Segers has had a factory in Ukraine since 2003. Specifically in Shumsk, about 200 kilometres east of the city of Lviv. It produces almost 400,000 garments annually for Segers. The factory is one of 6 units within the Segers group of companies and one of two factories. We want to tell you more about how the factory and staff are being affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“When the war in Ukraine broke out, we thought first and foremost of all our colleagues in Shumsk and focused on doing everything we could to make them feel safe and secure. We also took steps to ensure we could quickly increase production at our other factory in Pakistan, but fortunately we have been able to continue production in Ukraine as before,” says Christian Nilsson, CEO of Segers Fabriker AB. “It is, of course, important for our employees and their families to be able to go to work every day despite the war, and we’re pleased at how things are working out,” continues Christian.
“We’ve had to change our transport solutions between Ukraine and Estonia and have safeguarded both people and operations at the factory through improved shelters, sandbagged windows, bunkered fuel and invested in back-up generators in case the power goes out, but otherwise most things in the factory are actually continuing pretty much as before,” concludes Christian.
Vladimir Banakh has been the CEO of Segers in Ukraine for many years. He tells us that very few people have left the village and the factory to escape and that, on the contrary, there are more people living in Shumsk now than before the war, as it is a small town that is relatively safe.
“We currently have 165 loyal employees who have stayed with us, as we offer better working conditions than other factories, have an owner who really cares about us, and we have faith in the future,” says Vladimir.
“We’ve actually managed to take on a number of new employees who have fled from more vulnerable parts of Ukraine and so we’ve been able to expand capacity with another production line, which is particularly positive as Segers has seen dramatically increased sales in 2022.”
When we ask Vladimir to describe what everyday life is like in Shumsk, he tells us that air-raid sirens go off all the time, both day and night, and that neighbouring towns have been bombed, but that Shumsk, which is a small town with no military targets, has fortunately managed to avoid that fate so far.
“When the siren goes off during working hours, we quickly move to a shelter in our basement,” says Vladimir, who also explains that sandbags have been placed as protection in windows.
Vladimir also talks about how the staff are feeling and becomes particularly serious when he explains that Segers has 32 female employees who are deeply concerned, as their husbands, sons or brothers are fully involved in the war.
“There are a lot of strong emotions in the factory. Despair and hatred over being invaded, gratitude for the support from Sweden and the West, and hope and confidence that Ukraine will win the war.”
“We help the army with both money and goods that we can produce in our factory, such as trousers, underwear or bed linen for hospital beds.”