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Ways To Show Your Support to the AAPI Community

Uplift and shop from these AAPI brands, companies and authors.

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The month of May is a time to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, which was introduced by politicians Frank Horton, Norman Y. Mineta, Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga in the House and the Senate in 1977. The month commemorates the first Japanese immigrant to arrive in the U.S. and the many Asian immigrants who helped build the First Transcontinental Railroad—although Asian immigrants first arrived in 1587 when Filipinos came to California. 

With the growing interest in Asian and AAPI cultures, as well as the unfortunate rise of hate and violence towards those same communities, it’s important to show outward support through education, community activism, and purchasing from AAPI brands. Slickdeals is compiling the best ways you can show support during AAPI Heritage Month and our favorite brands that we’ve discovered and fell in love with over the past few years. 

Our Favorite AAPI Brands to Support

We’ve compiled a list of wide-ranging AAPI-owned brands for you to check out and support not only during AAPI Heritage Month but also throughout the year. 

1. Weee! 

Weee! asian grocery delivery
Weee!

Don’t have a convenient grocery store nearby for your Asian grocery items? You can try out Weee!, a grocery delivery app for Asian and Hispanic groceries. That fact alone may prompt you to download it immediately, but to entice you even further, there’s no shipping fees, no subscription and free delivery on orders over $35. There are all kinds of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese products, so you have a ton of choices when finding ingredients for your next Asian meal or recipe. 

2. Omsom 

Two sisters and daughters of Vietnamese refugees co-founded Omsom in order to help “bring proud, loud Asian flavors” to people’s doorsteps. The company makes it super easy to cook different kinds of Southeast and East Asian meals, like spicy bulgogi, krapow, larb and lemongrass BBQ with convenient packets containing your favorite sauce, aromatics and seasonings. All you need to do is pour the packet on top on some veggies and protein, and then stir! 

3. Soma Ayurvedic

Soma Ayurvedic
Soma Ayurvedic

Founder Arjun Sampath created a skincare brand named Soma Ayurvedic, which sources adaptogenic herbs from Indian forests. If you don’t know, Ayurveda is growing in popularity through its “system of natural healing that aims to balance the body and mind through plants, flowers, herbs and other natural remedies.” Based on a long history of traditional medicine, these products are commonly used for taking great care of your hair, skin and nails. Plus, their jars and bottles are made from recycled glass, and they donate school supplies and hygiene kits to children in orphanages and women for every purchase. 

4. Sundae School

One of my personal favorite AAPI brands is the cannabis and apparel company, Sundae School. Even if you don’t partake in the former, you can find really cool, high-quality clothing made with fabric directly from Seoul, South Korea. This small team of immigrants, POCs, and LGBTQIA+ employees also collaborates with minority-owned businesses and donates 1% of sales through Beam for the following causes:

  • Racial equity through scholarships
  • Criminal justice reform through college courses for those who are incarcerated
  • Sustainability by funding tree-planting
  • Combatting AAPI violence by providing free pepper sprays for AAPI communities in New York. 

Check it out because you’re sure to turn some heads with Sundae School’s attire (and flowers). 

5. AAPI Authors

A great way to display your support is by purchasing and reading books by AAPI authors, especially through independent bookstores. Here are a few recommendations to help you learn more about AAPI cultures. 

6. Banana Magazine 

Banana Magazine
Banana

Founders Kathleen Tso and Vicki Ho from New York City created Banana Magazine to be a platform that “features, celebrates, and joins the conversation with Asian creatives in a journey to define [their] collective identity.” In the magazine issues, you can read about all things Asian, like recipes, editorials and pieces about prominent Asian voices like Bowen Yang, Ronny Chieng and Yuna. 

7. Asian Am Feminist Collective

While it’s less a brand and more a grassroots racial and gender justice organization in New York City, Asian American Feminist Collective (AAFC) works to dismantle systemic issues by forming community events, panels, zines and spaces. This collective was birthed out of the Women’s March and Strike in 2017 with a focus on representing the needs of AAPI women, girls and marginalized genders. Check out the tons of resources compiled by AAFC to help learn more, donate and help the organization and the communities they serve.

8. Mount Lai 

Mount Lai beauty products
Mount Lai

Esthetician Stephanie Zheng took inspiration from her grandmother’s practice of jade-rolling and gua sha tools to create Mount Lai, a brand that sells non-toxic skincare items. The company collaborated with Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners to develop their sustainable, natural skincare products. Get 10% off when you sign up for the mailing list and free U.S. shipping on orders over $50. 

9. Caraa

Another New York-based company we love is Caraa, a company that sells stylish and functional bags, face masks and accessories. CFDA award-winning designers Carmen Chen Wu and Aaron Luo founded the company in 2015 in order to “reimagine handbags for modern life.” If you purchase a Caraa bag, you’re likely going to be asked where you got it!

10. The Qi

The Qi tea
The Qi

For some delicious, soothing tea from an AAPI brand, purchase a few tea bags from The Qi. This female Asian-owned business has been featured by the EaterVogueThrillest and Bon Appétit for good reason. We recommend the royal chrysanthemum tea, shangri-la rose tea and the blue lotus tea. You can also feel good sipping their tea because the products are 100% hand-picked, sustainably sourced, vegan, without preservatives and sourced from small family-owned farms. 

11. Napua’ala

This Hawaiian bodycare brand was formed by a native Hawaiian who noticed that there was a lacking of authentic products on the market. This company sells scented soaps, sprays, lotions and scrubs that’ll remind you of your trip back in Hawaii or bring you back home if you’re a native on the mainland. They do their best to focus on using eco-friendly and locally sourced ingredients, so you’re supporting the environment and the local communities. 

The Best Ways To Show Your Support During AAPI Heritage Month

If you’re looking for even more ways to show your support, here are some simple ways to highlight AAPI brands during the month of May, and all year round:

  1. Reviews, Reviews, Reviews: If you love a product or a service from a small AAPI business, be sure to leave a positive review on Google, Yelp and Etsy. This can help amplify the store for many more people who may be looking to support a business just like it.
  2. Follow on Social Media: A lot of the marketing of small AAPI businesses can be found through their social media pages, so follow them on Facebook or Instagram to easily comment and share posts with your friends and family. A growing company needs all the love they can get on their pages!
  3. Order Frequently and Directly from Businesses: If you love a product, try to order consistently and directly from the AAPI business. This can mean going directly to their website to place an order or, say, personally calling your favorite local Asian restaurant to place a food order so they avoid outrageous third-party app fees and keep the extra change in their pocket.
  4. Read! Asian American and Pacific Islander history is getting more exposure in recent years, but there’s a lot more that the majority can do to learn about their contributions, influence, and trials & tribulations since the U.S. was formed a few hundred years ago. Reading about and supporting AAPI movements can help build further connections and bring to light the systematic issues that affect the community.  

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this list and are able to find ways to show your support for the AAPI community.

Author

Jin Rhee
Jin Rhee
For the past decade, Jin Rhee has been a content writer with expertise in comedy, sports, and technology. Besides finding the best deals, Jin Rhee enjoys keeping up with the latest current events and the ongoing NBA bubble.

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