Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fight Against Fakes!

This morning, while drinking coffee, I opened and browsed one of my favorite magazines... Harpers Bazaar. As I marvelled at Victoria Beckam's impeccable figure, incomprehensible outfit and unique tattoo, I took a look at myself.

I had no makeup on, PJ's wrinkled from the previous night's sleep, funky glasses, with my hair a mess on top of my head. Yes... you could say I was slightly jealous.

Normally, with Harpers Bazaar, I get cute outfit ideas and look at the new trends for fashion. But this morning I stumbled across an amazing article, one that touched me to the core.

It was called The Fight Against Fakes. Being from NY, I am no stranger to fake handbags, and on the occasion I have purchased some. But to be honest I had no idea!!

This is an excerpt:

Every time I give a talk on the luxury business today and I get to the subject of counterfeiting, the same thing happens. The room grows absolutely silent as I put forth the facts: It is estimated that up to 7% of our annual world trade - $600 BILLION worth - is counterfeit or pirated; that fakes are believed to be directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs; that everything from baby formula to medicine is counterfeited, with tragic results; that counterfeiters and the crime syndicates they work with deal in human trafficking, child labor, and gang warfare; and that counterfeiting is used to launder money, and the money has been linked to truly sinister deeds such as terrorism.

I recall the raid I went on with Chinese police in a tenement in Guangzhou and what we discovered when we walked in: two dozen sad, tired, dirty children, ages 8 - 14, making fake Dunhill, Versace, and Hugo Boss handbags on old, rusty sewing machines.

After reading this, I truly broke down. I, like many others, thought it was a victimless crime. I thought the expensive retailers, like Gucci and Prada, were just mad someone made a copy. I really had NO IDEA. I thought... they make copies of Tylenol and hair products, why not this?

This is from the book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster:

"I remember walking into an assembly plant in Thailand a couple of years ago and seeing six or seven little children, all under 10 years old, sitting on the floor assembling counterfeit leather handbags," an investigator told me... "The owners had broken the children's legs and tied the lower leg to the thigh so the bones wouldn't mend. They did it because the children said they wanted to go outside and play."

I am utterly dumbfounded. I ask you this... is fashion at a cheaper price really worth this? Maybe I am sensitive because I am a parent of a young child and I could not FATHOM my child having to go through this, but this makes my heart truly bleed.

Please re-post this or get the word out so that people know!! I will be the first to say, I am a changed person knowing this, and could not, and WILL NOT be buying any more of these purses. I would ask you to do the same!! For the sake of the children!!


Sweetbabs said...

Wow crazy stuff. I can say that I have never purchased a knock off. If I can not afford the real thing I do not buy at all. Thank you for sharing.

d.a.r. said...

Oh my gosh, I had no idea!!! I, too, thought it was a victimless crime! WOW!

Thanks for sharing!

Kristen said...

i'm intrigued -- did you read that book? hmmm...i don't own fakes, but my husband's good friend was a prosecuter in NYC and told us about how illegal it was.

Fabulously Broke said...

I am really disgusted now. :(

I don't buy knockoffs, and I don't even really like designer anything so... I guess that makes me a bit more safe. I usually like independent designer stuff like from Etsy..

But I think this can apply to anything you buy - even toys for your kids.

This just makes me want to buy even LESS so that this kind of abuse doesn't happen or continue any longer.


Lindsay said...

Girl watch the movie
Blood will make you want to sell your diamonds, too!
While this is so tragic, it happens with so many things that we are not aware of. I'll try to find the article I read over this, it listed lots (I MEAN A LOT) of things. It is very sad.
I will tell one of my friends to read this, she is the queen of fake LV's from NY. She doesn't have kids though, so she may not be as upset by this. Having one of your own does change the whole picture on most every issue! I'd never buy a fake...and what a reason to tell people not 2!

HM said...

I have never bought one nor will I EVER after reading that! That is sickening! Where do people get off? What right do they have to do that?? Ugh, makes me want to puke!

Karissa Dee said...

Hi, I followed a link from Fabulously Broke. I hope its ok if I link to your blog in the next couple of weeks.