BC law student launches “Slava Sweatshirts” fashion line to raise money for Ukraine

A British Columbia law student and her mother are using fashion to help the Ukrainian people suffering from the Russian invasion by selling a special line of sweatshirts that proved instantly popular.

Madison and Lisa Fleischer, co-owners of the X-Treme clothing boutique in Tsawwassen, BC, launched the “Slava Sweatshirts” line shortly after the war began.

They say they were inspired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s daily video speeches to the nation, some of which were shot on the streets of Kiev despite the threat of Russian attacks.

“He’s so brave, and the people are so brave, and we’re cut off from that lineage,” said Lisa, whose family has ties to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. “So we will help.”

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It was Zelenskyy’s signature at the end of those videos – “Slava Ukraini” or “Glory to Ukraine” – that brought Madison’s first design to life.

Future plans would include one inspired by what was once thought to be Ukrainian soldiers’ last words to a Russian navy ship that attacked Snake Island early in the war: “Russian warship, fuck you.”

Another project urges, “Fight like a Ukrainian”, with a tractor seen pulling a tank.

In addition to printing and production costs, all proceeds from the sale of T-shirts and other items go to the Ukrainian Appeal against the Humanitarian Crisis and the Ukrainian National Bank.

“I thought, maybe I should put together some projects, see what happens, if there’s a demand,” Madison said.

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Within weeks, sales took off, making it difficult for the Fleischers to keep up with all the orders coming in from all over the world. The line has already raised thousands of dollars for their cause.

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Sales were also high after clothing boutique X-Treme started selling them in-store just over a week ago.

“To be honest, I don’t think it’s sunk yet,” Madison said.

“The most important thing is to just get more news about the cause.”

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The two are keeping production costs low by organizing an open call for printers in order to get as much money as possible from each donation order.

“The better the price we can get, the more we can give,” said Lisa.

“We will do everything possible to bring money to Ukraine.”

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