State of Production During War

As the world witnesses intensifying attacks across Ukraine, the city of Kharkiv stands strong.

Despite the relentless assaults on civilian infrastructure and the constant threat of missile strikes, local businesses continue to operate, providing essential services and jobs. Supporting these businesses has never been more crucial as it economically supports the largest frontline city.
We asked one of our key manufacturing partners in Kharkiv about the state of production during these extremely challenging times.

We have worked with Dmytro Shabanov and his team on multiple projects, including the most recent viral MUGA hat pre-order campaign, and we are about to release a brand new Made in Kharkiv drop in the upcoming days.

Thanks to your support, the production orders we have placed have allowed them to continue working these past few months!  

SJ: Please describe the difference between the state of production now and two years ago. 

DS: If we compare today with the state of production before the full-scale war, many things have changed. We constantly have to employ different approaches to work. Our suppliers have changed due to the destruction of the largest market in Ukraine. We now have new kinds of clients, including many military personnel. Our contractors/employees have a shorter lifespan within the company due to many people moving or being internally displaced.

“Everything has changed except for our desire to produce a quality product.”
SJ: Can you describe the specific challenges you face in maintaining production during the war? What were the changes in daily operations over the past two years?

DS: Key challenges we face today include:

  • Daily missile strikes in the city, multiple times a day, often without warning (ballistic missiles), requiring us to constantly interrupt work to ensure safety.

  • Daily power outages, often unscheduled, force us to adapt and use alternative energy sources.

  • The exodus of contractors and employees to safer cities/countries resulted in a constant search for new staff.

  • Significant increases in raw material costs.

  • “But the main challenge remains to be the existence of an unhinged neighbour...”

SJ: Why is it important to invest in products made in Ukraine?

DS: Purchasing goods made in Ukraine supports the country's economy, encourages entrepreneurs who continue to work, preserves jobs, fosters the development of production sectors, and takes care of the country's future.

SJ: How do you envision the future of manufacturing in Kharkiv and Ukraine in general, given the current circumstances?

DS: Kharkiv is having a very tough time. Ukraine is having a tough time. Many businesses have been destroyed, and many have relocated their production to safer cities or countries. Most likely, they will not return to the city after the war ends. Many have closed their businesses and will not reopen them.

However, many entrepreneurs continue to work despite the circumstances, risks, and dangers. The state needs to consider how to support businesses now and stimulate the development and opening of businesses in the future, especially in frontline cities like Kharkiv. 

The experiences and challenges that Dmytro and his team have faced in the last two years highlight that supporting Ukrainian businesses is not just about economic survival; it's about preserving the essence of Ukrainian enterprise and ensuring a future for the country's industrious spirit.

Together, we can make a difference by standing with Ukrainian businesses. We are excited to announce the launch of our new headwear collection, crafted in Kharkiv, on May 29th. This collection not only showcases the high-quality craftsmanship of our local manufacturers but also directly supports them in these trying times. 

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