Since Russian troops entered Ukraine on 24th February, global opposition to Vladimir Putin’s actions has mounted – as has charitable support for those in Ukraine affected by the invasion.
Aside from retailers withdrawing their business from Russia (see related), the furniture industry alone has launched numerous initiatives to help those in need. Here are just a few examples …
Emma – The Sleep Company (9th March): As well as suspending all economic activities with Russia and Belarus, many of Emma’s staff (‘Emmies’) identified goods that might help those fleeing Ukraine, and the business was able to provide mattresses worth several hundred thousand euros.
Whitemeadow (8th March): Helped gather supplies for the people of Ukraine, taking a van full of donations to a depot near Manchester Airport.
Ekornes (8th March): Stopped all distribution of furniture to Russia and Belarus.
Qualita (8th March): Contributed towards preparing a truck-load of essentials for those in need in Ukraine, comprising nearly €70,000 worth of products.
JYSK (11th March): Shipped 26,000 blankets for humanitarian aid in Ukraine from its distribution centre in Uldum, Denmark – a donation made in co-operation with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and JYSK’s shipping partner, DSV - Global Transport and Logistics.
Dunelm (8th March): Staff across the retailer’s support centres, warehouses and supply chains engaged charities to understand what support/donations were needed, and supported the distribution of these items. Dunelm centrally collated over 200 pallets for dispatch to Poland in support of refugees, and then turned to exploring the part it could play in helping refugees establish new homes in the UK. It also made a financial donation, and urges others to do so, here.
Comfy Group (12th March): Worked directly with charity Goods For Good to donate thousands of quilts and pillows to provide relief for Ukrainian refugees, and shared this link to The Telegraph for those looking to help in other ways.
Messe Frankfurt (9th March): As well as excluding Russian and Belarusian exhibitors from its trade fairs until further notice, the Frankfurt exhibition centre is being utilised as a first-aid centre with emergency accommodation for refugees.
Forte (20th March): Appointed co-ordinators across its branches to gather information and organise tailored support. Forte allocated its vacant premises to temporary or permanent accommodation, while co-operating with non-governmental organisations to help refugees. The manufacturer also launched psychological support channels for employees from Ukraine, organised transports from the Polish border, and offered assistance in furnishing refugees' premises.
Nectar Sleep (21st March): Provided over 1500 items including pillows, duvets, bed sets and more, which were dispatched to Moldova where charity Stella's Voice are receiving refugees. Stella's Voice is still in need of these donations.
SCP (22nd March): To raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee in support of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, SCP is hosting a fundraising raffle with the chance to win a selected piece of furniture (deadline 31st March 2022).
GNG Group (23rd March): GNG, working with long-time supply partner Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, sent a consignment of beds and mattresses to support victims of the war.
Actona Group (24th March): Three weeks ago, Actona's employees started a fundraiser for Ukraine in co-operation with the Danish Red Cross, raising 120,000 DKK and collecting duvets, pillows, blankets and first-aid kits, in a show of solidarity for their 700 Ukrainian colleagues in Lviv.
Production for customers has ceased at Actona's factory in Ukraine, yet approximately 300 members of staff are still working there, by request, enabling the facility to produce and donate mattresses for refugees and medical bags for the army. A bomb shelter has been created at the factory.
Rhenus Warehousing Solutions Lutterworth (29th March): Raised £1000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee in its first week of fundraising alone.
Wagstaff Interiors Group (5th April): Donated £5000 to the British Red Cross’ DEC Humanitarian Appeal purchase food, clothing and medicine, and urges others to donate here.
Wagstaff provided its long-term sustainability partner (which specialises in the reuse and recycling of unwanted office furniture to support educational and social programmes in 23 countries) with a donation to help expand shelter to refugees, while many of Wagstaff's employees are participating in targeted support opportunities and fundraising events to further support this appeal.
ROM (8th April): Since the start of the crisis, the Belgian sofamaker has collected food and supplies, and recently loaded five trucks for delivery to Ukraine, with a stop-over at ROM's Polish production site. ROM plans to continue to collect donations and will deliver them directly to people in Ukraine via its Polish logistics centre.
CGTrader (8th April): Two weeks prior to the post, CG Trader announced a 3D model marketplace sale, and raised just over $100,000 in donations to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The money was raised by donating the revenue from sales of 3D models, as well as donations from the CGTrader designer community, who chose to donate some or all of their take to the charity.
In terms of ongoing support, CG Trader suggests that 3D designers can join its expanding network of designers contributing to this initiative by donating a chosen part of their royalties, while buyers of 3D models can find 196,558 models and counting on a page showing every designer in support of and from Ukraine, here.
Wow Sleep - The Sleep Experts (6th April): Donated 100 mattresses to Ardent Hire Solutions' appeal to source 1000 mattresses for Ukraine. Wow Sleep's founder and director, Darren Stega-Jones, together with his co-founder, Mark Brooman, drove across Europe to deliver over 15 tonnes of supplies to Poland and Ukraine as part of a 15-vehicle convoy. Read more here.
eve Sleep (5th April): Donated 123 mattresses to Ardent's appeal.
Hypnos (8th April): A charity bedmaking afternoon tied in with over 300 mattresses being sent to Poland. Hypnos thanks L & P and John Cotton for donating raw materials, plus Steve Benton Transport.
Tempur (15th April): Tempur Poland has been working with support agencies to provide products for Ukrainian families in Poland, and last in March Tempur UK was able to send some mattresses over to provide further support.
The Libra Company (15th April): Collected donations for distribution to the Polish/Ukrainian border. Donations are still being collected via drop-off stops in Cambridgeshire.
Harrison Spinks (19th April): Working with The International Charity Fund 'For Ukraine' based in Lutsk, the bedmaker filled a truck with over 130 mattresses, to be distributed across hospitals in Kyiv and refugee accommodation for those from the East and Southeast of Ukraine escaping the conflict. The truck will return soon, as Harrison Spinks promises to have "a few more to donate".
Land of Beds (19th April): Lent its support to Ardent Hire Solutions' 1k Mattress Appeal by donating mattresses to the cause.
On the ground in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers (UAFM) has called for all importers to terminate business ties with Russia and Belarus, with further information downloadable here.
Anyone wishing to notify the trade of a charitable drive or similar on this page can get in touch with Furniture News here.