A show of support: How has the cosmetics industry responded to the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

23-Mar-2022

The devastating effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have not spared the country’s cosmetics players as the global industry rallies around to support those most impacted by the crisis. Dylan Carter, Liz Newmark, William Tomaney and Julia Wray report

The Ukrainian cosmetics industry has been hit hard by Russia’s invasion, forcing many producers to halt production and close their businesses. The country’s personal care products market had been projected to generate US$2.9bn in sales during 2022 by data service Statista and has been steadily growing year on year.

The market, according to Ukraine educational research service Na Urok, is one of the largest in Ukraine, only behind alcohol, tobacco and food, it claimed.

Ukraine’s industrial cities, such as Kharkiv and Dnipro, are home to dozens of domestic beauty and personal care product manufacturers, as well as international manufacturers such as L’Oréal, Henkel and Oriflame.

However, Russia’s invasion and its bombardment of major Ukrainian cities has all but halted activity at this fast-growing domestic industry. According to UN estimates, even if the war in Ukraine ends soon, Ukraine’s GDP will contract by 10%, closing down many domestic producers in the process.

The invasion has killed at least 900 civilians, according to the UN.

How can you help?

Show your support: Brand Solidarity (brandsolidarity.org) was set up by branding authority Marcel Knobil to “bring brands together to express a chorus of support for all the people of Ukraine” and to keep awareness at the forefront of people’s hearts and minds.
Fund medical aid: Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (msf.org) has stressed the challenge of getting supplies to where they are needed in Ukraine; its teams are looking into multiple ways of moving medical supplies around the country safely, and have begun offering training to hospitals in Lviv and Odessa.
Back fighters on the ground: Founded in 2014 by former Navy Seal Taras Chmut, Come Back Alive (comebackalive.in.ua) supports the armed forces of Ukraine through financing purely defence initiatives. It supplies technology, training, ammunition and psychological support. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) (bank.gov.ua) has also set up a special account to raise funds for Ukraine’s armed forces.
Create jobs for refugees: In the UK, a coalition of 40 businesses, led by British businesswoman, entrepreneur and journalist Emma Sinclair (and including M&S and Lush), have earmarked 10,000 jobs for Ukrainian refugees as of 17 March.

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