Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination. In fact, an analysis recently released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150%. And while discrimination isn't exactly a new thing, the recent escalation in anti-Asian racism is alarming and disturbing. And personally, as an Asian American, I'm sad, disheartened, and fearful.
There is a lot you can do to support the AAPI community and take a stand against these acts of violence. You can educate yourself, spread awareness, report instances of racism, amplify AAPI voices, and donate. You can also use your buying power for good by shopping AAPI-owned brands and businesses, right now and always. It not only helps these businesses flourish, but it can also boost diversity, inclusion, and solidarity.
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and it feels more important than ever to support the community. So in celebration of the month, here are some brands in the wellness space (across health, self-care, home, and food) to discover. We'll be continually updating this list, so send us some of your favorite recommendations @thethirty.
AVRE Infinity Glide Light Grey/Peach ($145)
Sisters Julie and Connie Kuo founded the sustainable footwear brand AVRE in 2019. With a family history in the footwear industry, they saw the negative effects the fashion industry can have on the environment, so they sought to change that. The shoes are made from repurposed plastic bottles. The brand also uses a "3D Knit-to-Shape" technology to create precise sizes, which eliminates scraps and reduces waste. The packaging is sustainable, too—everything gets shipped in one durable shoebox instead of the usual shoebox-in-a-bigger-box method.
Bala Chai Adaptogenic Indian Chai ($21)
Bala Chai founders and siblings Bharat and Radha Vishnubhotla took the traditional and personal chai recipe they grew up with and put their own spin on it by adding an adaptogenic boost. The result is a sweet, spicy, and bold drink with good-for-you Ayurvedic spices.
Blogilates Dumbbell ($20)
Pilates and fitness instructor Cassey Ho posted her first workout video on YouTube back in 2009, and she's been growing her fitness and wellness community ever since. Her Blogilates channel now has over 5.5 million subscribers. In addition to workout videos, you can also find workout calendars, fitness printables, and meal plans on Blogilates.com. And recently, Ho launched a line of affordable workout equipment exclusively for Target: the Blogilates Home Gym Collection. Nothing's stopping this fitness entrepreneur.
Blueland The Clean Suite ($83)
After becoming a mom, Sarah Paiji Yoo was on a mission to curb her single-use-plastic use. She co-founded Blueland after coming up short when trying to find household products that didn't come packaged in plastic. Blueland's household-product collection consists of reusable and refillable bottles plus cleaning supplies that come in tablet and powder forms (which are packaged in compostable paper). The whole line has products to clean every room in your house.
Listen to Yoo's Second Life podcast episode here.
Diaspora Co. Pragati Turmeric ($12)
Sana Javeri Kadri founded Diaspora Co. in 2017 with the mission and intention to work toward a radically equitable, sustainable, and modern spice supply chain by fostering integral relationships with farmworkers in India. All of the spices offered are fresh, high-quality, and single-origin. If you want to take your cooking to the next level, start here.
Listen to Kadri's Second Life podcast episode here.
When Lulu Ge went off hormonal birth control and tried to find ways to relieve her cycle symptoms, she was frustrated that the medical advice she received was to go back on birth control. After finding help from her family friend and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Xia Hongsheng, she got the idea to start Elix. With Elix, consumers take an online health assessment and receive an herbal treatment plan tailored to their specific cycle needs. The ingredients are organic, high-quality, and third-party tested.
Fly by Jing
Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp ($15)
You've probably seen Fly by Jing's colorful jars of sauces and spices on Instagram—they're so popular. Founder Jing Gao created Fly by Jing after being inspired by the flavors of her hometown of Chengdu in the Sichuan province of China. All of the products are crafted in Chengdu with 100% natural and non-GMO ingredients. If anything, you have to try the signature Sichuan Chili Crisp—you're going to want to put it on everything.
Maiya Hamsa (Evil Eye) Yoga Mat ($148)
Nihaar Sinha founded Maiya to authentically represent and honor his South Asian culture. The brand's yoga mat prints feature spiritual symbols and are designed by a Mumbai artist. The mats are unique and really beautiful, so you'll definitely stand out in class. And they're durable and long-lasting, too.
Nylora Riley Tank Sage and Terracotta Blush Combo ($108)
Parsons-trained designer Carolyn Jang founded Nylora in 2018 to create beautiful, chic pieces that look good at both the gym and outside of a workout. The designs are so stylish and modern—they're a fashion girl's dream.
Omsom Southeast Asian Omsom Sampler ($29)
Sisters and co-founders Vanessa and Kim Pham are bringing authentic and flavorful Asian pantry staples to kitchens everywhere with their company, Omsom. The line is extensive, with starter packs for classic Thai larb, Filipino sisig, Korean bulgogi, and more.
Pink Moon Over the Moon Duo ($75)
Pink Moon is an online shop founded by Lin Chen that features female-founded self-care, wellness, and lifestyle brands—and 30% of the brands are founded by women of color. Chen also launched an in-house collection to celebrate her Chinese heritage, with products like a gua sha tool and aromatherapy blends.
Prim Botanicals The Releefer CBD Roll On Muscle and Joint Gel ($35)
Born and raised in the Philippines, Stefanie Walmsley launched Prim Botanicals after a trip to Cebu reminded her of the many natural and effective skincare remedies that exist there. The line features CBD lotions and roll-ons, body scrubs, and body oils.
Tea Drops Best Tea Gift Set ($15)
Sashee Chandran grew up with a Chinese mother and a Sri Lankan father, so tea was always a staple in her house. After being frustrated by the waste and taste of tea bags and the mess of loose-leaf tea, Chandran created Tea Drops, which are sort of like the bath bombs of tea. They dissolve directly in hot water—it's so easy!
This article originally appeared on The Thirty
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