You'll Want Something from Every Single One of These Arab-Owned Wellness Brands

Help unravel whitewashing in the wellness industry while stocking your athletic wear and health food stash with some seriously stellar brands.

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On paper, the wellness industry might seem like a super positive institution. After all, what's so bad about a space that specializes in bettering physical, mental, and spiritual health? In reality, however, it's not as all sunshine and rainbows — but rather, overwhelmingly white.

Simply put: for far too long the wellness industry has lacked proper representation. And while there are tons of health and fitness enthusiasts, influencers, and professionals publicly working to make a difference, the only way to truly move the needle and impart significant, lasting changes is for every single person who interacts with the industry to do their part. (See: How to Create an Inclusive Environment In the Wellness Space)

A simple way to help as a consumer? Use your dollars to support brands owned and created by minorities and people of color. (Related: Why Wellness Pros Need to Be Part of the Conversation About Racism)

While it's a solid idea to stock your wellness supply with products from a diverse range of creators and manufacturers (including these incredible Asian-owned, Latinx-owned, and Black-owned brands), the fact that it's currently Arab Heritage Month should serve as a reminder that folks originating from the 22 Arabic countries are designing and distributing some of the most innovative athletic wear, health food, and wellness brands on the market today.

Wondering where to start? Here are a handful of notable Arab-owned brands to support this month (and every month thereafter).

ASIYA Modest Activewear

When volunteering at an after-school program for East African children in Minneapolis, Fatimah Hussein noticed a frustrating problem: Young girls in the program avoided athletics or working out due largely in part to the fact that typical exercise garb (i.e. leggings, shorts, tank tops) often conflicts with Muslim beliefs. That realization drove Fatimah to found G.I.R.L.S. (Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sports), an all-girls gym in her area, and ASIYA Modest Activewear, which specializes in hijabs and other accessories designed for sports. In addition to hijabs designed to withstand sweat and movement (Buy It, $30, amazon.com), the female-founded brand also offers a selection of swim-suitable hijabs and, most recently, face masks for working out. (Related: How to Find the Best Face Mask for Working Out)

Numi Tea

Growing up in Baghdad, Iraq, siblings Ahmed Rahim and Reem Hassani often sipped on numi, a steeped dried desert lime tea that symbolizes hospitality and community. Today, Rahim and Hassani carry that tradition onwards through their aptly-named business Numi Tea. Since its inception in 1999, Numi Tea has continued to provide consumers with a variety of teas made from fruits, spices, and flowers. From flavors from earl grey (Buy It, $7, walmart.com), to rooibos (Buy It, $6, walmart.com), this sibling-founded brand is sure to have a tea that tantalizes your tastebuds.

Sukoon Active

Sukoon Active, a modest activewear brand, was founded by Arshiya Kherani on a single, unifying premise: Access to a healthy lifestyle is a universal right for every woman. On top of offering high-quality hijabs, workout gear, and corresponding accessories — i.e. headbands (Buy It, $14, sukoonactive.com) and totes (Buy It, $28, sukoonactive.com) — the brand is serious about sustainability. Each piece is produced from sustainable fibers, dyes, and finishings to help reduce the company's carbon footprint, according to its website. Oh, and not for nothing, but most of Sukoon's hijabs have pockets — and as you likely know, pockets on workout wear make everything better. (Related: Cute Workout Leggings with Pockets You Can Actually Use)

Ruba Ali Fit

Growing up in Jordan, Ruba Ali, C.P.T., was frequently confronted with the idea that women shouldn't really be fitness fanatics. Still, Ali developed such a passion for athletics that she's dedicated her entire life to helping others embrace exercise, too. How exactly? Through Ruba Ali Fit, a platform that boasts a comprehensive collection of workout programs as well as fitness and nutrition guides all created by Ali. You can pick and choose your guide of interest and buy it on Ali's site. Or you can sign up for a membership (starting at $1 for the first month) and then download the free Playbook app (on iOS and Android) to access your preferred exercise program and e-book. Not ready to commit to another membership (especially after signing up for seemingly every workout app over the past year)? Start by joining the 1.3 million folks following Ali on Instagram, where you're sure to get a feel for the fitness fanatic's routines and wellness advice before handing over your credit card.

The Giving Movement

The Giving Movement's collection of neutral-loving athleisure wear might seem super-minimalist, yet its core mission is anything but simple. Made from certified organic bamboo and recycled nylon from plastic water bottles, all of the brand's offerings are packaged with biodegradable plant starch, so they can arrive safely at your doorstep without impacting Mother Earth too much. And the UAE-based brand doesn't stop there: $4 — enough to provide food and shelter for a child for one week, according to the brand's site — of every purchase goes directly to charities such as Harmony House and Dubai Cares. (Want to fill up your closet with even more eco-friendly finds? Then check out these sustainable activewear brands, too.)

Saffron Road

Created by Adnan Durrani to restore "spiritual sacredness to food," Saffron Road serves up quick, easy Halal dishes and snacks sans-GMOs, artificial ingredients, or antibiotics. (ICYDK, Halal means permitted or lawful in Arabic, and when used in reference to food, it denotes that the items are free of alcohol, animal products, and other ingredients prohibited in the Islamic faith, according to the ISWA Halal Certification Department.) You can easily snatch up Saffron Road's crunchy chickpeas (Buy It, $21 for four, amazon.com), ready-to-eat meals (Buy It, $24 for six, amazon.com), and simmer sauces (Buy It, $27 for eight, amazon.com) at Whole Foods, Amazon, and other major retailers. Chowing down on delish Halal eats has never been so easy.

Nominal X

Is there a short phrase or mantra you love that gives you reason to wake up in the morning? You're in luck: Nominal founder Akram Abdallah specializes in engraving any and every special statement in traditional Arabic typography onto necklaces, rings, and even hijabs. Not only are Nominal's offerings straight-up beautiful, but they can also benefit your mental health. The more you see and repeat a statement, especially a positive affirmation such as "I am enough," the more likely you are to train your mind to believe it. And while the affirmation might be in Arabic, Nominal's creation can still function as friendly reminder to practice repeating and visualizing your statement to help make it a reality. (Related: Try These Mantras for Anxiety When You're Feeling Overwhelmed)

BEHAVE Candy

Candy that's not stocked with refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup? Some might say it's a pipe dream, but Mayssa Chehata was determined to make it a reality. So, the D.C.-born Tunisian got to work making better-for-you candy brand Behave. At just a little under a year old, the company's list of products is short and sweet with just regular and sour gummy bears (Buy It, $60 for 12 bags, eatbehave.com) available for purchase. Each bag of bears is packed with three chef-crafted flavors — lychee, passionfruit, and raspberry — that are made with all-natural sweeteners sweeteners such as monk fruit, allulose, and chicory root fiber.

Lyra Swimwear

Finding a swimsuit that was equal parts flattering and modest was no easy task for Ikram Zein, who enjoys powering through the pool and adventuring outdoors to stay fit. So, after years of DIY-ing ensembles with oversized tees, worn-through leggings, and a makeshift hair wraps, Zein decided to design her own collection of waterproof pieces. Thus, Lyra Swimwear was born. Available in a range of styles and colors, each piece in the brand's lineup is made from lightweight, fast-drying fabric that protects against UV rays to help you — and modest women everywhere, including Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, according to the company's site — swim with confidence.

Maureen Abood Kitchen

For Lebanese chef and entrepreneur Maureen Abood, the art of cooking (and eating) is a family affair — so much so that Abood launched her company, Maureen Abood Market, alongside her sister, Peggy. Find everything you need for a tasty, homespun Lebanese feast on her website, from traditional spices (Buy It, $50 for six, maureenaboodmarket.com) and extra-smooth hummuses (Buy It, $48, maureenaboodmarket.com) to all-natural rose water (Buy It, $16, maureenaboodmarket.com), which, BTW, is a Lebanese cooking favorite, according to Abood.

Dina Ghandour Wellness Experiences

Although Dina Ghandour, a certified yoga teacher, Reiki specialist, and massage therapist, is based in Dubai, her weekly, open-level yoga classes are available worldwide via Zoom. Simply head to her website to book a flow or sign up for one of her Reiki healing or "wellness" (breathing and meditation) sessions — all of which range in price from $15 for a single Zoom class to $95 for a private Reiki consultation. If you're tuning in from the U.S., though, a heads up: Ghandour's classes are GST (Gulf Standard Time), which is eight hours ahead of New York and 11 ahead of California. The good news? If the time different is too difficult to maneuver, you can absolutely follow her on the 'gram where she's always serving up a hefty dose of wellness inspiration for all time zones. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Energy Healing)

Green Bar Bahrain

You might've heard about Green Bar Bahrain's collection of all-natural, locally-sourced soap and skin-care products — after all, it is one of the best Arab-owned beauty brands out there — but the company dabbles in tasty teas and feel-good incense, too. With virtual shelves stocked with incense cones (Buy It, $77, greenbarinc.com), sticks, and respective holders, the Middle Eastern-based brand has everything you need to smudge your space for better vibes and a calming woodsy aroma. And similar to its beauty products, Green Bar Bahrain's "herbal kitchen" creations, such as the Full Blossom Rose Tea (Buy It, $23, greenbarinc.com), are crafted in-house using ingredients from local farms.

Seek Refuge

On Seek Refugee's website, you'll find all the hallmarks of an ultra-trendy athleisure brand, such as oversized hoodies (Buy It, $65, seekrefuge.co) and distressed fabric accessories (Buy It, $35, seekrefuge.co). But the core of Seek Refugee's mission (as the name implies) is activism. Twenty percent of profits are donated to refugee aid organizations such as Refugees International, which provides economic relief and development assistance to vulnerable communities across the globe, according to the brand's website. (Up next: Try These Stylish Black-Owned Athleisure Brands and You'll Never Buy Leggings Elsewhere Again)

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