Fashion can be a cruel mistress. When everyone seems to be wearing the latest Gucci belt, Chloe boots or Canada Goose jacket and you can’t even imagine being able to part with the funds to buy these things from the stores, fakes can seem a tempting choice when you want to keep up with the ‘fash pack.’
As a society, we’re so accustomed to seeing fakes now that it’s easy to forget about the shady underbelly of the counterfeit goods market. When you’re wandering through streets on holiday and see stacks of “Louis Vuitton” “Mulberry” and “Fendi” it’s almost no different to walking through a normal market and really, what’s the harm in spending £60 on a knock off bag?
Well, in this blog we’re exploring the trouble with counterfeit designer goods and why you should say no to fakes.
The counterfeit market exists alongside the genuine one and sometimes we’ll hear “well it’s good for brand awareness and getting the name out there”…but we can assure you, it isn’t!
Fakes are badly made. They often have uneven stitching, no lining, inferior quality hardware and an unrefined design. If someone was carrying around a scruffy looking bag with your name on it – would you like it to be used as a representation of your brand?
The National Fraud & Cyber Crime Centre tells us that buying counterfeit goods “helps the trader to break the law” and suggests that the money you spend then goes towards funding organised crime such as drug dealing.
Working conditions in the factories where these fakes are manufactured are dire. Workers are paid very little (if at all) and are often victims of violence at the hands of their bosses. Accompanying a police raid on a factory in China’s Guangdong Province, the author Dana Thomas reported seeing “two dozen sad, tired, dirty children, ages 8 – 14 making fake Dunhill, Versace and Hugo Boss handbags on old, rusty sewing machines.”
How we tackle fakes
It’s against the law to sell counterfeit goods. Local Trading Standards Authorities have the power to seize counterfeit goods and we too take the matter very seriously. We will never knowingly sell you a fake. If an item purchased through Grace & Ted was found to be counterfeit, a full refund would be given.
In the 7 years we’ve owned Grace & Ted, we’ve familiarised ourselves with the characteristics of many brands and know what to expect from a genuine designer item. We have formed relationships with employees of designer brands such as Mulberry, Burberry and Louis Vuitton and are incredibly grateful to have the knowledge and support of the experts.
What can you do?
Say no to fakes! #FashionRevolutionWeek is an annual initiative to encourage us as consumers to ask questions about where are clothes are made and who made them. We can apply this way of thinking to all aspects of the fashion industry, including the counterfeit goods market.
Consider this initiative next time you’re faced with a market stall filled with “designer” bags and choose to stand up against the industry that is contributing to organise crime and exploitation of its workers.
Resale stores like Grace & Ted are where you’ll find the designer pieces you have been coveting at prices that won’t break the bank. Save up, sell some of your unwanted designer stuff and buy that Gucci belt at a discounted price and feel like an absolute kween wearing it!
If you’d like to learn more about Fashion Revolution Week, visit their website here: https://www.fashionrevolution.org