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It’s true, sometimes I get a little envious when I see someone rocking a beautiful designer handbag. But, being on a budget, I try to resist the temptation of getting one for myself. Recently, one of my friends showed me a new ‘designer’ bag that she got online for just $50. Being frugal, she thought it was a steal. But, one look at the bag and it was obvious to me that it was a fake neonoe bag.

As she bragged about it, I mustered a fake smile and thought ‘This looks like it is made of cheap plastic and there is no way this is a real designer item’. But, she was so proud of it, I just nodded my head and didn’t say anything. Later, when she had left, I researched this ‘item’ on the internet. It didn’t take me long to find out that it was one of the thousands of fake bags flooding the market as a result of the counterfeit industry.

I was appalled. I can’t stand the idea of someone making money off of the hard-earned dollars of honest working people who think they are getting the real deal. Production of this kind of counterfeit manufacturing not only undermines the efforts of authentic designers, but it also helps fund organized crime and contributes to unfair labor practices around the world.

I also had to tell my friend. I had to make sure she knows that she was duped by a con artist. So, louis vuitton outlet I sent her a gentle message that included a link to a reliable source, which proved her bag was fake. She was a little embarrassed and disappointed at discovering her bag was a cheap replica.

Then I had to explain why buying a fake item was such a big deal. So, I started talking about the poor labor practices. If she is buying a bag because she likes a certain design, she needs to understand that ‘designers’ who make knock-offs are not paying their laborers fairly and often take advantage of them.

I couldn’t help think about how the counterfeit industry creates an unfair labor market and puts a strain on the people working in it. I also told her that she was not alone in her dilemma. So many people fall prey to these scams and in turn, the demand for these items grows. It’s a vicious cycle that it can be hard to break out of.

Also, when we buy a counterfeit product, we are indirectly funding the criminals that are behind these fraudulent activities. We are also perpetuating the notion that it’s okay to wear fake items, something that has serious implications for the legitimate industry with regards to people’s perceptions of what is and isn’t acceptable.

The same goes for the environment. Counterfeit production often uses excess materials and can have a serious impact on the environment. Many companies producing fake goods don’t think twice about polluting the environment, using unsustainable resources, and damaging delicate ecosystems.

At the same time, when we wear a fake item, we are disrespecting the original designer and their hard work. We are disrespecting the authenticity of the product and by doing so, we add to the global economic crisis that was created by people who just don’t care about the consequences of their actions.

After all this, I had to ask her the most important question – do you really want to support people who are willing to do anything to make money, even if it means breaking laws, taking advantage of workers, and damaging the environment? I’m happy to report that the answer was a resounding ‘no’.