TODAY’S WRITING TIP: ALWAYS BE TRUE
On Twitter lately, I had an argument with a “follower,” who insisted that there was nothing wrong with fakes. He did raise a valid point, when he wrote—and I paraphrase—“Price matters, especially now that expensive doesn’t equate to quality anyway.”
I’d rather go naked than wear fake Chanel. —Courtney Love, Harper’s Bazaar
Still, why fake it? A fake is no less evil than the real McCoy that claims to be “Made in Italy” or “Made in France” when in, truth, many of its parts are made in China, sometimes, according to unverified reports, in the same factory where the fakes are manufactured. I have no doubt that a fake is more evil and maybe evil with a capital E!
The International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) has at least five basic reasons that make buying that fake Prada not only illegal, but also evil:
1. Counterfeiting is illegal and purchasing counterfeit products supports illegal activity;
2. Counterfeiters do not pay taxes meaning less money for your city’s schools, hospitals, parks, and other social programs;
3. Counterfeiters do not pay their employees fair wages or benefits, have poor working conditions, and often use forced child labor;
4. The profits from counterfeiting have been linked to funding organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorist activity;
5. When you purchase a fake, you become part of the cycle of counterfeiting and your money directly supports these things you would never want to support.
And if you think that the only harm purchasing that Mod-inspired handbag in lemon yellow Damier checks from the Louis Vuitton spring 2013 collection causes is that it robs LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs of the opportunity to earn your money, think again. Your money is not going to some enterprising individual, who has the knack for copying to-die-for designs and styles and making them available to you at a fraction of the original price. Your money is going to a global network of criminals, whose collective force, according to the IACC, is a $600-billion-a-year problem. The counterfeit industry is big business, bigger, in terms of profit, than the beauty industry worldwide.
But that’s only money. Arnault has a lot of it. The brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, who have controlling interests in the House of Chanel, have a lot of it. Miuccia Prada and her husband, Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli, have a lot of it. The Hermés family, as well as Hermés CEO Axel Dumas, who has just succeeded over CEO Patrick Thomas, the first non-Hermés to be at the helm of the company since Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermés, has a lot of it. But it is money, the money with which you might have obtained your fake Birkin, that is emboldening counterfeiters to commit crimes a million times worse than copy infringement or thievery.
The New York Daily News once reported, for instance, that a sweatshop raid in Thailand found “a group of children, all under the age of 10, assembling leather purses. Horrifyingly, their limbs had been deliberately broken to keep them from escaping. The owners had tied their lower legs to their thighs so the bones wouldn’t mend.” For the love of God, and for your sake, if you have yet to be convinced that supporting the counterfeit trade is a crime, I hope the minaudiére you bought yourself for Christmas in Greenhills is not one of the reasons these Thai children have had to lead such unbearable lives!
So if you find yourself lusting for the Christian Louboutin Louis Flat Python that you cannot afford, except at dubiously named websites, ask yourself, do you really need them enough to risk funding the atrocities made possible only by the phenomenal success of illegitimate goods due to consumer demand?
If I may borrow from The New York Daily News, Louboutins under $200 are “killer heels,” indeed!
- Style Bible #3- How To Spot A Fake Bag (rachelspick.wordpress.com)