Khmelnytskyi Knitting Co-operative: Empowering lives through collaborative success 

Sharing a passion for sewing and an ambition to achieve common goals brought together like-minded individuals to form the Khmelnytskyi Knitting co-operative. 

This co-operative has marked a significant step in the sewing industry, fostering collaboration among sewing business representatives and sector professionals by producing high-quality garments and becoming a platform for knowledge exchange and experience sharing while providing mutual support among its members. 

Vladyslav Nazar, the Head of Khmelnytskyi Knitting Co-operative, said the co-op is creating new job opportunities for vulnerable women where they support each other, and share creative ideas.  

“Combining resources and talents to produce high-quality goods, especially in the business sector, is pivotal,” Vladyslav said. “The ability to support each other during challenges and share responsibilities ensures each participant feels part of a successful team.” 

The co-operative also shares specialized equipment and provides social services and support for members. 

“The formation of the co-operative unlocks economic benefits, such as cost reduction and resource sharing. The co-operative’s creation was driven by the desire to achieve common goals, promote growth, and ensure the well-being of its members,” emphasized Vladyslav. 

The Khmelnytskyi Knitting Co-operative produces items ranging from socks, sweaters, polo shirts, and tops to dresses and suits. Future plans include expanding the product range and customizing knitted products under clients’ brands, while supporting Ukrainian clothing manufacturers. 

Vladyslav Nazar, foreground, and Liliia Aredova work in the Khmelnytskyi Knitting Co-operative production facility.

Distinguishing themselves from the competition with unique knitting products and services, the members use natural hypoallergenic yarn, which appeals to those valuing environmental sustainability. They also plan to offer original designs made from natural yarn, featuring unique embroidery on finished products. Future endeavours include fulfilling individual orders, allowing customers to choose preferred designs, sizes, and colours. Moreover, the co-operative collaborates with local communities and charitable organizations, providing employment opportunities and supporting those in need. 

Vladyslav acknowledges the co-operative faces challenges, such as building a customer base, grappling with distributing responsibilities, making collective decisions, and coordinating actions. 

“Overcoming these challenges involves strategic branding, effective negotiations with suppliers and partners for stability, and meticulous management strategies, including role definitions, consensus-building mechanisms, and fostering cooperation among members,” Vladyslav said. 

The Khmelnytskyi Knitwear Cooperative is also moving forward with a production facility that’s scheduled to be launched March-April 2024. Currently, the co-operative is establishing internal procedures, acquiring and launching additional equipment, and producing product samples under the guidance of the co-op’s designer. 

“After the co-operative’s launch, we’ll create job opportunities, provide training, develop product samples, and collaborate with stores, showrooms, and brand owners,” shared Liliia Aredova, a co-op member. 

What’s more, Vladyslav added the SEW Ukraine project is providing invaluable support, including organizational development, financial management, marketing, production processes, specialized equipment usage, tax, legal matters, and cooperative growth strategies.  

“A collaboration agreement with the project ensures various forms of support, particularly for the co-op’s launch,” Vladyslav said. “Regular assistance from project experts in financial, gender, and environmental matters, along with upcoming opportunities to participate in exhibitions, solidifies the project’s crucial role in shaping a successful future for the co-operative.” 

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