Renungan Jumaat: Ladies, Muslims or Not, Please Say No To Fake & Counterfeit Goods

Name brands are socially accepted symbol of status and as a result,  luxury designer goods especially handbags, accessories,  clothing and perfumes are very much in high demand.  Die-hard fashionistas would love displaying the latest monogrammed LV or a GUCCI on their arms, carrying the super-pricey HERMES Birkin bag, putting on a DIOR or PRADA sunglasses, wearing a CELINE’s dress and CHOO’s slinky heels….

Those who have the money to spend will shop for the genuine items directly from fashionable boutiques in Paris or Milan or KL. Some slaved insanely for months, saving paychecks after paychecks to pay for the genuine items….some will badger  directly or indirectly their husbands or boyfriends or moms or dads for the coveted labels….Most will just go and get themselves knock-off FAKE  ONES…

As a result, knock offs designer goods have become a huge business….

Whatever it is, when a Muslim woman becomes a fashion/label victim, she needs to do some serious deep introspection of her inner self. Bottom-line, don’t give in to that oh-so seductive inner voice originating from the baser nafs al-mazmumah….

Sadly, not many realized the horror story that lurks behind a Grade-A ‘replica’ COACH handbag that they’ve just purchased for a few hundred bucks. Most women think buying fake goods is harmless. Nobody is being harmed. Yet, with the purchase of each FAKE handbag, you may be  subscribing to the illegal activities of child prostitution, extortion, child/human slavery in sweatshops, drugs trafficking, human trafficking...

All these activities are definitely HARAM in Islam. As Muslim women, how can we just stand on the fence, looking on blindly and let this pass by us?

How can we shrug our shoulders and say that making, producing, distributing, and selling FAKE/REPLICA/COUNTERFEIT designer goods is a harmless and victimless crime?

Will you buy drugs? Will you sent your children to work in sweatshops for money? Will you directly sell a free human-being into slavery? As good Muslim women and as good citizens of Malaysia, these thoughts will never cross your mind right?

But when you buy a fake LV or a COACH or a LOUBOTIN from a so-called ‘authorized’ seller,  you had just participated in an exchange that makes you part of the fastest growing crime-wave in the world.

Did you know that some fake designer handbags factories in China, especially those with monogrammed LV are controlled by the underground crime gangs? By day, some factories even produce genuine designer goods destined for sale in the top boutiques of London, Paris, New York and Rome. By night, some corrupt factory bosses bring in a ‘night shift’ to make fakes.

The market in counterfeit goods has now become the biggest illicit sector in the world, eclipsing the drugs trade. Fake clothes, handbags, watches, perfumes, videos, CDs and computer programmes – you name it, criminals will copy it. And these goods now represent an astonishing one-tenth of all global trade.

In Harper’s Bazaar amazing article by Dana Thomas on the  “Fight Againts Fakes”:

“Every time I give a talk on the luxury business today and I get to the subject of counterfeiting, the same thing happens. The room grows absolutely silent as I put forth the facts: It is estimated that up to 7 percent of our annual world trade — $600 billion worth — is counterfeit or pirated; that fakes are believed to be directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs; that everything from baby formula to medicine is counterfeited, with tragic results; that counterfeiters and the crime syndicates they work with deal in human trafficking, child labor, and gang warfare; and that counterfeiting is used to launder money, and the money has been linked to truly sinister deeds such as terrorism.

No one utters a word, not a sound, as I recall the raid I went on with Chinese police in a tenement in Guangzhou and what we discovered when we walked in: two dozen sad, tired, dirty children, ages 8 to 14, making fake Dunhill, Versace, and Hugo Boss handbags on old, rusty sewing machines. It was like something out of Dickens, Oliver Twist in the 21st century.

Then I read the following passage from my book, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster. “‘I remember walking into an assembly plant in Thailand a couple of years ago and seeing six or seven little children, all under 10 years old, sitting on the floor assembling counterfeit leather handbags,’ an investigator told me… ‘The owners had broken the children’s legs and tied the lower leg to the thigh so the bones wouldn’t mend. [They] did it because the children said they wanted to go outside and play.'”

The audience gasps. From time to time, I see tears too. And afterward, I always hear the same response: “I had no idea.” Always. Most consumers believe that buying fake goods is harmless, that it’s a victimless crime. But it’s not. It’s not at all.

In the five years that I have been writing about this issue, I have seen two things happen: The illegal enterprise is getting stronger and more professional, and the consumer is slowly but surely becoming more aware.”

(Read more here )

Actually, there’s no real bargain at all in buying fake and counterfeit goods.

If you can’t afford big name brands,  go for  unique handcrafted no-name or unlabeled Italian leather goods or smaller design house labels. Genuine handmade unlabeled designer Italian leather goods like handbags, boots, shoes comes at a fraction of the price of famous designer house items. The design, quality and craftsmanship would be at par with most famous labels anyway. There’s a great satisfaction in knowing that you own a piece of GENUINE handcrafted creation of excellent quality and will last for a long time, something that makes you unique than the rest …

Fake/counterfeit labels is definitely against Islamic ethical values and moral principles….

Just walk away from FAKE designer goods and all counterfeit/pirated/replicated/fake products….

Online Readings:

Italy Tallies Rising Cost of Boom in Fake Goods

Revealed: The True Cost of Buying Cheap Fake Goods

Fake CHANEL Perfumes

Tracking Counterfeit Rings in China

Counterfeit Goods in Daily Malaysian Lives

Malaysians in Fake Goods Smuggling Ring Sentenced to 1000 years Imprisonment

Malaysian Consumers Get Grace Period To Stop Buying Fake Goods

Singaporean Woman Fined For Importing Fake Designer Goods



About helwa

We enter this world alone, we take our last bow from this plane of existence alone...we stood before Him alone....
This entry was posted in being human, da'wah, tarbiyah,tazkirah, tasawwuf, daily musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Renungan Jumaat: Ladies, Muslims or Not, Please Say No To Fake & Counterfeit Goods

  1. Aadila Bamjee says:

    slmz thank you for your article. You have opened my eyes to a different side to buying fake goods. I recently started wearing scarve and purchased a fake LV scarve. When my husband saw it he became very upset and pointed out to me that buying fake goods was haraam because we are actually stealing. These designer houses pay millions for copyrights etc and we buy the knockoffs thus in essence we are stealing. I also had no idea the type of persecution that went into the making of these goods. Thanks to your article and my husbands condemnation of what I had done I not only will never buy another fake item again I am also going to make it my mission to stop any other members of my family from doing so. Jazakallah.

  2. mind says:

    Salam,

    When did you replace allah’s job ? Halal and haram can only be defined with the known sources of islam.. not ur ideas, though and logical thinking my friend.

    Becareful specially in the time of ramadan . dont earn allahs anger.

    Underground or upper-ground, everything is just a bullshit.

    If we take ur logic into consideration – then i prefer giving my money to underground than giving it to cooperation/industries who are changing and designing our lives away from islam.

    • helwa says:

      Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullah,

      If our roots are strong nothing can sway our hearts away from the straight path of a tawhidic life…

      I’m not sure which ‘haram’ you are referring to. I mentioned that ‘child prostitution, extortion, child/human slavery in sweatshops, drugs trafficking, human trafficking…’ as haram, and these activities are regarded as haram by the consensus of the ‘ulama…and not just by the ulama, every country in the world regard these activities as illegal (haram?) and against the law.

      Anyway thank you very much for the reminder, I am just a servant of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and I pray may Allah bless you much with His Light, Mercy and Rahmah. Ramadan Mubarak.

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