unesco and comité colbert take a stand on fashion counterfeiting

“The ultimate goal is to promote culture and fight against illicit trafficking, and thus counterfeiting,” they say.

by i-D Staff
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25 June 2015, 1:50am

Comité Colbert and UNESCO have joined forces to encourage the public to take a second thought the next time they think about buying a knock off handbag. The two have worked with illustrator Serge Bloch to create a major advertising campaign, which will roll out later this summer. The aim of the project is to humanise the effect counterfeit items have on the creative industries and artists that are heavily impacted by the trafficking of fake luxury goods, by promoting culture and protecting the countries rich heritage.

There's a wide range of ethical issues often overlooked when people consider knockoff luxury bags and shoes and it's much more than appropriating money from design houses or a discerning look from a friend when they realise it's not real. It's a low-risk / high-profit industry that's effectively organised crime, littered with child labour, exploitation and money laundering. The average person grabbing a knock off Céline trio on holiday in Istanbul doesn't generally spare a thought for where that money will end up.

Not to mention the implications bootlegs can have on emerging designers; just as they start to receive an ounce of notoriety, the counterfeiters respond and replicate their designs so early in their career that they end up losing out on that much needed cash injection to formulate their own businesses.

Comité Calbert has over 75 French luxury brands on their committee, everyone from Céline and Chanel to Hérmes and Louis Vuitton. It's good to see Paris leading the way on this important global issue.