Saturday, August 14, 2010

Waste not, want not

We've just finished week 2 of the compact challenge, and I have yet to buy anything that is not a necessity. This challenge doesn’t seem so hard now that we’re almost at the half-way mark.Hopefully, I'm on the road to breaking a habit.

Week 3’s reading contains an article by Melissa A. Decker about counterfeit goods. Decker states that “fakes have permeated legitimate distribution sources” like department stores (177). These goods are then sold for prices as high as the genuine product. There have been lawsuits brought against these department stores because, essentially, what they’ve done is false advertising. Counterfeits, however, are often sold in the streets of Chinatown for a fraction of the real price. In this case, consumers know that their purchase is not a real one and so this fake product is an entirely legitimate one.

But what happens to the counterfeits when they are discovered in a department store? In January 2010, New York Police Department “allegedly used an industrial shredder to ruin ‘a dozen tractor-trailer loads of bootleg goods’ along with sending additional unworn clothes -- including winter jackets, pants, underwear and shirts -- to be burned for $150/ton in Long Island, NY” (New York City Destroys Counterfeit Clothing and Shoes Instead of Giving to Those in Need). New Yorkers are concerned that the goods are being destroyed rather than donating them to people in need, such as the homeless. Those involved in the industry argue that a lot of money is spent on acquiring goods, even if they are counterfeits. According to them, it would be waste of money to just give the goods away. Personally, I don’t see how this differs from just destroying counterfeit goods. In addition, there are simple ways to prevent people from just selling those counterfeits; clothing labels can be torn off to prevent resale. If there is excess, why not do something beneficial with that excess rather than render them entirely useless?

Sylvia Lee

Week 3

Inside Source: Melissa A. Decker. “”Knockouts of Knockoffs:” the Global Implication of Fashion Piracy.” Reader.

Outside Source: []