May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month—a time to celebrate all the contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
According to the Library of Congress, the month of May was originally chosen as AAPI Heritage Month to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869." But at Brightly, a month isn't long enough—we want to uplift and celebrate the AAPI community year-round.
If you want to uplift the AAPI community this month and beyond, support Asian-owned businesses. Here are 15 amazing eco-friendly and sustainable companies to start with.
15 Asian-Owned Businesses to Support
Eunice Byun and Dave Nguyen wanted sleeker solutions for kitchen essentials—everything from cutting boards to knife blocks. What resulted is the longtime friends co-founding Material, a kitchenware brand that features sustainably-made modern goods.
The brand's eco-friendly cutting board, which is featured in the Brightly Shop (buy one, get a set of Food Huggers for free!), is made entirely of kitchen plastic scraps and renewable sugarcane.
Jenn Tsang says she always loved to clean but hated that most cleaning products pollute the planet. That's what inspired her to create Sqwishful—a company that makes eco-friendly kitchen and home essentials.
Sqwishful's Kitchen Essentials Set, which is available in the Brightly Shop, lets you scrub dishes responsibly by using plant-based materials (like bamboo, hemp, and natural loofah) in the products.
Nadya Okamoto, the co-founder of August, started the lifestyle period brand in order to make period care products more sustainable, affordable, and customizable.
August's pads are made with 100% organic cotton with BPI-certified compostable wrappers. And the tampons are free of pesticides, herbicides, fragrances, chemicals, and more. What more could you want?
Babies grow fast—and that means they go through a lot of clothes. That's why Salwa Khan, the founder of Cubbiekit, created a sustainable baby basics subscription that aims to keep clothing out of the landfill.
According to the company, even after donations, 66% of clothing still ends up in landfills. Cubbiekit makes 100% recyclable, sustainably-made clothing that is donated to families in need or recycled responsibly so it doesn't harm the planet.
Ettitude is also Climate Neutral Certified, sources its bamboo from FSC-certified forests, and is a member of 1% For the Planet.
Hathorway, founded by Jessica Phann, makes ethically-made, modern jewelry you'll never want to take off. The pieces are handcrafted with upcycled buffalo horns—a byproduct of waste that the company transforms into something beautiful. Hathorway also donates 10% of its profits to organizations that empower women.
Priscilla Tsai initially started creating all-natural, eco-friendly skincare products to help her own skin. Now, you can find Cocokind just about everywhere, from Target to Ulta. The company puts sustainability front and center during all parts of the production process, from the ingredients it uses to its packaging.
8. Fly by Jing
Order from Fly By Jing, and your tastebuds will thank you. Founded by Jing Gao, a chef and expert on Chinese cuisine, her goal was to bring "uncensored Chinese flavors to the table." And that she did.
Aside from the unbeatable flavor, her sauces are crafted in small batches in Chengdu, Sichuan, and everything is vegan, non-GMO, and free from artificial additives and preservatives.
9. Opus Mind
If you're looking for sustainably-made, minimalist bags, you'll love Opus Mind. Founded by Kathleen Kuo, the products are crafted by expert artisans in a family-owned factory in Florence, Italy, with scraps of leather from a glove factory. The end result is backpacks, purses, and totes you'll want to wear everywhere.
SiiZU, founded by Kay Wen, has one mission: Creating beautiful, high-quality, and affordable jewelry and apparel made with sustainable manufacturing practices.
All the fabrics used are 100% organic and eco-friendly, and the company only works with trusted manufacturers that align with their values. SiiZU is also partnered with American Forest in order to help plant trees.
Founded by three friends—Kay Kim, Ryan Lee, and Johnny Wu—in order to help people reconnect with nature, Rooted makes plant shopping easy and eco-friendly. You'll find air plants, cacti, tropical plants, and accessories for your indoor jungle, all in one place.
Copper Cow Coffee, founded by Debbie Wei Mullin, lets you do two of your favorite things at once: drink great coffee and better the planet.
The pour-over coffee is sustainably sourced and uses natural flavors. And the fully compostable single-use filter allows you to make high-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home or on the go—wherever you want to sip.
You can make chef-worthy meals, minus the cooking experience, with Omsom. Founded by sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham, the company provides pantry shortcuts for different Asian dishes, combining all the sauces, aromatics, and seasonings you need for a great-tasting meal.
Aside from being committed to investing in sustainable packaging, the company also has a strong commitment to ethical sourcing for its ingredients.
Three Ships Beauty, co-founded by Connie Lo, only formulates its skincare products with high-quality natural ingredients. And when they say natural, they mean natural.
The products are formulated according to the very strict European Union standards, which means the company avoids more than 1,300 potentially harmful chemicals. Everything is also vegan and cruelty-free.
15. Clean Circle
Ditch the single-use beauty products and try Clean Circle instead. Founded by Lena Chao, the company makes reusable bamboo makeup remover pads and skincare pads.
Clean Circle also uses eco-friendly packaging and shipping materials. And, a portion of your shipping cost is used to offset carbon emissions.