Recently, INVISTA, the owner of LYCRA fiber brand and one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers was able to seize and destroy 2000 pairs of trousers bearing counterfeit LYCRA fiber hand tags with the help of Polish customs officials. It is definitely a moment to rejoice for the apparel manufacturers fighting a tough battle to keep counterfeit apparels away from the market. However, it is also a fact that in the battle against the counterfeiters, the victory comes in favor of the original apparel manufacturers very rarely.
Since counterfeiting is an illegal activity done clandestinely, it is very difficult to provide exact statistics. However, as per the 2012 Global Report on Counterfeiting, the revenue obtained from the sale of counterfeit goods has grown 400% since 1990s while that of legitimate brands is just over 50%. This definitely shows that the counterfeit industry has grown from a mere small-scale industry to a highly networked and highly sophisticated industry costing the global economy billions of dollars annually. According to the International Chamber of Commerce, counterfeiting is worth $600 billion a year that accounts for between 5-7% of world trade.
In the apparel industry, the market growth of counterfeit apparels is double when compared to that of legitimate apparels. And with the advent of the Internet, counterfeiters and gray market operators have got a safe haven to put the product on sale. The global anonymity of the Internet coupled with the popularity of online shopping sites has made it easy for the counterfeiters to find consumers and markets for their products.
The sale of counterfeit apparel is going in a big way on the Internet thanks to many buyers who use this simple sales channel. This has to be stopped not only because it affects legitimate business but also because of the fact that the revenue from the sale of counterfeit goods is used to fund criminal activities. With counterfeiting being a global issue, there is the need for effective measures to prevent the sale of counterfeit apparels and products. One such measure is to invest in effective anti-counterfeiting solutions.
With the new sophisticated brand protection technology, legitimate manufacturers can now easily find the violators and bring them to compliance. In this way, they can not only recover the revenue and brand reputation lost to counterfeits but also prevent the flow of money to fund organized crime.