Can you tell which one is authentic and which is counterfeit?
Living in a world where carrying the latest IT bags and designer watches count, one could not help but be influenced in one way or another to purchase one. Depending on how much you want the product, some people pay for legitimate items right from the boutiques or get it off eBay or off the streets. The counterfeit industry is growing at an alarming rate, but there is more to the fake items than just the price.
Buying a fake or replica designer bag is common and easy especially in third world countries where there is a huge demand for it. With cheap labour costs and lax intellectual property laws, it is very easy to find fake products in this part of the world. Only the wealthy can afford expensive Rolexes and Chanel handbags but what if the lower- and middle-class want to possess such luxurious items?
Believe it or not, when you purchase a fake item off an online site or at a street market you are actually investing in illegal child labour among other activities.
Timothy Trainer, president of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition Inc., says: “Many of the people involved in the sale of counterfeit merchandise have also been linked to other illegal activities, including cocaine trafficking, prostitution and violation of child labor laws.”
Dana Thomas of “Today” reported on a raid she went with the Chinese police in Guangzhou where she saw “two dozen sad, tired, dirty children, ages 8 to 14, making fake Dunhill, Versace and Hugo Boss handbags on old, rusty sewing machines. It was like something out of Dickens, “Oliver Twist” in the 21st century.”
Many countries in South East Asia have hidden places where children are forced to work for many hours on counterfeit goods and often live in those windowless buildings for a dollar a day. That is a lot less than what you are paying for, for a fake designer bag.
Sure, you say that you can’t afford a designer bag and it is so tempting to buy a fake bag. You think it is okay to pay RM500 for a Grade A bag but think about the child that earns only 10 percent of that in ridiculous working conditions. If you cannot afford a designer bag, then don’t buy one. It is better to live with a clear conscience than live knowing that the bag you are carrying was made by a poorly-fed underage child.