Before coming up with the idea of writing my thesis on film and fashion, I was considering doing some research on counterfeited designer goods, since I always have had some firm beliefs about the issue. Alas, it didn't fit the subjects that are being analyzed at our Communication Sciences-department... but I've always kept a close eye on what was being written about it...
Yesterday I came across this article about the Harper's Bazaar Anticounterfeiting Summit, which is very interesting.
So, I can't stress this enough when the subject comes up during a discussion;
Don't buy knock-offs!
As the article mentions, the money these people make on selling fake goods has been used in the past to fund terrorism. And their 'employes' have to work in horrible conditions (think: kids & sweatshops) and make very little money. Furthermore, often toxic materials and substances are being used, that can be harmful to your health. Additionally, you harm the brand -that you supposedly love so much- creatively by wearing a knock-off. You're only destroying what your favorite designer is working so hard for.
I often find it funny how some people believe that no-one can tell that they're carrying a fake bag and that there is no difference in quality. Yes, one can tell. And yes, there is a huge difference. And even if there wasn't, then you shouldn't buy the product because it wouldn't be respectful towards the brand. Are you willing to drive a car that looks like a Ferrari but has been made in some third-world country and tell all your friends that it's the real deal? No, you wouldn't do that either. And how can one say that he or she "loves fashion so much", but is willing to hurt the industry at the same time...
Do save, save, save!
If you just absolutely need to have the designer bag of your dreams, just save for it. I'd saved up at least six months before I got the chance to buy my first Balenciaga. Same thing goes for all of my other 'designer items', I've worked hard for those and cut back all of my other shopping. When I wanted a skull scarf, I didn't buy the Zara-version first and complained how I wanted the one by McQueen. No, I just saved every penny and after working two whole days at our local H&M-store I hopped to Liège and bought myself the jester-version of the late designer. And now, I still keep it in a nice box and treasure it, I would never have done such a thing with knock-off. To me, quality is more important than quantity.
And for those that use 'I didn't know that it was I fake when I bought it'-excuse; you can find how to spot a fake ...-tutorials all over the internet! (e.g. Balenciaga) And if the retail price is too good to be true, it probably is; a fake!