A REPORT ON WWD OUTLINES THE PROBLEM
According to an insightful article on WWD, the attack to Charlie Hebdo, young girls working in a textile factory in slave-like conditions and minors forced to sell drugs are interconnected illicit activities whose money used to feed them comes mainly from counterfeiting. According to the story, “Counterfeiting is the way terrorists and criminals finance themselves,” said Michael Ellis, Interpol assistant director at the sub-directorate of Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Counterfeiting. Ellis spoke at a summit in Milan alongside speakers from the U.S., Europe and China who discussed the problem of counterfeiting and international regulatory compliance, sustainability and responsible sourcing. The meeting was aimed at involving the Italian fashion system in order to stir companies to crack down on counterfeiting and security in general. Considered the 21st-century crime, fake goods are one of the biggest concerns for fashion companies. While it is difficult to quantify losses, according to WWD, a country such as Italy loses more than $6.7 billion in sales every year, of which $5 billion in clothing and footwear. As a result, more than 60,000 people lose their jobs. Italian, American and French brands are the most affected. And worse still, the counterfeiting is connected to organized crime. The Internet has becomes a huge distribution channel for counterfeit products, especially in China, as is evident by the controversy around Chinese web giant Alibaba’s selling fakes on its platforms. So the bottom line is steer clear of fakes and spread the word on such a delicate and controversial issue.