Introducing Barehands, a local brand dedicated to promoting sustainable communities by fostering fair partnerships with artisans worldwide.

The Duo Behind Singaporean Fashion Brand, Barehands

Introducing Barehands, a local brand dedicated to promoting sustainable communities by fostering fair partnerships with artisans worldwide.

Originally starting as a coffee project in Myanmar, Barehands has evolved into a sustainable fashion brand based in Singapore. Co-founders Germaine Lye, Chanel Go, and Mitchell Hong put aside traditional career paths to pursue their shared passion for creating products that have a positive impact on society. After exploring traditional bag and shoe manufacturing, the trio stumbled upon a refugee tailor community in Malaysia during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There, they encountered a skilled master tailor and decided to collaborate with him on a sample collection. This experience opened their eyes to the potential of starting a business that could transform the lives of artisans by connecting them with opportunities and resources. In 2019, Barehands was born with a mission to shed light on the faces and stories of these talented individuals. The brand has since expanded its reach, partnering with 144 artisans in 10 different communities across Colombia, Venezuela, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Barehands is recognized as one of the Made With Passion brands, an initiative led by the Singapore Tourism Board and Enterprise Singapore that celebrates and supports local brands in pursuing their passions.

Barehands follows a made-to-order production cycle, prioritizing environmental responsibility by minimizing overproduction and utilizing off-cut fabrics for limited-edition collections. The brand’s design process combines minimalism and color, resulting in popular pieces like the Leona Long Pants and the reversible Portland panel top. These garments are loved by customers for their versatility, comfort, and ability to flatter all body types.

Lye and Go emphasize the importance of sustainable communities and the transformative power of fashion in an interview with Vogue Singapore. They explain that their inspiration for Barehands stemmed from witnessing how businesses can positively impact lives by providing livelihoods and dignity. Their mission is to build strong and sustainable communities while delivering excellent products to customers, ensuring that the artisans behind each item receive support and recognition.

Barehands believes in equitable partnerships as the foundation of sustainable communities. They aim to give voice and support to all those involved in the creation of their products, ensuring that each individual’s contribution is valued and acknowledged. The brand carefully selects artisans based on their artistry and commitment, fostering long-term relationships.

In terms of sustainability in the design process, Barehands works closely with artisans who inform them about off-cut fabrics, which are then repurposed into accessories or limited-edition upcycled pieces. The brand invests in the growth of these artisans, aligning their own growth with the success of the communities they work with.

Barehands hopes to make an impact on the local fashion scene by inspiring others to explore sustainability and adopt a holistic mentality of intentionality. While still a relatively small brand, they believe that even their modest efforts can encourage conscious fashion choices.

To promote conscious fashion purchases, Barehands trains their staff to engage customers in meaningful conversations during the shopping experience. They encourage curiosity and urge customers to learn more about the products they purchase, fostering a deeper understanding of the brand’s values and the impact of their choices.


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