In the Hawaiian Islands, May Day is Lei Day, a celebration of lei makers and native Hawaiian culture. Because great care is taken when someone makes a lei—from gathering the materials to the skill and time it takes to fashion those materials into a beautiful artwork—the lei itself retains the mana of its maker. When you give one, you’re giving a little part of yourself.


It may not always be convenient to wear a lei when traveling, but with the Aloha Collection’s May Day bags, you can have the spirit of a lei accompany you wherever you go in the world. I’m a big fan of the brand, because their bags are beautifully designed, splash-proof, and versatile enough to stash a wet swimsuit or serve as a clutch bag. Because the bags aren’t completely waterproof, they’ll protect your belongings from a cocktail spill, light rain, or a light splash—but not if you submerge your bag in the closest body of water.


That said, they pack flat and clean easily, so they’re part of my go-to travel kit, as well as around home.


In the spirit of mālama ʻāina (caring for the land), the Aloha Collection donates 5% of profits to Hawaiʻi-based conservation organizations annually to help preserve the cultural heritage and natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.


The bags in the May Day Collection vary by size and by island lei: ʻOhiʻa Lehua for Hawaiʻi, Lokelani Rose for Maui, Hinahina for Kahoʻolawe, Kaunaʻoa for Lanaʻi, Kukui for Molokaʻi, ʻIlima for Oʻahu, Mokihana for Kauaʻi, and Pupu Shells for Niʻihau. Mini pouches list for $24, small pouches for $34, mid pouches for $44, reversible totes for $50, and day tripper totes (pictured, above) for $72—all on the Aloha Collection site.