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Local furniture brand gets creative in support of Ukrainian refugee crisis

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, businesses and brands around the globe have stepped up with donations and creative offerings in support of the millions of Ukrainians forced to flee their homes.

This month, local furniture brand, Cielo, has joined international brands in solidarity for the Ukrainian refugee crisis with its ‘Stand Together’ campaign, featuring a new range of specially designed bar chairs.

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According to the UN, at least 12 million people—close to a third of Ukraine’s 41 million population—have been forced to abandon their homes over the past four months. Nearly 5.5 million people, most of them women, children and the elderly, have sought refuge in nearby European countries, which has produced “the fastest moving refugee crisis since World War II, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,” the Washington Post reported.

In response to the growing crisis which has put relief efforts across Europe under massive strain, global support has arisen from many corners, with companies, organisations, brands and influencers using their platforms and resources to raise awareness and support for the plight of Ukraine’s people.

While some companies have stopped doing business in or with Russia, others, like Airbnb and rail companies across Europe, are providing free services to meet the pressing needs of Ukrainian refugees. International businesses and brands are doing their part by donating portions of profits and sales to various organizations and charities, while many have created unique products specifically to support the cause, from Ukrainian-themed watches and jewellery, to blue and yellow ice cream, and digital fashion pieces.

Local furniture brand gets creative in support of Ukrainian refugee crisis

Following similar inspiration, Cielo’s Kyiv Bar Chair range features rope weaving in two colours of the Ukrainian flag. Aside from its own monetary donations, Cielo will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of the blue and yellow Kyiv Bar Chairs during August and September 2022 to various relief efforts in Ukraine, including the Red Cross and Mission without Borders.

When we started seeing the massive humanitarian disaster that was unfolding, we asked ourselves how we could get involved,” says Cielo Brand and Product Manager, Andrew Jute. “While it would be easy to simply make a donation, we wanted to do something more—something creative that would also allow our customers to get involved. We were inspired by what many international brands were doing, and we decided to follow suit with a unique furniture piece that would make a statement and show solidarity.”

The Kyiv Bar Chair is now available to the public via Cielo’s online store. Locally designed and manufactured, the chair features a frame crafted from cottonwood—an alien species which is removed from rivers as part of a South African water rehabilitation project. Three million litres of water are returned to the environment for every soccer field sized area of trees harvested.

As a brand, we primarily support local initiatives, such as our recent shipment of mattresses in support of the KZN flood victims,” says Jute. “But when we witnessed the levels of death and devastation, and the desperate situation facing millions of civilians and families in Ukraine, we felt this was something we had to get involved in to do our small part to help.”

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