Amid the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s fashion designers, artists, and businesses are seeking to leverage consumer power to sustain the country’s economy. With various online platforms supporting Ukrainian brands, such as Spend With Ukraine and the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, consumers can make a difference by buying locally made products. The founders of Spend With Ukraine, Yaroslav Azhnyuk and Andrey Klen, believe that buying Ukrainian can make a significant impact.
“Armies win battles, but the economy wins wars,” says Klen. He stresses the simplicity of supporting Ukraine through purchasing decisions, and the importance of sustaining interest in buying locally made products. Anna October, a fashion designer featured on Spend With Ukraine, adds that purchasing from Ukrainian brands not only supports the creatives but also helps the country. For example, for each sale of Anna October’s 90s-style slip dresses and knitwear, 30% is donated to the Children’s Emergency Fund. These initiatives aim to help Ukrainian creatives while keeping the existing industries afloat, providing some sense of normalcy.
By supporting the economy through product demand, businesses can stay afloat, and investments can help life go on. Klen says, “we are seeing some indications of increased demand and we want it to blow out. That’s why getting the word out is so important.”