Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, but the United States has had a deep, storied history of oppression against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Following the tragic shooting in Atlanta, which reinforced the reality that Asian women have long-faced violence rooted in hypersexualization and fetishism, it’s clear that the AAPI community needs your support and solidarity now more than ever.
According to Amy Liu, founder of beauty brand Tower 28, “[Support] can look like many things: standing up for your Asian employees and coworkers (even when people brush things off as ‘just a joke’), letting your personal network know where you stand on the issue, and making a conscious effort to dispel the hurtful stereotypes.” Of course, you can educate yourself on the AAPI experience, donate to nonprofit organizations, and bookmark resources to help #StopAsianHate. Another way to show your support is by shopping from Asian-owned brands—because the pandemic didn’t just result in physical violence, it also saw significant losses for Asian-owned businesses across the country.
Supporting Asian-owned brands not only benefits the business owners, but it also lends itself to increased equity, develops generational wealth, helps dismantle the harmful “model minority” myth, and builds solidarity with AAPI people. “Many assume that AAPI don’t need the help, mainly because most people think we’re fine or they’re just learning about the many years of hurt that have gone unsaid,” Jennie Yoon, founder of jewelry brand Kinn, tells Glamour. “However, a large percentage of AAPI individuals are living below the poverty line and suffer in silence,” she says.
A handful of brands have been doing their part by releasing products that give back to the AAPI community. But if you want to take your support one step further, there are plenty of Asian-owned brands that’ll become staples for your everyday life. Liu says, “In the same vein as ‘voting with your wallet,’ shopping from Asian-owned companies is an impactful way to make a difference in this community.” Ahead, 35 AAPI and Asian-owned brands to shop today and every day.
AAPI and Asian-Owned Beauty Brands
After going through the cycles of eczema rashes, Tower 28 founder Amy Liu worked to create a line of makeup that wouldn’t irritate sensitive skin. Since then, Liu and her clean beauty brand—which takes a playful approach to everyday makeup—have become known for lip glosses, tinted balms, and a Glamour Beauty Award-winning bronzer that will leave you with a healthy, natural-looking glow.
Co-founded by Lillian Tung, Fur makes body care products geared toward your most sensitive and intimate areas. The brand’s head-to-toe products have been formulated to prevent ingrowns and soften the coarser hairs on your body.
Named after a type of Indian dessert that’s similar to ice cream, Kulfi creates makeup to celebrate the South Asian community through self-expression and beauty. Founded by Priyanka Ganjoo, Kulfi offers a colorful range of eyeliners to encourage beauty lovers everywhere to play and experiment with their makeup.
Rooshy Roy launched Aavrani to share the Indian beauty rituals she learned from her grandmother during visits to Kolkata, India. The brand’s skincare products—which use natural ingredients—are Roy’s way of embracing the duality she feels as a Detroit native who grew up with Indian immigrant parents.
Filipino beauty brand Sunnies Face focuses on creating cosmetics that feel luxurious without the high cost. At Sunnies Face, you’ll find everything from the brand’s signature matte lipstick to nail polish. And because the founders prioritize developing shades that work with all skin tones, they’re bound to be some of your go-to products year-round. Only snag? Sunnies Face isn’t for sale in the U.S.—but you can purchase via Pnybeauty.com with international shipping.
When Yu-Chen Shih didn’t see herself reflected in the makeup industry, the beauty entrepreneur set out to fill the void with Orce Beauty. The beauty brand creates foundations for Asians as a way to diversify the cosmetics industry (while also combatting colorism within Asian culture by providing shades for every Asian skin tone).
If you’ve kept a finger on the pulse of the beauty world, odds are you’ve heard of Tatcha. The skincare brand counts everyone from Selena Gomez to Meghan Markle as fans—and for good reason. Under the helm of Vicky Tsai, who brings Japanese beauty practices to her brand, Tatcha offers a range of products—including the new Glamour Beauty Award-winning Essence—that will keep your skin looking dewy and feeling fresh all day long.
Then I Met You
Inspired by the Korean concept of jeong—an affection and empathy that drives people to put others before themselves—Charlotte Cho (the founder of K-Beauty retailer Soko Glam) launched Then I Met You to make beauty products that encourage people to pause and reflect. From its best-selling cleansing balm to its nourishing lip mask, the brand seeks to deepen people’s skincare routines with the most efficacious products.
Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, founders of the K-beauty-inspired brand Glow Recipe, know that your beauty routine should take your skin seriously, but it should still be fun. We’re huge fans of virtually everything from the brand (think Watermelon Body Lotion, Plum Serum, Niacinamide Dew Drops, and Avocado Retinol Eye Mask)—and we promise it’s not just because of the dreamy packaging, this stuff delivers.
Lin Chen’s self-care company Pink Moon is working to revolutionize the way you approach beauty, skin care, and wellness. Part community, part retailer (with its own in-house label), Pink Moon carries female-founded brands that focus on sustainability, holistic wellness, and philanthropy.
AAPI and Asian-Owned Fashion Brands
Those of you looking to add a playful, fashion girl-approved touch to your wardrobes will want to keep Sandy Liang on your radar. The Chinese-American designer draws inspiration from her upbringing in New York and Chinese grandmothers. But don’t let that fool you: Liang’s designs are brimming with a sense of rebellious youth.
For one-of-a-kind pieces that are bound to turn heads (or function as wearable art), look no further than Olivia Cheng’s Dauphinette. The designer first entered the fashion world in 2018 with recycled fur, leather, and vintage. Since then, Cheng’s expanded to ready-to-wear clothes and accessories that’ll make any fashion lover’s heart sing.
Can’t get enough statement hair clips in your life? Neither can we—or Tiffany Ju, the founder of Chunks. Whether you’re looking for a ‘90s-inspired claw clip to twirl your hair into an effortlessly coiffed ‘do or you want a pair of barrettes to add some extra pizzazz to your middle part, Chunks will have it all—complete with an air of nostalgia.
A jewelry box overflowing with classic, everyday pieces is never a bad thing. But when it comes to the pieces you’ll never take off, Kinn has the ones you want. The brand’s founder, Jennie Yoon, designs each piece to become an heirloom that’ll stand the test of time.
If you’re looking for statement jewelry to complement your everyday staples, I’mmany’s whimsical baubles might be the latest pieces to add to your collection. The brand’s founder and designer, Tina Xu creates pieces that feature natural and organic materials, like real flowers, leaves, semi-precious stones, and freshwater pearls. Need we say more?
Christina Tung, the designer behind the Instagram-famous fashion brand SVNR, finds beauty in seemingly random objects and natural materials. Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind earring made from upcycled beads and stones or a hand-dyed silk slip dress, the brand will quickly become a favorite for your quarantine re-emergence.
3.1 Philip Lim
New York-based designer Phillip Lim—who pivoted his approach to fashion last year after embracing the realities from the pandemic—makes polished, sophisticated pieces that will be part of your wardrobe for years to come. From simple cowl neck blouses to tailored separates and easy slides, pieces from the designer’s label, 3.1 Phillip Lim, are the closet staples to keep forever.
If there was one way to describe Anna Sui’s sartorial creations, it would be fun. The Chinese American fashion designer has made a name for herself in the fashion industry thanks to her bohemian-inspired (and undeniably cool) designs, which often feature dreamy prints and colors.
Founded by Phyllis Chan and Suzzie Chung, YanYan Knits makes comfort look cooler than ever. The knitwear label takes inspiration from its founders’ lives in New York and Hong Kong, which means you’ll find Chinese-inspired pieces with a NYC edge of cool. Plus, the brand also takes a sustainable approach to fashion by using leftover yarns for its designs.
Jaclyn Fu founded Pepper—a lingerie brand with styles for anyone with an AA, A, or B cup bra size—in an effort to reclaim power over being small chested. But the perfect fit isn’t the only part of Pepper’s bras that are appealing; they make being on the smaller side outright sexy.
AAPI and Asian-Owned Home & Lifestyle Brands
Sari-Sari General Store
If you aren’t familiar with Sari Sari General Store, it’s time to get acquainted. The brand carries everything from home goods and books to clothes from BIPOC creatives. Founded by Marielle Sales and Gabriella Mozo, the New York-based collective first launched to bring together descendants of the Filipino diaspora.
Chop Suey Club
Looking for the coolest items in contemporary Chinese art, culture and design? Chop Suey Club has the answer. The New York-based boutique, which was founded by Ruoyi Jiang, offers a range of products from Chinese artists from around the world as a way to share modern Chinese culture with others to fight against xenophobia.
Wing On Wo Co.
Anyone who wants to add a touch of traditional Chinese culture to their lives will love perusing through the family-owned business Wing On Wo Co.’s porcelain tea sets, dinnerware, decor and more. The shop, which is located in New York’s Chinatown, also leads W.O.W Project, which was launched by owner Mei Lum to foster the neighborhood’s creative community.
Asian American Girl Club
Founded by actor Ally Maki, Asian American Girl Club is a community for AAPI people that happens to also sell really great clothing. The company works to redefine what it means to be an Asian American woman in the modern world with content and merchandise to uplift and empower the next generation of leaders.
Made in Chinatown
To support Chinatown’s small businesses through the global pandemic, New York’s Made in Chinatown teamed up with local shops from the historic neighborhood to create a series of collections that are each based on some of the area’s most notable stores. All proceeds from the initiative, which is part of the grassroots project Welcome to Chinatown (founded by Jennifer Tam and Victoria Lee) will go directly towards the neighborhood’s businesses.
Founded by Eunice Byun and David Nguyen, the direct-to-consumer brand Material prioritizes designing modern, functional, and affordable kitchenware. The brand is known for its reBoard, a cutting board made from recycled plastics. However, it recently teamed up with Korean ceramics company Soil Baker to create simple and sleek dinnerware.
Thinking about becoming a plant parent? The Sill is the place to start. Co-founded by Eliza Bank, the indoor plants and potted houseplants business offers a growing variety of plants to welcome to your home.
For those who want to up their crafting game, Woobles has you covered. The brand, founded by Justine Tiu and Adrian Zhang, gives you step-by-step tutorials to teach you amigurumi (a Japanese style of crochet) to teach you the basics of the craft while you make an ultra-cute plush toy.
Now that you’re getting ready to be able to host people again, up your table-setting game with super-cute linen napkins from Loyale Studio. Whether you go with a monochrome set or mix and match, the SF-based company has you covered. Perhaps best of all? Five percent of Loyale’s sales are split between La Cocina and Kitchen Table Advisors, nonprofits that work to make a positive impact on immigrant/POC livelihoods, US food systems, and farming communities.
AAPI and Asian-Owned Food Brands
Sister duo and founders Vanessa and Kim Pham—two daughters of Vietnamese refugees—launched Omsom to create an easy and accessible way to incorporate Asian flavors into your cooking. The brand provides you with pre-made seasoning packs to keep right in your pantry until you want to mix it into proteins and veggies.
Copper Cow Coffee
Debbie Wei Mullin founded Copper Cow Coffee to provide the world with an accessible take on Vietnamese drinks. The brand sells packets of sustainably produced grounds or tea and condensed milk to give you an easy way to make Vietnamese-style coffee drinks using the simple pour-over method.
If you need a foolproof gift for the foodie in your life (which could be you!), you won’t go wrong with spices from Diaspora Co., which is led by founder Sana Javeri Kadri. Diaspora Co. provides a new and equitable approach to the Indian spice trade that offers quality spices directly from its farmers.
Fly by Jing
Fly by Jing’s founder, Jing Gao created seasonings inspired by the flavors she found at the hole-in-the-wall restaurants of her Sichuan, China hometown, Chengdu. The brand’s products, which include peppers, sauces, and more, are the perfect way to add a unique and unexpected touch to any of your meals.
To put it simply: Umamicart is your online Asian grocery store—which makes shopping for your favorite Asian pantry staples, snacks, drinks, and more doable from the comfort of your couch. The online marketplace, which was co-founded by Andrea Xu, prioritizes Asian American and immigrant-led businesses and has everything from traditional, tried-and-true favorites to new products to try.
Nguyen Coffee Supply
At Nguyen Coffee Supply — which was founded by Sahra Nguyen — you’ll find everything you could need to make a tasty cup of Vietnamese style coffee, including beans and Phin filters. The brand works directly with a coffee farm in Vietnam, highlighting the quality of beans and celebrating diversity in the coffee industry in the process.
Tarush Agarwal and Jasleen Kaur—two first-generation Indian immigrants—founded Sach Foods as a way to bring their cultural heritage to the meat-free world in the form of fresh paneer. You can use the brand’s paneer, which comes in three different flavors, for nearly anything, whether it’s a Buddha bowl or a vegetarian burger.