AAPI-owned low waste brands we love
This week, we put together a roundup of some of the really cool AAPI owned brands in the low waste and wellness space, and even made some fun new discoveries by comparing notes as a team! We've broken them into categories for easy shopping.
On a personal note, I've been trying to spend some extra time lately learning the history of some my favorite skincare and wellness routines - like gua sha, matcha, and yoga - so I can better appreciate and honor these beautiful traditions. Too often, Asian culture is trivialized or appropriated. If we're going to enjoy Asian food, beauty trends and culture, we have to respect where they came from - and directly support Asian-owned businesses whenever possible! Our favorite way to do so locally is using the Intentionalist search tool. I've enjoyed deepening my own routines by digging into the history behind them, and also adding to those routines with all the new brands and products we've discovered along the way! I hope you enjoy this roundup too.
Skincare & Beauty
Mount Lai - is a stunning collection of beauty tools and skincare rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They are a female and Asian-owned business that takes a modern approach to ancient rituals. They share beauty secrets passed down through generations, and their shop is carbon neutral, vegan, cruelty free and nontoxic. Our favorite tools include the de-puffing jade roller (I have the mini!) and the rose quartz gua sha, but the jade eye mask and the tension melting massage tools look luxurious too. I'm a minimalist and live on a sailboat, but their mini skincare fridge makes me want to forget those two little facts.
Dew Mighty - some of you may already know my favorite solid skincare brand! The product is so innovative, and their little jelly bars are sooo nice for oily and combination skin. The serum goes on very lightweight, it's easy to travel with, and has a subtle fruity floral scent. Each solid serum bar comes in a little tin and the refills come in cardboard.
Dew Mighty solid serum bar
Summer Fridays - A clean skincare brand with vegan staples in recyclable packaging. They offer a turn key to get out every last drop of their tubes and offer a take back program to recycle containers!
Cocokind - a conscious beauty brand that offers skincare with a couple items in low waste packaging and information on each box about the ingredients and the carbon footprint of the product through its life cycle. They even have a set of reusable facial rounds to pair with their skincare sets!
Glow Recipe - Really fun skincare company with glass packaging, wave like designs and reusable cotton rounds with a washing bag. Their bottles are recyclable, made with partially recycled materials, sustainably packaged and they partner with Terracycle for a takeback program. I’d really like to smell that watermelon glow moisturizer...
Earrings by Poppy Jewelry Designs
Poppy Jewelry Designs - From our very own Rachel Chen, a gorgeous selection of elegant and minimalist jewelry mindfully handmade with gemstones and beads. Bonus - each order is packed with reused packing materials and biodegradable tape, and she offers local pickup in Seattle. I jumped on a pair that have these translucent slate blue quartz crystals on a hoop and have been wearing them nonstop. Check out her Etsy!
Chunks - This brand was a suggestion from our newest team member and packaging designer Kayley, and it does not disappoint. Memphis-style hair accessories and eyewear made from acetate (a sustainable, plant based material) and consciously manufactured in China. Currently obsessed with these pastel colored claw clips. Do we order them or do we order them?!
Claw clip by Chunks
Clean Circle - Reusable bamboo facial rounds for all your beauty and skincare needs. That's right: they're organic, reusable ethically made and come in eco-friendly packaging.
Topicals - Medicated botanicals in a metal tube with a twist key, so you can use every last drop. Zero synthetic fragrances, dye-free, vegan and cruelty-free.
Common Heir - This is a super innovative Vitamin C serum packaged inside biodegradable plant based capsules. It’s vegan, fragrance free, and the individual capsule form makes them oxidize more slowly to maximize results. The serum comes in a beautiful plastic-free tube that is fully recyclable. What a fun design!
Us Two Tea - Delicious and high quality Taiwanese tea packaged in biodegradable, bleach-free corn fiber sachets. They have a beautiful farm-to-cup practice, and each sachet can be used 3 times because it's loose leaf instead of chopped herbs.
Yoka Miso - We’ve been lucky enough to get an early taste of this handcrafted, small-batch miso and let’s just say this is one product launch you won’t wanna miss! Traditionally made and locally produced by a woman-owned and family-led team, each batch of miso is shipped plastic-free and carbon-neutral right to your dinner table, ready to be shared with your family and friends.
Avre Running shoes - Sleek lines and a modern, minimal aesthetic are icing on the cake for this line of sustainable and comfortable footwear for the empowered woman.
Maiya - Cute, cushy and sustainable yoga mats are made with OEKO-TEX certified material. (OKEO-TEX is an environmental certification agency in Europe for the textile industry).
Sustainable and long lasting yoga mat from Maiya - Hamsa (Evil Eye) pattern
The Homebodies - Zero waste goods for everyday life, with a minimalist take. They've got everything from unpackaged soap bars and kitchen essentials to beautiful ceramics and matcha tools. They even have an adorable sweatshirt that says "Professional homebody." Personally, I'm eying the disco planter for our office...
Sketches by the Sea - One of our dear friends in the zero waste community, Marisa Firebaugh makes playful and nautically themed art, stickers and canvas totes (I also bought a cloth face mask from her with sushi on it!).
Emme Essentials - Luxury candles inspired by Asian flavors. They have the dreamiest scents like Lychee, Honey Lavender and Rose Tea, all toxin-, paraben- and pthalate-free!
Cyan Ceramics - Minimalist ceramics to functionally and gracefully adorn your home, in a gorgeous desert neutral color palette. Beautiful pieces that are all about connecting your body back to nature.
Yamazaki Home - a Japanese brand that hosts a myriad of inspired organization and space-saving accessories for the home and office.
A note from our team
This year, we have been reminded yet again of the racism and violence that runs so deep in this country, and our hearts are heavy with the news of the recent hate crimes against the AAPI community. We have recommitted to finding ways to engage in allyship both internally and in our community. Our team also decided to make a donation to the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to support their ongoing environmental justice work in the realms of clean air and energy, affordable housing, food equity, voting rights, and more.