MAY 2020


GERMAINE LYE is the Singaporean co- founder of Our Barehands, an online store selling artisanal products handmade by small communities around the world.

Tell us about Our Barehands and what it aims to achieve.

We’re on a mission to make an open, honest and lasting change in communities, and we believe that the first step is to ensure a sustainable livelihood for the small-producing communities we work with. We envision a world where every person and community has the ability to stand on their own two feet. When and why did you launch the store?  Through our various experiences in global humanitarian work, non-profits and exposure to sustainable businesses in healthcare and agriculture, we realised there was a big need and opportunity for us to rethink how businesses are run and to reimagine the way of social enterprise. Combining our skills and resources, we decided to take the leap early last year. How does it run? We partner and work with artisan communities to build market- ready products. One example is a group of bead weavers in Gujarat, India. They do traditional beadwork for family and friends, but until our collaboration they didn’t have access to global resources and market. Bead by bead, each pair of earrings is handwoven for at least six hours using Barehands’ sourced materials – it’s not just a means of livelihood for the artisans, but it gives them a sense of identity. By having products listed on Barehands, it gives them hope for a better, brighter and more financially sustainable tomorrow. How can somebody get involved with what you’re doing? Do you need help? Yes! We strongly believe in the beauty of coming together, in the sharing of what our hands can offer – be it a skill, resource or knowledge amongst others. We’re more than an online store; we’re an international collaborative platform

that brings people with different gifts together – artisans, designers, storytellers, copywriters, even corporates or brand advocates. Every person who has something to offer can become a collaborator of Barehands as long as we share the same belief and mission in wanting to make an open, honest and lasting change in the communities we work with. So, if you love telling stories with a camera or with words, or making beautiful things with your hands, we’d be interested in hearing from you. If you’d like to share the stories behind Barehands’ products with your colleagues, or you want us to be a part of your Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, we’re up for it. Or, if you have a brand that’s keen to share the same mission of building thriving communities, you can apply as a Partner Vendor and grow together with us. Anything else we should know? We do a number of our product launches on Instagram and Facebook, so we encourage readers to followOur Barehands on our social media platforms.

Find out more on Instagram @our.barehands, on the Our Barehands Facebook page, at or email them at



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