On February 24, the life of Ukrainians changed fundamentally. Even though the war in Ukraine began 8 years ago, it was on that morning that the whole country, as well as many Ukrainians living abroad, woke up with the understanding that now they and their loved ones are in danger. In the 21st century, a whole nation began a fight for its right to exist.
It may appear inappropriate to talk about brands at this time. But Ukraine needs support more than ever, and a functioning economy is an essential part of any fight. The war has changed people’s lives, but even under shelling, they have to go on. People still go to the shop and make daily choices about the goods they buy. And in Ukraine, as well as globally, consumers demand questions of the brands they spend their money on.
The war forced us to divide the world into “ours” and “others”, and this did not bypass the sphere of consumption. Buyers are less and less forgiving of brands for their neutrality, and increasingly expect brands to take a clear position and, together with Ukrainians, do something to win the war.
Evgenia Blizniuk, founder of Gradus Research
Even before the war we have observed a strong trend for consumers to not just expect, but demand brands to take sides on important issues. For Ukrainian brands the side is clear, and many have been a great support to the nation.
Ukrzaliznytsia, the monopolist of the railway sector in Ukraine, has become a symbol and one of the first brands to provide support. The company didn’t have a great image before the war. But starting from the morning of February 24, Ukrzaliznytsia showed itself as one of the most organized and ready to help people structures. The company launched free evacuation trains that take people from territories where active hostilities are taking place, it equipped wagons for the transportation of the wounded and other less mobile population groups. Ukrzaliznytsia’s employees risked, and gave their lives by going to hot spots to save people. Millions of Ukrainians fled to safety thanks to Ukrzaliznytsia’s composed management and dedicated employees. As a result the company is showered with love and gratitude from people online and offline.
For Ukrainians, it quickly became the norm that brands donate a percentage of sales or products to the army, doctors and rescuers. The brands usually make sure their help is made public. And that publicity does not only increase sales – it also reinforces the understanding that helping others in any way you can is not an exception to the rule – it is the new normal for everyone.
In that spirit, we have collected a list of great Ukrainian brands that you can learn more about and support. Many of those you can order online or find in your local shops.
non.Lbs is anupcycle brand that creates eco-friendly clothes made of vintage fabrics and recycled clothes. The purpose of the brand is to create clothes without harming the planet and people. The first two collections are made of vintage American bags from the 50s and 60s and recycled clothing.
10% of clothing sales goes to help the army, and another 10% goes to help homeless animals.
Marianna Senchina has been producing her own collections since she was very young. After she attended the University of Technology and Design in Ukraine, she moved to Milano to attend Istituto Marangoni’s Fashion Design course in 2013. With her talent and commitment, Marianna was listed in the Top 10 best students and presented her SS’16 “Panic in Vegas” collection to a wide fashion crowd during IM Warrior Show in Milano. After featuring in international magazines including Vogue Italia, Marie Claire Ukraine, and The New York Times, she started to sell her own collection in Paris. Currently based in Milan.
Where to buy
Marianna Senchina is stocked in many shops offline and online worldwide, such as LuisaViaRoma, Moda Operandi, Revolve, Forward by Elise Walker, Harvey Nichols Riyadh, Shopbop, Barney’s NY, Rinascente, and many more.
How they help
The charity drop collection, all proceeds from the sale of this drop are donated to the MASHA Foundation, which focuses on humanitarian aid for women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities of all ages.
KSENIA SCHNAIDER was founded in 2011 by a married couple Ksenia Schnaider and Anton Schnaider. The collections cover women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, reworked, upcycled, patchwork, denim, and accessories.
According to Schnaider, after a “long and dangerous” journey, she reached Germany, staying in more than a dozen apartments along the way. Her brand, beloved for its avant-garde denim creations, stopped operating for weeks. Donations from industry friends and customers, as well as projects like an upcoming collaboration with denim brand DL1961, kept the business afloat.
While searching for new factories in Turkey and Portugal this spring to resume production, Schnaider’s manufacturers in Ukraine told her they wanted to keep working. And even though doing so is risky, logistically challenging, and difficult, Schnaider says, “we are doing it [anyway].” The entire pre-spring collection was produced in Ukraine.
Ksenia Schnaider’s production is based entirely in Kyiv, where the brand reworks up to 7 tons of vintage and used clothes per year. To aid the families of its 30-person team, the brand has issued “support cards” which will become gift certificates in peacetime.
The brand was created back in 2013 as a creative project of designer Anna Osmekhina, a former costume designer, fashion editor and stylist. She and two friends made the first batch of sweatshirts. Then another friend sent their photoshoot to Colette, who much to everyone’s surprise ended up ordering their products. This is how TTSWTRS came into life. Anna was originally inspired by tattoos and so the name of the brand actually is an acronym for Tattoo Sweaters.
What started as a small team of enthusiasts creating clothes as if for themselves, grew to a global brand that has been worn by Nicki Minaj, Kourtney Kardashian, Winnie Harlow, Sita Abellan, Lisa Owen, Tommy Cash, Vera Brezhneva and many others.
Before the war TTSWTRS had its own Kyiv-based manufacturing factory and printing workshop, showrooms in Kyiv, Odesa and Kharkiv. Now the team is working on relocating the main production to Gdańsk, in Poland.
The founder is always vocal in raising awareness and funds for Ukraine, they also have links to donations on their website.
Born in Zaporizhia, Anna October cites the local gray and moody weather as the reason for her to spend a lot of time dreaming. The city of Odesa inspired her use of colour – she moved there when she was 17 to study fine art. Her style combines youth and femininity, embodying a mood and ensuring that you always feel confident, elegant and playful wearing her pieces.
‘I went from designer to refugee overnight’ shared Anna with the Evening Standard months after the start of the russian invasion. As she woke up to the sound of bombs falling over her city and while packing her bags not fully knowing to go where, Anna still managed to think what can she do now, immediately to help her country.
We had three kilometers of fabric in our warehouses, and I immediately made a post on Instagram to say that I wanted to give them away. The cottons went to cover medical needs, and the army used the silks to make camouflage nets.
Of the 12 people in her studio, most chose to remain in Ukraine. One woman, an accountant and stock manager, has joined the army.
I can’t help the whole situation. Lots of people have lost much more than their homes. But as a representative of the creative industry, and facing this with my own experience, I can help other creatives figure out where to go and how to sustain their work. Nobody wants to take donations; nobody wants to feel like a refugee. People left their lives behind, but work can bring you back to life.
Where to buy
Online on annaoctober.com. Delivery is free worldwide by DHL Express (3-5 business days).
How they help
Exiled to Paris because of the war, Anna is leading the design of her next collection and the management of a digital platform dedicated to helping fashion designers in Ukraine. You can support and follow the platform here.
Guzema Fine Jewelry was founded in Ukraine in March 2016 by Valeria Guzema. In her words she never imagined that her personal passion for jewelry will ever turn into a global business. For the last 6 years the company has released over 30 collections. In 2017 the first showroom was opened in Kyiv, and in 2019 they moved to a new bigger location. The Guzema Fine Jewelry team has repeatedly received awards from the Elle Style Awards, Best Fashion Awards, Forbes. In 2018, the brand was presented during LA Fashion Week.
Recently the brand released a new SPADOK jewelry collection. It includes a necklace made of coral and amber with a gold pendant in the shape of a viburnum, as well as a brooch, a single earring and other symbolic items. The collection is inspired by the national cultural heritage: embroidery, natural jewelry materials and the viburnum, a symbol of the native land and parental home. The shape of the pendant is pixel. This is another subtle motif that refers us to the pixel pattern of the military uniform of Ukrainian soldiers and reminds us that there is a war going on in Ukraine and a struggle for independence.
The centuries-old cultural heritage of Ukraine now more than ever affects the creative industries as a whole. We are increasingly immersing ourselves in the roots of the nation, paying attention to Ukrainian identity. In jewelry, we use embroidery, which is a technique of creating clothes and household items that has been handed down to us from past generations. And our ancestors wore jewelry made of coral and amber. Once when I was a child, my grandmother gave me such an amber ring. So, honoring the past, I decided to combine everything I inherited from my ancestors in a new capsule.
The Guzema Foundation was created to help children undergoing treatment at the Chernihiv Regional Children’s Hospital and to improve the material and technical base of this medical institution. However, with the start of a full-scale war that Russia has unleashed in Ukraine, the foundation helps the Ukrainian army and people affected by the occupation. Valeria is also fundraising and being vocal about the war on events, on top of donating profits to the foundation.
Valeria Zhilyova founded her label in 2014 with the aim of empowering women in Eastern Europe. Designing lingerie that is created from a feministic perspective and pushing forward the message of liberation, the brand has been a pioneer, in a predominantly conservative part of the world, encouraging women to take charge of their body and beauty.
The brand started during Maidan time in Ukraine and is in a way indicative of the new sense of freedom that came with the revolution.
Over the years, there have been major turns in freedom of self-expression and love. People are finally more open about who they love, who they want to be with, and how they prefer to express their authenticity. Certainly, not all parts of Ukraine have been undergoing such changes, but Kyiv is a good example of such.
Where to buy
You can order online. They ship internationally, the cost is €15.
How they help
As the war broke Valeria used her connections along with Ukrainian influencers to help people find contacts, rides, shelters, medicine donation organizations and asylum options. Zhilyova Lingerie team and their families are supported by the company and branches of the business in Poland while they try to keep their jobs and return to normal production.
Founded in 1998 by Lilia Poustovit, the brand’s philosophy includes a modern everyday lifestyle shaped into the core product – dress – with a fusion of contemporary and ethnic details in prints and shapes.
Lilia was born in the Ukrainian city Vinnytsia in 1968. She graduated from the Kyiv Technological Institute of Light Industry at the Faculty of garment production, and went off to change a number of jobs, producing collections for various fashion centers. Daniel Hechter, chairman of the jury «In Vogue», noticed the talented fashion designer and invited Lilia to work as a designer of women’s collections pret-a-porter in his house Daniel Hechter, located in Paris. 1996 was marked by the participation of the designer Poustovit in «Salon du pret-a-porter feminine» in Paris.
“The war caught me in Lviv and for two days I tried to get to Kyiv,” shares Lilia. The brand’s collections have always been imbued with notes of love for Ukraine. Ethnic motifs, production technologies, the melodiousness of Ukrainian culture – all this was celebrated in each of Poustovit’s collections. And, when the war began, like a true patriot, Lilya decided to return home first of all – to her city, which was already subjected to brutal bombings from the enemy. All the men in her family bravely defended their homeland.
When I returned, my husband immediately went to the military, as did my brother. All the money from my bank accounts was sent to the fund Come Back Alive and helpUkraine.center, as well as to the accounts of people who are now helping women and children in Western Ukraine.
Yuliya launched the brand in 2013 in times of the Revolution. It is one of the first Ukrainian brands to popularize the traditional vyshyvanka with modern embroidery. Naturally, the brand could not miss the country’s Independence Day this year – on the 24th August 2022 in honor of the holiday, Yuliya Magdych released a new collection dedicated to the freedom and spirit of Ukrainians.
We are under not only military, but also mental pressure. We cannot allow our fighters to feel our fear or sadness. We are strong and resilient, and the new collection is an indicator of confidence in victory. That is why it is saturated with bright and juicy colors that best identify Ukraine now.
Since the beginning of the invasion, the brand has supported the Armed Forces and war-affected children by transferring funds from sales.
Ruslan founded his brand in 2015 in Lviv, his hometown, after years working as a stylist.
I always felt like there was something missing to finish the looks. I was always looking for accessories that would perfectly reflect the aesthetics of the shows. That’s how I started to create the headpieces by myself.
His hats have since become a huge international success and been worn by the likes of Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Rita Ora and Madonna, among many other celebrities whom Ruslan refers to as the ‘RB girls’.
From the start of the war Ruslan has been drawing support from celebrities and the fashion community by being vocal about the war, as well as publicity campaigns like gifting a hat to the Queen recently.
To be honest I find it difficult not to create. For me and for my team it was not only work, it’s our life, we were all creating our dream. And we won’t let russians destroy it and steal it from us. When the war started, we had to flee from Kyiv to Lviv. We had to leave our homes, our office and production. But we managed to rebuild our production here in the Western Ukraine so we have a chance to continue our work and support people and our country.
Where to buy
The brand has showrooms in Kyiv and Lviv and can also be found online. All orders are shipped from Ukraine with DHL Express or Nova Poshta Global, or National Post (Ukrposhta). Shipping cost depends on the country and the shipping service.
We felt it’s our duty to share information, show the truth, and call the world to action. Commercial content was paused, the priority was the information war in its various manifestations.
Kate Kore was founded by Kateryna and Anton Kor in Kyiv in September 2017. The company creates bags and accessories with an emphasis on aesthetic design, materials and simplicity of form. Each handbag is assembled by hand with the highest attention to detail and quality of workmanship. Working with high-quality leather and accessories from Italian factories, careful selection of materials is a priority for the brand.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. Shape, silhouette and color – this is what characterizes you. Because a bag is more than just an accessory. It is part of you, your style and lifestyle. And this idea lives in each of our models.
Where to buy
Online, international delivery takes between 10-20 days and costs between $20-$40.
How they help
The company transfers part of the funds from sales to the armed forces and humanitarian aid, they cooperate with volunteers.
Вagllet is a well-known Ukrainian brand that produces a variety of leather accessories – wallets, bags, backpacks, cases for gadgets. A special feature of Bagllet brand products is the leather, which has been given vintage features – scuffs, light raw edges. Thanks to this, the brand’s accessories have a special charm and status.
The Bagllet brand was launched in Kyiv in 2013, and in a few years was able to conquer not only Ukraine, but many countries in the ex-soviet market. The brand got its name from the combination of the words – bag and wallet.
Each item is made by hand, and if desired, the client can order their own design of a bag or purse, choose the color, texture of the material, and get an exclusive model that will emphasize their individuality.
Kachorovska was born in 1957 – that’s when Leonida Kachorovska, the grandmother of the company’s co-founder Alina Kachorovska-Ocheretyana, went to work as a seamstress in a shoe factory in Zhytomyr. From that time until now, the Kachorovsky family has been creating shoes.
By combining more than half a century of shoemaking experience with modern technology, the Kachorovska brand has mastered the art of making perfect, comfortable shoes for your feet. For more than half a century, the brand has worked in the format of a family atelier, reviving the culture of making shoes to order. During the existence of the atelier, more than 40,000 individual orders have been fulfilled.
As the revolution was happening in 2014, many Ukrainians, driven by patriotism, rushed to support local businesses. Ukrainian brands and companies were riding the popularity wave all over the country, and Kachorovska was no exception.
This economic patriotism has given huge advance trust to the Ukrainian manufacturer. It would have been impossible without the crisis.
Where to buy
All models are available for sale online and in Kachorovska stores – two in Kyiv, one in Odesa.
How they help
From the first days of the war the company has started sewing army boots. Over 2000 pairs have been produced and you can help make more with a donation. The company has more than 200 employees in their facility in Zhytomyr.
Zhytomyr is a little Italy, let’s start with that. We often travel to Italy on business trips. And Zhytomyr is very similar to an Italian town to me. It is small, all distances are small. It is green, it is calm. It has a million advantages.
J’amemme is an emerging fashion brand from Kyiv, known for its architectural silhouettes and signature pleats created by hand. Born in 2018 out of a passion for art and design, the brand is redefining fashion thanks to its approach to color and form. Unique fabrics, contours and textures give a modern look of femininity. The designer and founder Julia Yarmoluk, explores the power of simplified forms that speak of restraint and are based on uncompromising quality.
Like most local brands J’amemme’s production was disrupted by the war.
We thought for a long time whether we should move or stay in Ukraine, I tried to find production abroad. However, I really appreciate the skills of the craftsmen who work with our brand: they are extremely talented. I am sure that it would be difficult to find a team with the same level of skill abroad. I am very glad that it was possible to almost completely preserve production, but unfortunately, the people responsible for our signature pleat are under constant fire.
Today Julia and her team work even harder than before the war to show the world what great products are created in Ukraine and how hardworking Ukrainians are.
I would like to convey to the world how brave and talented we are through my work. I think that fashion plays a very important role in the current situation, because with its help we convey our cultural values to the world, we declare ourselves even louder. Designers popularize our culture among fashion connoisseurs around the world.
Where to buy
Online on their website with international delivery: 14-30 days, €50. The production of the order will take 8-10 working days.
What is the ideal coat? This question is asked by many modern girls, and it is with this question that the history of this brand began. Yuliya Pomoshko, an architect by education, thought out the model of the product in her head and turned to her mother, who was engaged in cutting and sewing. Together, they designed the first coat that sparked interest and attention in creative circles.
With the years the collection has enlarged with dresses, suits, trench coats, sweaters, golfs, and accessories. The designer travels to Italy to personally select natural and high-quality fabrics for future collections and favorite clients. In her models Yulia tells the idea of a new urbanism, where the city is accessible to everyone individually and society as a whole. A city is a place where people can expand their knowledge, skills and sensitivity. The city is the people who live in it.
Where to buy
Online, delivery to any country in the world is carried out by Ukrposhta (1-3 weeks). The cost is $35. Express delivery to any country in the world is carried out by FedEx (3-7 days). The cost is $60.
What choices do Ukrainian brands make when it comes to their domains?
.com came first among the most desired options, with 78 companies securing a .com domain name. The.com is the gold standard of trustworthiness. People are 3.8 times more likely to recall a .com URL than any other, as it is the most commonly used and valuable domain suffix.
Second comes .ua – the local domain extension, with 16 companies and third another local extension. – .com.ua, with 13 brands.
Exact Brand Match
56 companies have invested in exact brand match domains. When searching for your business online, your present and future customers, business partners, and investors would all naturally favor an exact brand match (EBM) domain name.
16 companies operate on the .ua domain name, while 13 have chosen the allocated for commercial entities secondary .com.ua
.ua is Ukraine’s Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD). The extension was registered in the root zone in 1992. Due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, domain servers were moved out of Kyiv on February 26 for continuity reasons. Registration of second-level domains directly below .ua is restricted to owners of registered trademarks to remove the risk of cybersquatting.
Uses of Dash
10 companies use Dash. Dashes are frequently used with two-word brand names or added words when a company must compromise on their domain name because the exact brand match name is already taken or is out of reach.