage and secondhand goods sourced from all over. Scroll through and find unique and delightful pieces, ranging from donut pitchers to cute seashell catchalls. While being a dedicated small business owner, founder Jennifer Kang also uses her platform to speak on issues that affect the AAPI community. “I definitely lose a few followers every time I post about yet another hate crime, but it's important to me to use my small platform of around 5K followers to spread as much awareness as I can,” Kang tells PEOPLE.
Buy it! Prices vary per item; @dreamhaus_vintage
This fashion brand embraces slow fashion and strives to create beautiful yet thoughtful and lasting designs. Founder Sandra C. Kim has designed for fashion brands Edun and Alice + Olivia before launching her own brand of luxury handmade knit bags. Each item is knit to order so you know you are receiving a truly one-of-a-kind piece you can treasure forever.
Buy it! The Nomi Bag, $400; mikcardnas.com
When New York Times beauty writer Bee Shapiro became pregnant with her daughter, she was surprised to find a dearth of clean fragrance products, so she launched her own. The collection has expanded to include 12 scents across perfume, body care and home fragrance categories (and they're all as pretty as this).
Buy It! Myth eau de parfum, $100; sephora.com
Founder Jessica Tsang created her brand in 2020 with a desire to share colorful and cute candles that are meant to bring moments of happiness into your space. Tsang not only uplifts other small businesses, but she also donates 15 percent of her profits to local animal rescues and uses upcycled packaging to send off her whimsical creations.
Buy it! Prices vary per item; @studiosukoon
This luxe hair and skincare line originated in Japan, but its paraben and sulfate-free formulations are only available in the States. Their hair shampoo and conditioner — made from natural ingredients including rice bran and spring water — has a cult following and is made for all hair types and textures.
Buy It! Komenuka Bijin hair shampoo, $32; komenukabijin.co
Longtime friends Eunice Byun and Dave Nguyen were inspired to found this stylish and functional kitchenware line after cooking in tiny NYC apartments, but their products will make any space more efficient. They launched with a set of three essential knives and a sleek magnetic block, but now offer everything from slim, colorful cutting boards to minimalist dishware. Their stainless-steel, copper core Coated Pan (seen here) is easily the hardest worker in the kitchen and truly doesn't stick!
Buy It! The Coated Pan, $95; materialkitchen.com
Feel your best in the most stylish workout gear from Mono B. The Korean-owned athleisure brand has the cutest sets that are more affordable without skimping on quality. For the month of May, they're donating 10 percent of all sales to the Asian Mental Health Collective, and all shoppers can enjoy discount code HEREFORYOU20 to earn 20 percent off sitewide.
Buy it! High-rise Zen Garden Leggings, $49; mymonob.com
In collaboration with Mono B, this K-Beauty brand is also donating a portion of their sales to the Asian Mental Health Collective, and shoppers can use the code HEREFORYOU20 to earn 20 percent off sitewide. Choose the gift set to pamper yourself or a loved one with everything from collagen eye masks to hyaluronic acid sheet masks.
Buy it! Pamper Variety Gift Set, $40; lapcosusa.com
Sustainably made (out of recycled water bottles), celeb-loved (Aubrey Plaza, Nina Dobrev and Olivia Munn are fans) and founded by two Taiwanese-American sisters, Avre is the ultimate feel-good shoe — both because you're supporting women, the AAPI community and the environment when you buy a pair, and because they're super comfy.
Buy It! Avre Infinity Glide, $145; avrelife.com
Jason Wu Beauty
The beauty brand helmed by Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu is partnering with the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum through May, donating 10 percent of the month's proceeds from brow products to the organization.
Buy It! Jason Wu Beauty Brows Before Boys, $14; jasonwubeauty.com
KimChi Chic Beauty
Similarly, proceeds from KimChi Chic Beauty's lip products will support the efforts of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum through the Month of May. NAPAWF is the only national organization dedicated to empowering AAPI women and girls; funds raised will help drive policy and systemic change for them in the United States.
Buy It! KimChi Chic Beauty High Key Gloss, $11; kimchichicbeauty.com