Fashion editors are acutely aware that everyone’s relationship to clothing is personal. While some love to adopt the season’s upcoming trends, others love to invest in streamlined capsule wardrobes. No matter your approach, everyone can benefit from being more conscious about how their shopping habits impact the community around them. Clothing not only affects the environment (all the more reason to shop upcycled brands), but shopping more consciously can also be a way to demonstrate support for communities and causes that matter.
Right now, nothing feels more important than addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. Xenophobia is nothing new, but it’s our moral imperative to react in a time of mass, unprovoked violence against these communities across America. We need to donate to organizations combating racism and educate ourselves about the issues and full spectrum of nationalities, religions, ethnicities, and cultures within the entire Asian diaspora. That work is a lifelong journey—we know it’s not easy—but a simple way we can show up is by directing our purchasing power toward areas where we want to see change.
Shopping won’t solve the world’s problems, but being a conscious consumer is one way to contribute to the greater good. Ahead, you’ll find 30 of the coolest fashion brands founded by designers of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. These aren’t just basic tees. They’re infusing history, craftsmanship, and their unique perspectives to create some of the dopest pieces you’ve ever seen.