Cooperation of Kyiv National University of Technology and Design with the Ukrainian Fur Association promotes success in the international market
The IV International Forum, “FUR Futures Ukraine,” held at the Kyiv National University of Technology and Design is the annual event organised by the Ukrainian Association of furriers that gathers representatives of fur business, from manufacturers to designers, as well as students, profiled teachers, academics, all working together in cooperation. This year, the forum was attended by 100 people and was moderated by Alla Gosling – the executive director of Ukrainian association of furriers.
The main theme of this year’s forum was the thesis: «Natural fur is a responsible choice». Each speaker covered this topic presenting facts to the audience about the fur industry being sustainable and responsible. The main goal of forum was to provide truthful scientifically-based information so that everybody could make their own informed choice about fur.
The Forum was opened with a speech from Kiev National University of Technology and Design rector Professor Ivan Grischenko, and the president of the Ukrainian Association of furriers Professor Igor Zvarych.
Also speaking at the forum was Alla Gosling who made know the fur trades motto was “Fur is a responsible choice”.
In their presentations, the speakers introduced participants to the specifics of modern fur production and its strong regulation by governments all over the world.
The Fur Association is the only association in Ukraine and perhaps in the world that has published a series of textbooks, manuals and dictionaries in Ukrainian, Russian and English. One of them – «Modern enterprise in the fur business industry», written by Prof. Ivan Gryshchenko, was named by the president of the association as «fundamental» for young people. Igor Zvarych presented the book «The Ukrainian Fur Market» to all students who participated in the forum.
The fact that Ukrainian fur farms adhere to international environmental standards and international rules for keeping animals, was confirmed by the representative of the International Fur Federation Paul Stockall. Paul reported that the Federation was checking the welfare of fur animals on Ukrainian farms which have all received appropriate certificates, which enable them to sell products at international auctions.
Paul then introduced the FURMARK program which will launch in 2020. Designed to ensure the highest standards of well-being and environmental protection, FURMARK ensures that the fur industry seeks to constantly improve the quality of fur. For consumers, this means ensuring the high quality of the products they buy. The willingness to work under such a program was demonstrated by Ukrainian farmers, who gave the participants a master class not only on keeping fur animals, but also on doing business.
At the end, the students displayed their own collections of fur products, which promoted the genuine admiration of all who presented. Interestingly, experts assure that next year fur products will also be in fashion. There will also be an ecological and economic tendency to remake, renovate old things giving consumers more options and the right to choose.
The Stakhiv brothers, of the “Chinchilla Real Fur” company, went on to demonstrate what solutions are being proposed and implemented to support the welfare of fur animals. And Kopenhagen Fur representative Victoria Pustynnikova spoke about the sustainability of fur fashion.
For students, as future professionals, Turkish Fur Association representative Kadir Kilic spoke about the work of FUR Futures at Istanbul’s fur school. Ukrainian FUR Futures with their leader Diana Agaian reported their achievements over the year – participation in fur contests and schools demonstrated fur models and accessories made by students studying in fur specialisation, “Technologies and design of fur garments” at University. This specialty was opened 2 years ago with the support of Ukrainian association of furriers and counts 30 students so far.
During the second half of the forum, the participants took part in a fur workshop conducted by a well-known Ukrainian designer Marina Yaroslavskaya, owner of fur and leather company “Yaroslavna,” and young perspective designer Olena Kotsar, owner of “Mehov Furs”. Together they demonstrated their garments, spoke about fur techniques used in them, their inspiration and experience in working with fur as versatile, unique long-lasting material.
At the end of the forum, the design students were given a large quantity of fur samples with which they made fur key rings and posted them on Instagram with the winner being awarded a prize. Concluding the event, guests made an excursion to the laboratories of the faculties and museums at the University and where they were shown the equipment used in the process of mastering fur specialties.
We express our gratitude to the participants and organizers for a meaningful and useful event.
Conversation is frank at home
Some wondered why the university was chosen as the meeting place. «Not by accident,» says Alla Gosling, executive director of the Ukrainian Fur Association. – KNUTD is a well-known scientific-methodological and personnel center of our industry. We are all at home here. And in a family atmosphere it’s easier to talk openly.» And there was a lot to talk about. The industry brings together more than 200 businesses. It has a complete production cycle: from breeding different fur animals to processing and marketing products. The fur production is sold in the domestic and foreign markets.
It is important that not only teachers and manufacturers but also students take part in the research and implementation work. They take part in international catwalks with their own works. And there was no competition in which the KNUTD ambassadors did not win prestigious awards.
In order to deepen the cooperation of producers, scientists and students and to become more actively involved in the international experience, KNUTD, the Ukrainian Fur Association, with the support of the International Fur Federation, started an International Fur Forum at the University four years ago.