Original designer brands and established players in every industry are sought after not only because of their exceptional build quality, but also for the their name. That’s why counterfeiting is a 600 billion dollar industry that takes a 7% bite out of global trade, and it will never stop until people wake up and stop buying fakes.
It’s not Flattery. It’s Stealing.
The old saying tells us that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That may be the case, but should designers and manufacturers rejoice every time their hard work is blatantly copied and sold without their permission? The practice is extremely disheartening if you’re a creative. It just stunts your growth and you never want to design anything again.
The practice of copying something popular dates back hundreds of years. That gave birth to label use and brand placement, so people would know if the item was authentic or not. But it has spiraled out of control and even gave birth to new industries: legit companies that get away with copying products from designer brands by placing their name on it.
Two Types of People in the World
Why do people get sucked into buying knockoffs anyway? We have two types that end up with knockoffs in their hands:
- Honest to goodness victims of counterfeiting. These people simply had no idea and no way to tell if they were buying an authentic item or not.
- People who knowingly buy knockoffs to stay on top of the trend, hoping that other people wouldn’t notice.
There’s a fundamental problem with the second type of person. There’s an intent to look the part of a designer brand connoisseur, but without the necessary investment. Not only is this practice dangerous, because fakes are known to have shoddy quality. It’s also very dishonest because you’re trying to pass on something that’s not real.
Knockoffs hurt Designers and fund Bad People
One out of six online shoppers get duped into buying a fake item from a fake website. The counterfeiters have become so good at what they do, employing top notch coders to trick people into thinking they’re on a legit website. There are even “super fakes” that look and feel exactly like the real thing. A trained eye and common sense can spot bust the ruse.
People need to be educated on the negative effects of buying a fake, because it comes at a steep price. Counterfeit items fund sweatshops, child labor, illegal drugs and even terrorism. 70% of all fakes are from China, but India and Brazil have their own sweatshops as well.
Imagine a child working under gruesome conditions, getting paid less than a dollar just to make a fake Prada bag for some trendy wannabe who wants to be fashionable. It’s more than sickening, to be honest. It’s downright deplorable. The word has to get out, so people would stop patronizing these fakes and be more responsible with their purchases.
Choose Designer Alternatives
Are you looking for designer sunglasses? Don’t buy counterfeits because most of them don’t offer any kind of UV protection, leaving you dangerously exposed to the harsh rays of the sun. Alternative manufacturers such as Warby Parker work just as well, if not better than luxury brands.
The next time you’re out shopping, ask yourself if you really need to buy a luxury brand or make do with sustainable alternatives. There’s nothing wrong with wanting an original, but you don’t need to move heaven and earth to try to get your hands on one. If you really need a branded bag or a phone, there are a lot of good pre-owned items you can buy.
Alternative products are better than knockoffs 10 out of 10 times anyway. They have better quality and you’ll get good karma by supporting these small companies. Don’t be fooled by fakes. A fake is always going to be a fake, no matter how “class A” it is.