Saturday, July 5, 2008

Buying fake bags

Last week a friend of mine pointed out the news event that EBay had to pay luxury company LVMH Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy $61M for selling fake luxury items. She then asked me where she could find fake bags. I wasn't up to preaching/ranting to her about why she shouldn't buy counterfeit bags so I told her "Try Pacific Mall....or Chinatown."
Yesterday I read an article in the Toronto Star about the repercussions of counterfeit goods and how much of the world's fake goods are made my children in abhorrent conditions. The article quotes fashion journalist Dana Thomas in her book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, a book that I have and recommend to anyone who is either into luxury goods or who has thought of buying a fake purse. So friend (you know who you are!), if you are reading this post, let me tell you now what I should have told you last week: Don't buy a fake bag!!
Here is why:

1. Young children, from as young as eight years old, are sent to factories to build counterfeit goods. They are exposed to harsh conditions such as breathing in acrid glue fumes, long work hours and barely any pay.

2. It has been proven that there is a link between the sale of counterfeit goods and terrorist activities. Police in the States believe that sales of fake bags, t-shirts and glasses in New York City directly funded the al-Qaida and could have helped fund the Sept. 11 attacks.

3. Related to #2, the sale of fake goods funds criminal activities. Mafia groups in New York City, China and around the world run counterfeit sales and use the profits to fund their illegal and deadly activities.

I understand why women want to buy fake bags; They are a lot cheaper than the real thing and there are plenty of convenient places to buy them whether in the city or on the internet. The real reason I think women buy fake bags is that they don't think they are hurting anybody. Well ladies (and the men who shop for ladies), you are hurting people. So if you can't afford the real deal, there are other options. Buy a non-designer bag. There are lots of cute REAL bags at stores like Guess?, Banana Republic, Old Navy, the Gap and Forever21. Or take a walk down Queen St. W. and look for some cool vintage purses. Just don't buy a fake purse.

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