At Saint Javelin, we believe that our clothing is not just fabric and designs. It is a powerful medium that can send strong political messages, raise awareness, connect people around the world and promote Ukraine. At the beginning of 2023, we set an ambitious goal – to start gradually moving our manufacturing to Ukraine. Although we’ve managed to make and launch a few small drops of Saint Javelin’s classic products in 2022, the Crimea Beach Party was the first large collection, united by one creative concept, to be fully made in Ukraine.8
Initially, we hoped to launch the Crimea Beach Party collection at the beginning of the summer. But, as you can imagine, producing anything in an invaded country, constantly terrorized by an insane psychopath, is not an easy task. Our partner factories had delays in their production schedules due to power outages and missile attacks. Our team members barely slept in May and June due to constant Russian bombardments. But we still managed to create the collection that we are most proud of so far.
Considering all these challenges and setbacks, some of you might be curious why we want to produce our clothing in Ukraine. Let us explain why we think this is important for our mission.
The Russian full-scale invasion took an unprecedented toll on Ukraine’s economy. The destruction of production capital and infrastructure brought human casualties and social losses. The war led to a reduction in jobs and income, a decrease in purchasing power and the amount of accumulated assets. In 2022, the national economy lost 29.2% of real GDP, and 13.5 million people were forced to leave their homes. According to the World Bank’s estimations, the estimated cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine has grown to US $411 billion in 2023. Many foreign investors and businesses, including clothing brands such as Zara, halted their operations in the country, hurting Ukraine’s economy even further.
Apart from directly donating to Ukrainian organizations and charities, we want to make sure that the operations of Saint Javelin as a company bring the most economic benefit to Ukraine. By reinvesting part of our profits into future productions in Ukraine and hiring Ukrainian staff, we make a small but important contribution to Ukraine’s economic stability during the most unprecedented crisis in its history.
Supporting Local Manufacturers
Supporting local Ukrainian manufacturers during the war is of paramount importance for several critical reasons. Firstly, by sustaining domestic industries, Ukraine can strengthen its economy from within, mitigating the adverse effects of the ongoing conflict. The war has already disrupted global supply chains and caused uncertainties in international trade, making it imperative for Ukraine to cultivate self-sufficiency. When local manufacturers receive support, they can continue production, provide employment opportunities, and contribute to stabilizing the country's economy during challenging times. Moreover, empowering Ukrainian industries can foster a sense of unity and national pride, as citizens witness the resilience and determination of their compatriots to overcome adversity and rebuild the nation.
“We were very happy to receive such a big order from Saint Javelin because it helps us make the factory running and pay salaries to our employees, it helps us exist… Since the start of the full-scale invasion, many small brands that we used to make clothing for stopped their businesses… We lost a big chunk of clients while trying to keep the same number of staff. Last winter was incredibly hard for us, too. Many factories in the area closed and sold their equipment because of constant power outages and lack of business opportunities, but we managed to stay afloat against all odds.” - a manager of a clothing and textile factory in Brovary told Saint Javelin team
Furthermore, supporting homegrown industries and artists contributes to preserving Ukraine's cultural heritage and identity. At Saint Javelin, we plan to work more with local manufacturers and artists who make items that reflect the country's traditions, craftsmanship, and unique artistic expressions. By valuing and investing in these products, Ukrainians reinforce their cultural pride and keep alive the heritage that defines their national identity. This recognition of local artisans and producers not only instills a sense of pride but also enhances social cohesion and cohesion as communities unite to safeguard their shared heritage. In these ways, supporting local Ukrainian manufacturers during the war goes beyond economic interests and becomes a powerful means of preserving the nation's social fabric and collective spirit amidst adversity.
Product Quality Control
By working closely with Ukrainian manufacturers, we can now exercise meticulous control over every aspect of our clothing line, from fabric selection to product testing and durability evaluations. By conducting rigorous testing and pre-shrinking procedures locally, we can ensure that our garments are made to perfection, free from any imperfections that might otherwise slip through the cracks. This hands-on approach allows us to intervene promptly and make necessary adjustments, delivering products that meet or exceed our quality standards.
Moreover, our direct partnership with Ukrainian manufacturers empowers us to thoroughly test product samples and evaluate the durability of our items before mass production. This level of quality control ensures that every piece that carries our brand name is a testament to exceptional Ukraine’s craftsmanship and reliability. Working closely with our manufacturing partners cultivates a strong relationship built on trust and open communication, enabling us to align our production practices with our brand values seamlessly. The result is a collection of clothing that embodies our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. We believe that this move to work with local manufacturers in Ukraine marks a significant milestone in our brand's journey, and we cannot wait to share the unparalleled quality of our products with the amazing community.