Amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine, fashion designers, artists, and businesses are launching initiatives to keep the country’s economy afloat by harnessing consumer power. These initiatives aim to support Ukrainian creatives and industries through various websites that feature Ukrainian brands, such as Spend With Ukraine. This website connects customers to Ukraine-based businesses in various sectors, from fashion to electric bikes. Another initiative, the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, enables individuals to donate stipends to support artists.
Spend With Ukraine’s founders, Yaroslav Azhnyuk and Andrey Klen, believe that purchasing Ukrainian products is crucial in supporting the economy, as Klen says, “Armies win battles, but economy wins wars.” They believe the simplicity of the idea is what has caught the attention of global media and influencers. Anna October, a fashion designer featured on Spend With Ukraine, donates 30% of each sale to the Children’s Emergency Fund, and supports the notion that buying Ukrainian products supports both the brand and the country.
Sustaining interest in spending with Ukraine is crucial, as increased demand will help businesses stay afloat and contribute to financial stability. Klen says, “Life goes on – investments definitely help with that.” The goal of these initiatives is to help Ukrainian creatives while supporting existing industries, and Klen hopes to scale the program with increased awareness and support.