Thursday, August 1, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Law

The Battle of Counterfeits in Big Cities, Part 3--

Not too long ago, we started talking about the fight large American cities have against counterfeits in their markets.  We discussed how they get to the market, and what legislatures and law enforcement are doing to counter the problem.  Today, we're taking things a little bit further.  Here are 3 additional points about the counterfeit market.  

Counterfeits v. Employment
Counterfeits are directly responsible for the loss of over 750,000 American jobs.  As we mentioned before, having particular global locations be responsible for certain pieces in the economic cycle is not a bad idea.  it works well in many ways.  However, having local jobs is necessary in every nation.  It may be more efficient for a nation or city to produce certain products because of their climate or other unique settings.  But, moving jobs overseas to keep profits sky high is not helpful to the overall economy.  It is also a detriment to the receiving nations, where they often work for wages and in conditions Americans would never accept.  We also can't forget how much counterfeits cost the actual brands.  This starts a chain reaction as well.  International copyright piracy has cost U.S. companies $9billion in trade losses.

The Cost Hits Local Governments, Too
In NYC alone, counterfeit sales cost residents about $1billion in lost sales tax.  This is doing the same in places like Chicago, Atlanta, LA and other areas with large fashion constituencies.  Local governments are already struggling to keep services and necessities available.  Missing additional tax revenue is not helpful.  Sure, some tourists make it a point to visit the counterfeit markets when traveling, but this takes away from the money used for local infrastructure and contributes to the financial hardships in which many cities have found themselves.  

There is a Social Cost
It doesn't get the news coverage it may deserve to help alleviate it, but the fake trade has been linked to drug trafficking, child labor, and even terrorism.  Counterfeiting often feeds drug rings and are literally accessories in human trafficking.  Further, children are frequently used to produce illegal items.  The Zara factory in Argentina was investigated and shut down earlier this year because of poor working conditions, no breaks for adult workers, and consistent use of children in their labor force.  The investigation also included a search into whether or not unauthorized products were made.  The gray market is heavily sustained by child labor.  

Harper's Bazaar has been extremely active in the battle against counterfeits in their Fakes are Never in Fashion campaign.  Check them out and see what you can do to help keep fakes out of the market.

1 comment:

  1. I've never purchased a counterfeit fashion item, but this makes me never want to have the desire to do so. Not because of what people will think of me, but because what it does to workers and potentially innocent children. Great blog!


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