The Base Project expands into colorful woven bags

Second Base

Lei Chic

There are the things we covet. Then there's the next best thing.

We'd love to snap up our favorite runway couture looks. Instead, we scour the racks at discount stores, outlets and sample sales (nothing wrong with that – we also love a great deal.)

So, in lieu of our dream safari, we turn to The Base Project for a taste of Africa.

Be prepared to make two stops. In addition to its original hand-carved PVC pipe bracelets from Namibia, the organization is rolling out vibrant, hand-sewn drawstring bags out of Ghana.

Smaller versions are already used to package the bracelets, but now you can pick up a larger one, perfect for carrying your essentials, makeup, even shoes while traveling or beach-bound.

Lei Chic

The colorful, patterned textiles are actually fabric remnants collected by seamstresses and repurposed into bags by women at New Seed Orphanage. Like the bracelets, all proceeds directly benefit the artisans and help fund development projects in the area.

As you rifle through the bags' rich designs and admire the colors, keep in mind many of them also represent cultural proverbs, such as the importance of family or forgiveness.

Or the ultimate souvenir for making the trek to downtown Honolulu.

$15, available at Owens & Co., 1152 Nuuanu Ave., (808) 531-4300, and on Etsy.