Empowering Change With Barehands


So four years ago, Barehands was founded with a mission to help artisans create stylish, quality products for the global market. The social enterprise works with marginalised communities to give them an avenue to showcase their skills and earn a living.

Previously limited to pop-ups and online, they have now opened their first physical store in Funan. “We realised that customers really enjoy trying on the clothes,” says Lye. “And because we also do sizing adjustments and customisations, that’s why I think having a [physical] store makes sense. It’s more of an omni-channel strategy where all of our designs are available online but if they prefer to try the sizes or do some adjustment, they can come to the store.”

Most of the apparel in the Funan store are made by Afghan refugees in Malaysia waiting to be resettled elsewhere. They cite “Mr JS” (his full name is not revealed) from the Refugee Sewing Community in Malaysia. A tailor for 30 years, every piece is handmade with his exceptional sewing skills.

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