MILAN — Italy’s Camera della Moda said Thursday its members have taken part in the fundraising campaign started for Ukraine by the UN agency for Refugees, which raised more than 4.5 million euros, while the fashion association is now launching the “I Work” project for Ukrainian refugees.
“Europe is living through a severe political and humanitarian crisis. As an institution and as individuals, we all feel the need to make a concrete contribution aimed at people,” said Carlo Capasa, chairman of the association.
“Thanks to the commitment, the sensitivity and the generosity of our associates, we are able to activate a project [that] offers hope and builds bridges for a peaceful, collaborative and inclusive future. In our culture, work is a tool of ennobling the individual and I am therefore truly grateful to our brands for having committed themselves so quickly and efficiently to making this project possible,” he added.
The jobs will be offered with temporary contracts, allowing new employees to be able to return home once the situation in Ukraine has stabilized.
The CNMI said it will work with the presidents of the Italian Regional Councils, the regional ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) and the mayors of relevant towns, in order to connect refugees with jobs. The CNMI said it would update on the program’s progress in the coming weeks.
The “I Work” initiative follows last year’s “Fashion Deserves the World” project launched by the Camera della Moda, aimed at helping international migrants and refugees build a career in the country’s fashion industry.
The fashion body teamed up with Mygrants, a platform developed by Christian Richmond Nzi which, since its foundation, has provided a career and placement service to migrants and refugees in Italy, assessing their skills and matching supply and demand in the labor market.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has forced the fashion industry, and the government, to make a variety of changes.
Russia accounts for about 1.6 percent of Italy’s exports, but the latter sources about 40 percent of its gas from the former. Italy’s government has been taking steps to diversify its energy supply mix, most recently inking a deal with Algeria to ramp up gas imports by around 40 percent.
Last month, uncertainty over the war and inflation due to soaring energy prices were said to hit Italian GDP by about 0.7 percentage points this year, the Italian statistics center ISTAT said, while consumer confidence has also been impacted.
“In March, the consumer confidence climate diminished sharply. The unfavorable confidence evolution is mainly due to the deterioration of both the economic and future climate. Also the business confidence climate worsened,” ISTAT concluded.
Italian luxury brands have been weathering the storm. Brunello Cucinelli reported that the war has had no impact on Cucinelli’s Italian supply and production chain, and said the weight of the market “could return in 2022 to incidence values very similar” to those reported before the pandemic.
“In the five-year period 2015-19, the average incidence of the value of exports to Russia was in the range of 4 to 5 percent,” Cucinelli said.
In February, Moncler said Russia and Ukraine represented 2 percent of sales, so “not material” for the group.
On Thursday, a study by Confimprese-EY, which analyzed consumer spending in Italy in the fashion, accessories and food and beverage sectors, as well as in non-food segments (cosmetics retail, furniture, services, culture), reported that sales decreased 19.3 percent in March 2022 compared with 2019.
The worst performance was seen in fashion and accessories, which fell 31.3 percent. Travel recovered after the pandemic crisis, down 18.6 percent. Malls showed a 25.8 percent decrease and high street was down 27 percent.