We see them (unfortunately) everywhere. Clothes and fashion accessories are among the most commonly counterfeited products. Perhaps the subject of counterfeits is still not talked about enough. The real damage is done not only to the brand and to the rightful owners of the original products but also to the environment. The fact that counterfeit market is booming in the era of sustainability and awareness about fashion’s environmental impact.
According to the Anti Counterfeiting Group, counterfeiting is defined as “The deliberate attempt to deceive consumers by copying and marketing goods bearing well known trademarks, generally together with packaging and product configurations that they look like they are made by a reputable manufacturer when they are, in fact, inferior copies”.
As if Covid-19 has not already done enough damage to the fashion industry, the pandemic also caused increase of online sales and whatsoever sales of counterfeits.
The problem is that there’s demand.
According to the research almost half of the people who purchase counterfeits is aware about purchasing a counterfeit or at least suspects it.
This way we can say that half of the customers are being deceived and the other half is participating in illegal activity. Research shows that customers with integrity would not be willing to purchase fake products. That makes a lot of sense. Customers who buy fake products usually do it to also fake their status and. That’s why the most popular counterfeits are those with a big logo. Research shows that the psychological effect is that people are more willing to lie and cheat.I have read several articles about personality treats and reasons why would people buy fake products my conclusion is no one who really likes fashion would ever consider buying fake products.
From a fashion model perspective, I think it’s highly inappropriate and unethical to promote counterfeited goods sometimes defined by companies as “replicas”.
I have been offered great deals to pose for so called designers that simply stole other artists work and never agreed as I know how much it would hurt the fashion industry.
There was a time that nobody wanted to buy Burberry as it reminded customers of cheap counterfeits and people who wear them. Besides hurting the brand’s image and reputation it hits the rightful owner as the products they purchased decrease in value.
Fashion industry is the second industry after oil that harms environment. The state of the earth and the ocean is alarming.
Robert Barchiesi, president of International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition,a non-profit co-founded by different brands including Levi’s, indicated that “the money generated by counterfeiting goes on to fund organized crime, terrorism, child exploitation.”
It is strictly illegal to sell or transport counterfeit products. Bringing fake products to the USA might result in civil and/or criminal penalties. Some of the countries (for example France) decided that it is illegal to not only buy but also own and wear fake products.
How to recognize counterfeit goods:
-Shop at reputable sources
-Use services dedicated to spot counterfeit products
-Report counterfeit products
Author: Joanna Borov – Polish born fashion model, front row fashionista, author and fashion entrepreneur based in NYC. She graduated from University of the Arts London. During her career she graced events such as Paris Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and appeared in campaigns of many distinguished designers like Willfredo Gerardo, Glaudi.