Blog: Leonie BarrieThe charity wrist band-wagon

Leonie Barrie | 29 March 2005

What do luxury goods brands and charities have in common? Well, it might surprise you to know that the answer is counterfeiting. Last week, in the first raid of its kind, 6000 coloured charity wristbands – counterfeits from China - were seized in Scotland. And today, the UK’s Charity Commission warned the public to be on the look-out for conmen selling fake charity wristbands online. The rubber wristbands, which support causes such as anti-bullying, anti-racism and the Make Poverty History campaign, have become much sought after as a fashion accessory. To give some idea of the scale of the craze, 40 million of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s ‘Livestrong’ yellow wristbands have been sold so far. But it hasn’t taken long for unscrupulous profit-makers to leap on the bandwagon and develop their own counterfeit market. With zero profits to the charities concerned of course. Perhaps the luxury goods companies who are in constant battle with the counterfeiters could offer some advice on how to see off this new threat. Or perhaps not. According to a recent report counterfeit theft of clothing and accessories amounted to $38 million last month alone. Maybe dropping a few coins in the charity collection box is a safer bet.


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