Fashion Industry STANDS WITH UKRAINE, #нетвойне. How Can You HELP?

Updated 7 March 2022

We #STANDWITHUKRAINE.

Even though the entire world spreads the news about my country, the people living in Russia still believe in the “special operation” story. They do not believe that the Russian army is killing civilians and destroying our cities and towns … Encourage them to get information about the war from the right sources …

– Ukrainian Fashion Week team member

Putin’s unprovoked, horrific war on Ukraine has rattled and rallied the world with an unprecedented global unity across all corners of our society which includes the fashion industry.

EDGE Fashion Intelligence (EFI) has presented the work of Ukraine fashion designers who are making the difference in creativity and sustainability.  Over the years, we have covered Ukraine’s Fashion Week BE SUSTAINABLE! Fashion Summit, highlighting the programming and showcasing the body of work of featured sustainable designers.

As an international fashion media outlet, EFI continues to be in communication with Ukraine and from the information we are getting inside the fashion community, acknowledging their safety and “lucky to be able to send this email to you”, is the emotional cry for help: to correct the narrative and truth about the war to Russians.  Russian citizens are shut off from independent media.

Our Ukraine source expresses the following help:

“Even though the entire world spreads the news about my country, the people living in Russia still believe in the “special operation” story. They do not believe that the Russian army is killing civilians and destroying our cities and towns. They do not know – or do not want to know – how many Russian soldiers have lost their lives on our soil during these seven days. They don’t understand why their country is faced with so many sanctions. They’re also not willing to recognize that they can stop all of this. 

I’m asking you to address your Russian partners, colleagues, and friends and show them the truth in all possible ways:

•  Terminate any kind of partnership with Russian companies, agencies, individuals, etc.

•  Urge them to protest against their government and its war in Ukraine. 

•  Encourage them to get information about the war from the right sources.”

They are also requesting financial help for Ukraine’s military and humanitarian aid, and suggest to go to the National Bank of Ukraine for further assistance.

From Vogue UA, Address of Ukrainian Fashion Week Team to International Fashion Week Community outlines 5 ways to help: Ban Russia; Be the Voice of Truth; Fundraising for Ukraine; Hire Ukrainians; and Internal Campaign.

Fashion unites against war.  The London-based online fashion magazine, 1 GRANARY, has a call to action, an open letter for the fashion industry to do their part to Stand With Ukraine.  Founded by Ukrainian, Olya Kuryshchuk, 1 GRANARY is an independent editorial platform aiming to promote emerging talent in the fashion and art industry globally.  Produced by students and alumni of the five most acclaimed international fashion design schools: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Royal College of Art in London, Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo and Parsons School of Design in New York, 1 GRANARY connects like-minded artists and professionals, and assists new graduates to transition and assimilate into the industry.

When the 1 GRANARY letter was published, 01 March, there were 800 signatures and as of this update over 3000 members of the industry have signed on. Here is the Letter:

We, undersigned,

ask fashion businesses and their leaders to stand together with Ukraine and strongly condemn Russia’s invasion.

As designers, stylists, photographers, teachers, students, researchers, models, artists, graphic designers, creative directors, agents, writers, and editors, we continuously strive for a world where creative expression, cultural exchange, and collaboration can blossom. The violence of the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine goes against everything we stand for. This war brings nothing but destruction, suffering, and grief.

Fashion has power. Fashion is a trillion-dollar industry with gigantic cultural, economic, and even political influence. In times of crisis, it’s easy to dismiss that power, to call it superfluous, frivolous, tone-deaf, hypocrite, or non-essential. But our supply chains connect countries across the globe, our media reach masses of followers everywhere, our shared language of creativity is universal. We are an industry bursting with talent, skills, networks, and connections. Those tools can always improve the lives of people around us – whether it’s on a large scale or an intimate one. Wherever you are today, don’t turn your back, don’t close your eyes.

We demand our governments to continue enforcing strong sanctions and to contribute aid so freedom, democracy, and sovereignty can be assured in Ukraine.

We also ask the fashion community and influential fashion houses, in particular, to not be silent, use their platforms, and offer hands-on help.

1 GRANARY FASHION UNITES AGAINST WAR: THE OPEN LETTER AND ITS SIGNATORIES

Vogue UK is reporting support from well-known fashion brands, yet mostly independents, who are helping Ukraine and neighboring countries’ humanitarian infrastructure, providing links to numerous charitable organizations.

Vogue Ukraine urges embargo on fashion and luxury goods to Russia.  A statement from their instagram post, “In the wake of unprecedented military aggression from the Russian Federation and the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine Vogue UA urges all international fashion and luxury conglomerates and companies to cease any collaborations on the aggressor’s market effective immediately.”  Vogue UA calls out major players such as LVMH, Kering, Prada Group, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara, Burberry, Valentino, Versace, Hugo Boss, Calzedonia, and more.  The statement adds, “These measures should apply to the brands and other entities that produce and also distribute and sell fashion goods, accessories, fine jewellery and watches, luxury lifestyle products in the Russian market.  Showing your conscience and choosing humanity over monetary benefits is the only reasonable stand one can take in confronting the violent behavior of Russia.”

“The LVMH Group is closely monitoring the tragic situation in Ukraine and stands alongside all those severely affected by this war. The Group’s first concern is the safety of its 150 employees in Ukraine and is providing them with essential financial and operational assistance,” said in a statement by the luxury group.  The statement continues, “LVMH has today also decided to make a first emergency donation of five million euros to support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help the direct and indirect victims of this conflict.”

Many European retailers are aligning with international sanctions. According to The Guardian, Russia is 3% of global luxury sales and Danish and Hungarian labels have stopped trading with Russia, “The cult Danish label Ganni and Hungarian brand Nanushka are among the few to have stopped selling to Russia.”

Global fashion company Inditex, the parent company of fast fashion giant Zara, announced 05 March it was closing all shops in Russia amid the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The decision means the closure of 502 shops in Russia and a halt to all online sales in the country, Inditex told Reuters in a statement.

“In the current circumstances Inditex cannot guarantee the continuity of the operations and commercial conditions in the Russian Federation and temporarily suspends its activity,” Inditex said in the statement.

 

NO WAR. #нетвойне. PEACE.

Watch for updates.

 

Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor