Various incense packets, sticks, books, candles, oils, stones, and balms on a white shelf with green leaves.

10 Sustainable AAPI-Owned Businesses to Support

As a fellow AAPI-owned business dedicated to deconstructing the racism pervading many core structures in our society, we recognize the importance of highlighting POC-owned businesses who are aligned with our values of ecological stewardship. Environmental justice intersects social justice at every turn. We want to uplift and recognize marginalized folks who are working to reclaim and reeducate about their cultural heritage, especially when they are doing so in a way that honors the vitality of the planet we live on. Take a gander at these APPI-owned businesses and give them your support!

Onekea Bros. General Store 

In the wake of learning how to reduce personal household waste, Kawehi Onekea founded Onekea Bros. General Store in Honolulu, Hawai’i, to create all-natural, reusable and zero waste products for the bath, body, and home. The sustainable care of People & Planet is at the heart of their business. With a motto encouraging folks to live aloha ‘āina* everyday, Onekea Bros. replaces plastics with “products that don’t extract from the Earth, don’t pollute while they’re being made, and then, at the end of their life, they can either be reused or reincorporated back into the Earth.”
*aloha ʻāina translates to ‘love of the land’ and is a core tenet of Native Hawaiian cultural practices.

Nguyen Coffee Supply 

 

Nguyen Coffee Supply is a direct-trade, specialty Vietnamese coffee company shining a spotlight on the Vietnamese robusta bean: a resilient and delicious yet often stigmatized coffee plant. Founded by Sahra Nguyen, a first-generation Vietnamese-American woman, this coffee company advocates for cultural integrity “through celebrating diversity in the coffee community.” Nguyen Coffee farms are certified organic and use all-natural biofertilizers, with more sustainability initiatives on the rise. With a humanitarian focus, they pledge to advance opportunities for robusta farmers through inclusivity, transparency, education, and collective care.

Cultivate Tea 

 

Inspired by a visit to a quiet, traditional tea shop in Beijing, co-owners Jude Wang and Lynn Liu have created Cultivate Tea as a means for sharing rare teas and preserving traditions. They source directly from small producers throughout China who prioritize sustainability while using traditional methods for harvesting, processing, and crafting. Their unique cultivars have not been altered for human agriculture, infusing each tea with a rich taste of its native terroir. Cultivate Tea operates in Vancouver, BC, as well as online. They offer loose leaf teas, ceramics, kombucha, and tea tastings.

Rooted 

 

Rooted is an online plant subscription and delivery service based in Brooklyn, NY. Co-founders Ryan Lee and Kay Kim have come to “firmly believe in the positive mental, emotional, and physical health benefits associated with having greenery in your space,” and want to provide the same for all. Alongside their mission to reconnect people with nature, Rooted is a fellow member of 1% For The Planet, and offers carbon-neutral shipping as well as biodegradable packaging. They provide a wide selection of plants, plant accessories, subscriptions, and education on plant care.

Our Place

 

Our Place is an invitation to share a meal home-cooked in multifunctional, innovative kitchenware that is “rooted in bringing people together.” Co-founded by Shiza Shahid, Our Place creates cookware, tableware, and kitchen tools with nontoxic, earth-friendly materials that are designed to “streamline your kitchen” with durable, healthier options. Our Place believes “there is a transformative power in uplifting the differences in how people cook and eat together,” and recognizes that food is saturated with story. As such, they celebrate traditions and recipes from across the globe, taking care to center People & Planet in all they do.

Sabai Design 

 

A fellow certified B Corp, Sabai Design is “setting a new standard for earth-friendly, affordable, and beautiful furniture.” Co-founder Phantila Phataraprasit shares, “Sabai is a Thai word that means easy, comfortable, and cozy, which is at the heart of what we’re doing: making sustainable living easy and accessible.” Sabai furniture is made in the USA with 90% locally sourced materials. They create with recycled, upcycled, and natural fabrics, FSC-certified wood, and CertiPUR-US certified foam, even offering plastic-free shipping. Beyond the products, they advocate for People & Planet, sharing informative, intersectional resources for social + environmental justice and sustainable living.

August

 

August creates sustainable period care products. Made with 100% organic cotton and enclosed in BPI-certified compostable wrappings, August products are tax-free and shipped right to your door. August is here to create waves of radical change in the culture surrounding menstruating bodies. Co-founded by Nadya Okamoto and Nick Jain, this is a business that is focused on giving back. August shines inclusivity into menstruation conversations, prioritizes traceability, “collectively democratize[s] access to period health education,” and facilitates resonant solidarity and community.

Forage and Sustain 

 

Founded by Arti Jalan, Forage and Sustain is an online publication sharing sustainability resources rooted in ancestral wisdom and spiritual ecology for businesses and individuals alike. They “hope to create a new generation of conscious individuals who rise above the status quo, who look beyond the surface, and who are determined to do their part in being active agents of social change.” With myriad offerings of guides, courses, workshops, business consulting, and marketed goods, Forage and Sustain embraces radical reciprocity in their intersectional approach to making sustainability accessible to all.

Pūko’a Studios 

 

Founded by Hapa-Hawaiian artist Page Chang, Pūko’a Studios shares Hawaiian culture through the medium of kapa, a textile produced from the wauke tree. They specialize in art, design, and wearable kapa, aiming “to create modern Hawaiian fashion using traditional Hawaiian practices and materials.” Ethically and environmentally conscious toward sourcing, production, and shipping, they regenerate their materials, planting two wauke trees for every one harvested. They emphasize loving the earth (aloha ʻāina), caring for the earth (mālama āina), and honoring ancestral knowledge (ike kupuna), and offer educational workshops to share the heritage of kapa with young Hawaiians and curious visitors alike.

Avre 

 

Co-founded by sisters Julie and Connie Kuo, Avre is a sustainable shoe company making sneakers out of recycled ocean plastics. They seek to empower women alongside their environmental stewardship, and since their inception they’ve used their platform to “[build] a community around sustainability.” Mindful of future generations, they are carbon-conscious, using production methods and materials that reduce energy consumption, water usage, and greenhouse emissions. From their technology to their philosophy, Avre shoes are a uniquely innovative solution to reusing our abundance of plastics.

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