Girl Power


Lei ChicYou try to be eco-conscious, but lately your attempts to be green have gone a little grey.

You have tons of eco-totes, but they rarely leave the house (your memory seems to be the only thing biodegrading). You would be a fan of pedal power if you didn't run out of gas every time you went bicycling. And when it comes to electricity, your busy schedule keeps you burning the midnight oil.

Lei ChicConserve enough energy to check out Handmade Life. Designer Erin Powers scours her hometown of Kailua-Kona for unwanted materials, then transforms them into covetable, eye-catching accessories.

Take her zipper pouches, which Powers makes by fusing together plastic shopping bags (spot your favorite store's logo peeking through the layers). Or consider a stylish hip sling for your trips to the farmers market. Recycled T-shirts, Kona coffee sacks and used denim are pieced together for a sturdy double-sided bag that's guaranteed to clean up your weekend look.

Note your progress with nature-inspired cards and prints featuring intricate ink drawings in vivid pops of color. Wide-eyed owls and parrots from a nearby sanctuary are preserved on linen card stock.

Powers even stalks her neighborhood grocery stores for discarded Y. Hata rice bags, which pop up in bi-fold wallets and totes with re-useful labels like "No Washing Necessary."

Talk about being resourceful.

Because a great find is a terrible thing to waste.

Handmade Life is available online or in Kailua-Kona at Pueo Boutique, 75-5695 Alii Dr., (808) 326-2055; Ginger & Koi, 75-5626 Kuakini Hwy., (808) 329-6100; and Kailani Surf Co., 75-5719 Alii Dr., (808) 326-1500.

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