German trade show Munich Fabric Start, which owns denim event Bluezone, launched the Fair for Ukraine fund, a dedicated initiative that offers support for Ukrainians affected by Russia’s invasion. The event organizer shared a statement on its Instagram account last week announcing the fund and outlining the ways in which exhibitors and attendees could get involved, with the caption, “Though this topic is beyond our field of expertise, we want to take a stand and try to help where we can…for a world without war!”
Now through September, Munich Fabric Start organizers are collecting financial contributions for organizations that provide emergency aid for Ukraine. It’s offering its near-1,000 exhibitors around the world the opportunity to donate 1 euro (about $1) per booked square meter for its upcoming show in August. It pledges to double the amount collected from each contribution to make a greater impact and support those affected. After September, the organizers will evaluate the situation to determine whether or not the initiative needs to be extended.
Munich Fabric Start will be held Aug. 30-Sept. 1 alongside Bluezone taking place Aug. 30-31.
According to Sebastian Klinder, managing director at Munich Fabric Start and Bluezone, the company had an innate motivation for getting involved in support initiatives.
“We have always been engaged in selected social projects, but the current need for action to support Ukrainian people in need is clearly a call for every single one of us,” he said. “This is a real community approach reflecting our company’s values—we need to join forces and contribute together.”
As Munich is located approximately 1,100 miles from the Ukraine border, the war hits close to home for the organizers. Klinder noted that Munich is closer to Ukraine than it is to London, Naples or Stockholm.
“We only have a few Ukrainian brands visiting, but as a Munich-based family business, it is close to our hearts to make our contribution in the spirit of ‘think global, act local’ and to focus on solidarity,” he said. “Our shows stand for international exchange. In this sense, we are relying on the power of a strong community with our Fair for Ukraine initiative to offer direct support.”
The trade show organizers vowed to “take a step back” from marketing activities and social media to “provide necessary space and reach for urgent information and organizations” supporting Ukraine.
The event’s support follows other initiatives throughout the industry. Acne Studios donated 100,000 euros (about $110,915) to UNICEF and to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Balenciago donated an undisclosed amount to humanitarian organization U.N. World Food Programme, Burberry contributed an undisclosed amount to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal and pledged to match any employee donations to charities supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. LVMH Group contributed 5 million euros (about $5.5 million) to support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and is providing aid to its 150 Ukrainian workers, and Gap Inc.’s brands pledged to make a collective donation of more than $1 million worth of women and children’s clothes to the UNHCR for communities in need.