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With 2,000 Dead in Ukraine, Nike Among Fashion Brands Updating Russian Ops

Nike, H&M, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, Asos and Puma are among the first fashion companies to begin limiting the availability of their goods in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, which the country’s State Emergency Service said Wednesday has killed more than 2,000 civilians since the attacks began last week.

The brands’ statements and updated websites followed news that logistics giants UPS and FedEx had suspended services in both Russia and Ukraine. UPS halted all international shipping services to and from Ukraine, Russia and Russian ally Belarus. FedEx temporarily suspended inbound and outbound services to Ukraine and inbound services to Russia.

Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA CGM have suspended new Russia bookings, with some exceptions for food and humanitarian aid, as well.

In a note posted to the homepage of its Russian e-commerce site, Nike told shoppers that the company could no longer guarantee delivery of goods to its customers in the country. “As a result, merchandise purchases on Nike.com and the Nike app are temporarily unavailable in this region,” the message reads, according to Google Translate. The note advises customers to visit their nearest Nike store. With 119 locations, Russia is the company’s fourth-largest market by store count. The Russian homepage for Nike subsidiary Converse remains unchanged.

Asos followed suit Wednesday morning, redirecting its entire Russian site to a short note alerting customers in the country that it is “unable” to process their orders “at this time and until further notice.”

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“Asos’ priority is the safety of its colleagues and partners in Ukraine and Russia,” a spokesperson said. “Immediately following the invasion, Asos suspended sales in Ukraine as it became impossible to serve customers there. Against the backdrop of the continuing war, Asos has decided that it is neither practical nor right to continue to trade in Russia, and has, therefore, today suspended our operations there. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and all those affected in the region.” A Boohoo spokesperson told Reuters it has paused sales in Russia.

H&M also “temporarily” halted sales in Russia, it said Wednesday, while its stores in Ukraine are already closed. “H&M Group is deeply concerned about the tragic developments in Ukraine and stand with all the people who are suffering,” it said, adding that it’s “continuously” monitoring the crisis.

Yoox Net-a-Porter Group’s four online stores—Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter, Yoox and The Outnet—have all suspended order fulfilment “until further notice,” according to notes posted to their respective front pages. “Due to the current situation, we are unable to complete any new orders in your country,” the messages say.

Puma, meanwhile, has left its Russian site up, with a small note at the top that says “order delivery to the southern regions of the Russian Federation is possible,” per Google Translate. A spokesperson told Sourcing Journal Wednesday morning, however, that deliveries to the country have stopped. Stores in the country remain open, they noted.

Though these companies appear to be suspending shipments to Russia out of logistical necessity, Vogue’s Ukraine arm has urged all international fashion and luxury conglomerates to willingly cease shipments to Russia. In its Tuesday Instagram post, the regional magazine specifically called out and tagged LVMH, Kering, Richemont, Prada Group, Swatch Group, Chanel, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara, Burberry, Valentino, Versace, Hugo Boss, Calzedonia, Puig and Shiseido. The measures, it said, should apply to entities that produce and distribute goods in the Russian market.

“In the wake of unprecedented military aggression from the Russian Federation and the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine Vogue UA urges all international fashion and luxury conglomerates and companies to cease any collaborations on the aggressor’s market effective immediately,” the publication said. “Showing your conscience and choosing humanity over monetary benefits is the only reasonable stand one can take in confronting the violent behavior of Russia.”

While they haven’t yet publicly committed to cutting off Russia, several luxury brands have been vocal in their support for Ukraine. On Wednesday, Balenciaga announced it was refocusing its Twitter and Instagram pages around relaying information related to “the situation” in Ukraine. “We stand for peace and donated to [the World Food Programme] to support first humanitarian help for Ukrainian refugees,” it wrote.

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In a statement released Wednesday, Burberry announced it was donating to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal, a group working to provide aid, food, warm clothes and shelter to communities in need. It also said it is matching any employee donations supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Also on Wednesday, Gucci Equilibrium—the label’s sustainability platform—announced the fashion house’s Chime for Change campaign would donate $500,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide support for refugees fleeing violence in Ukraine. “All of us at Gucci hope for a peaceful resolution to this conflict,” the message ended.

Outside of luxury, Keen Footwear announced Tuesday it was committing 50,000 euros—roughly $55,250—in cash and products to support Ukrainian refugees. Adidas, meanwhile, has suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union and is donating more than 100,000 euros—roughly $110,500—and around 35 pallets worth of footwear and apparel to children’s and refugees aid organizations.

“As a company, we strongly condemn any form of violence and stand in solidarity with those calling for peace,” the company said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people, and everyone affected at this difficult time…. We will continue to follow the situation closely and take future business decisions and action as needed, prioritizing our employee’s safety and support.”

In a statement on Instagram, Budapest-based fashion house Nanushka said it’s leveraging its “platforms to draw further attention to the crisis” in Ukraine and “provide support” by helping the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta distribute food and clothing and offer housing and transport to Ukrainians fleeing to the Hungarian capital.

On Thursday, Mango announced it had decided to “temporarily suspend” its operations in Russia, closing its company stores and its online platform, as well as stopping the delivery of goods to the country. Of the retailer’s 120 stores in the country, 65 are franchises. These locations, as well as marketplaces, can continue to operate and distribute Mango garments “subject to their current stock availability.” Mango said it is “making itself available” to its 800 employees in Russia, as well as franchises and other partners, “in order to attend to their needs.”

Mango is also making itself available to its employees in Ukraine. The company has committed to mentoring and providing legal and financial support to all employees and their relatives who have left the country. It will also provide financial support for employees who remain in Ukraine.

In parallel, Mango has donated 100,000 euros to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which has already provided assistance to those affected by the nearly eight years of conflict in the Donbas region. It also said it is making itself available to different organizations and entities with the aim of donating clothes and materials in response to the refugee crisis.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.