Counteraction: How the RIOTDIVISION brand helps at the frontline and on the home front
The ability to transform and a hi-tech grade – values that have been professed in the team RIOTDIVISION since the founding of the brand. Today, during the war, these values can be seen in action: the founder of the brand Oleg Moroz defends the country in the armed forces, other team members helpon the home front, as well as provide their functional clothing to the armed forces and Territorial defense. More about how the RIOTDIVISION team responded to the challenges of time, says brand representative Platon Osadchy.
A few days before the war, information came from various sources that Russia could still invade Ukraine. In the event of such a scenario, the members of the RIOTDIVISION team and I have agreed that we will all gather in the studio and decide together what to do next. Already at 6:20, we all gathered at the location. Oleg's friends also followed us to join the volunteer battalion.
Initially, the plan was as follows – we transport girls who work in the company to Ternopil or Ivano-Frankivsk, we try to take computers, patterns, plotters to a safer place. However, our girls flatly refused to go anywhere. In the end, it was decided that some men would go to a military base, others would take their wives-mothers-daughters to the west of Ukraine, and then return. Oleg without options and alternatives wanted to stay at the base and then took part in the fighting.
For the first two weeks, none of us thought about work at all. Some volunteered, some fought. There was a feeling that the brand would close altogether, but not because things were going badly, but because everyone was not up to it. At the beginning of the war in RIOTDIVISION we distributed everything we had in the showroom and in the warehouse. We opened the store for half an hour, distributed clothes for the needs of the Armed Forces, Territorial defense, the Security Service of Ukraine – never before have there been so many representatives of law enforcement agencies in our store. From a practical point of view for the brand it was a regress – we came to a decent minus. However, we do not regret it. Too many people call us, write to us, send us pictures of how they serve in our pants, socks and hats, and tell us how warm they are.
Everyone in the team tried to be as helpful as possible – and everyone began to help as much as they could. The girls cook in the kitchens of various restaurants that currently feed the Armed Forces and the Territorial defense; Oleg and a few other guys – in volunteer battalions; I volunteer: from buying food to finding things that the military needs.
When people got their first shock, they started calling the RIOTDIVISION store – they wanted to buy things to support the brand. So later, we started opening the store for an hour and a half, upon prior request. The revenue we received was not worse than it was before the war – it turned out that people need shopping – it is a way to relieve stress, to abstract from events.
Later, one of our consultants, who volunteered with his wife for the first few weeks, applied for a job at the store. Together with his wife, they come by bicycle every day, two hours one way, then the other. That is why the store currently has a schedule from 12:00 to 17:00. They are happy – this is their way of overcoming stress.
I am still not in the mood to work with clothes, but we have all realized that this is a marathon, a long-distance race, and the functional work of the brand is also a help to the country. That's why we all force ourselves to solve all issues in a disciplined way.
We do not transfer intellectual production anywhere, but practical production has never been in Kyiv. Our clothes are sewn in partner productions. Our partners work in the town of Shpola, and even now they sew what they should have done before the war. They helped us a lot, they even transported goods to Kyiv, despite the shelling. They sewed a batch of fleece jackets in just one day. Half of them, in yellow, we distributed to refugees.
Even before the war, we agreed with the Ternopil production, they called us and said that they had started their work and were ready to sew for us. The brand is currently selling stocks that are in warehouse. We are extremely grateful to RIOTDIVISION fans and those who just want to support the brand and buy our products.
The mission of the brand has always been to counteract destruction and destructiveness by constructive and creative. Together with the team, we analyzed the philosophy of the brand and came to the conclusion that it will never be the same as before. Today, the guys from the frontline write how our clothes help them. This is extremely important for us. On the third day of the war, a Marine entered the store, sniper, he took part in many military trips. His pants were torn on both sides, and he asked to be given some pants because it was cold in the position. Then he came again – thanked, gave us a tag from his rifle. We decorated it in a frame – a lot of enemies from this rifle died.
Oleg says that after what he saw in the liberated suburbs, he had a culture shock. No one could have imagined that this was possible in the 21st century. It is now clear that we are fighting against absolute evil. We are fighting not only for Ukraine, we are also fighting for civilization, for where the development of humanity will go.
Today Ukraine is at an interesting historical point, this is a turning point. Right now, changes are taking place that are possible every thousand years, and there is an opportunity to completely change the attitude towards Ukraine. Our homeland has become not only the center of Europe, but of the world as a whole. There will be many more difficulties, but this feeling is there. We feel these changes even after the way the representatives of the western fashion industry communicate with the brand. They understand that very important events for the world are taking place here. I think every Ukrainian also knows this. It is up to us to take advantage of opportunities that allow us to completely rewrite the vector of our movement. This is a historic moment of maturing nation, country. We pay a very high price for this, so we have no right to lose this chance, we have no right to tarnish the memory of those who gave their lives for the future of Ukraine.