We’re all aware of the terrible and heartbreaking events that are currently taking place in Ukraine, which stemmed from Russia invading Ukraine on Thursday 24th February. Almost a month later and the world has come together in solidarity to support the people of Ukraine through charitable donations of clothes and essential products, money, and physical acts of protest. As well as this, pressure has been mounting for the world to disassociate with Russia, with social network empire Meta going so far to shut Instagram and Facebook down in the country.
Next, it was the fashion industry that responded, after Vogue Ukraine advised companies to halt trading in Russia – sacrificing a revenue stream for a matter of morality. After a few political statements during fashion week, such as Giorgio Armani hosting a silent show during his Milan catwalk, it was no surprise that global brands responded, closing stores and stopping online orders in Russia, as well as many also donating to charities in support of the country. Here are some of the UK’s most famous brands and companies who have spoken out to support Russia.
Boohoo Group – The Boohoo Group and all of their relevant 13 brands, including Pretty Little thing have closed their Russian websites and stopped trading with the country. They released a statement, saying ‘Boohoo is deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine. Immediately following the invasion, the group suspended sales to Russia, and also closed its Russian trading websites.’
ASOS – The online retailer and marketplace ASOS followed suit, also stopping their operations in Ukraine in order to protect the safety of the workers in the country as the situation quickly worsened. They said; ‘Asos has suspended sales in Ukraine as it became impossible to serve customers there’, and, ‘Against the backdrop of the continuing war, Asos has decided to suspend sales to Russia.’
H&M Group – Comprised of six brands, including H&M, Cos, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday and Arket, the H&M group closed all of their stores in Ukraine and, as similar to ASOS and Boohoo, have stopped trading completely in Russia, both in store and online. They revealed, ‘The situation is continuously monitored and evaluated. Representatives of the company are in dialogue with all relevant stakeholders.’ The group are also known for their sustainable and charitable practise, and consequently revealed they were joining conversations to try and bring forward peace, as well as donating clothes and monetary contributions to charities such as Save the Children.
LVMH – In the luxury world, LVMH, which includes Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci, Celine and Loewe made a huge contribution of five million euros across the group to the Red Cross in order to support the victims of Ukraine. In a statement they said, “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.’
John Lewis – John Lewis partner and chairman Sharon White said she was ‘deeply distressed’ about the crisis in Ukraine, and pledged £100,000 to the British Red Cross, helping to provide food, water, shelter and medicine to those in need. She also promised an additional £150,000 from John Lewis to the charity matched from every donation made by customers. This helped to raise an overall amount of £1.2 million.
Kurt Geiger – Another company who goes the extra mile when it comes to charitable contributions, Kurt Geiger donated 100% of a week’s store profits to the British Red Cross to help in the crisis. He said, We have always been ardent advocates of empathy, compassion and spreading kindness to those who need it most. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in need of financial, practical and emotional support. This is a situation of human suffering, and we believe we have a moral obligation to reach out and help in any way we can.
‘In light of this human crisis, we will be donating 100 percent of last week’s Kurt Geiger store profits to the sum of 50,000 pounds to the British Red Cross’ Emergency Appeal which is currently working with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross preparing to help those affected by the crisis.’
In a time where the world has reprioritised their perspectives, it’s been refreshing to see the fashion industry come together and value the importance of supporting the suffering Ukraine over their own profiteering. As the situation continues, it’s important to continue support, be it monetary donations, physical items or simply word of mouth – a practise the industry should hopefully follow.