Action: Sustainable Fashion - Gunia project

Ukrainian Fashion Week with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation presents the second story Action: Sustainable Fashion - Gunia project

The conversation about the sustainable development of any industry should begin with a conversation about the culture of the country, its history, and its heritage. The revival of crafts and handicrafts, through a thorough study and rethinking of national traditions, makes it possible to create an exceptional sustainable product.

The Gunia Project brand is a brand of exceptional things. This is a slogan and a manifesto because the very appeal to exclusivity is one of the key aspects of a responsible attitude to the resources of nature and the people around us. The main mission of the Gunia Project brand is to interpret cultural tradition and integrate elements of folk heritage into modern functional objects.

The founders of the brand Natalia Kamenska and Maria Gavrilyuk worked in the fashion industry for many years before the Gunia Project was created. Natalia was a co-founder and designer of one of the most successful fashion brands in Ukraine Lake studio (formerly kamenskakononova). Maria combined the career of a successful fashion illustrator with the position of art director of the Lake studio brand.

Today, Natalia and Maria use their fashion background to create a new type of product and business.

Since 2017, the brand has existed in the format of a non-profit creative experimental project. A group of like-minded people on a volunteer basis cooperated with the Center of Folk Culture "Ivan Gonchar Museum", organized expeditions to study artisanal techniques and search for masters. The first products that were created by the project participants were fur coats, from the name of which came the name of the brand.

Natalia Kamenska and Maria Gavrilyuk

Gunya is a traditional Hutsul fur coat woven from sheared sheep's wool. Then the product is "bathed" in special wells with mountain water. This makes the wool dense, lush and soft. The process of creating such a coat takes several weeks and is done exclusively by hand.

In 2018, the first collection of silk scarves with ornaments inspired by embroidered Ukrainian towels of the 18th century was published from the archives of the Ivan Honchar Museum.

In 2019, Gunia project officially became a brand with a permanent team and a clear ideology.

Gunia project creates a product - as a tradition, where each object does not lose relevance, does not go out of fashion, and becomes a family property, which involves its long-life cycle and transmission from parents to children, as a family heirloom, not a household item.

In February 2019, the brand released the first full-fledged collection of ceramics, tempered glass, and scarves, as well as launched its own ceramic workshop, set up a full production cycle, and created new jobs.

One of the main goals of their designers when founding Gunia Project was to promote niche production and demonstrate that handicraft can be well paid, comfortable, and promising.

"We want to attract the attention of young people and teach them techniques, which, unfortunately, due to low market demand are gradually disappearing. Among them are the production of tempered glass, the creation of Carpathian fur coats, wickerwork, spare belt weaving, hand-made ceramic production and painting, hand-made fabric processing techniques, jewelry , and carpet weaving,” comment Natalia Kamenska and Maria Gavrilyuk.

Gunia Project develops a culture of caring for things, crafts, materials, and traditions. Cultivates thoughtful consumption and emotional attachment to things.

Moreover, the brand team offers services of repair and gilding of jewelry, refilling candles in the same container, there is also an option to return the cardboard packaging, which is made of recycled paper and organic glue, for reuse.

You can watch the video history of the brand:

The following are working on the Action: Sustainable Fashion project:

Daria Marusyk - project manager

Volodymyr Nechyporuk - producer of the project

Alexandra Dimitrievich - art director of the project

Taisiya Korotkova - graphic designer of the project

Edie Derbisheva - producer of the film crew

Tim Meir - cameraman / editing director

Valery Veduta - photographer

Kateryna Fedychina, Oksana Shubina and Kateryna Budusova - communication department

Irina Chirkova - literary editor

Mira Marchuk - project assistant