Counterfeit fashion is a strange yet inexorable part of the industry, where luxury items, high in demand, propel the emergence of knock-off brands and fake goods in an earnest attempt to copy coveted designs (while compromising quality and price). The EU’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market recently conducted a study to find “the threat that counterfeiting poses to the industry’s innovative output and the direct and indirect costs to the EU economy.”
In high fashion-centric Europe, the report found that about 10% of all fashion-related products — including clothing, footwear and accessories — sold are counterfeit, which amounts to an approximate total of $28.5 billion USD per year of profits missed out by original designers. Additionally, the report sees an estimate of 363,000 to 520,000 job losses due to the effects of fake fashion. Italy in particular is affected the most by fake fashion sales, as the country’s losses amounts to around $4.9 billion USD per year and 50,000 jobs. Furthermore, if you accumulated all knock-on effects on other industries as well as lost government revenue, the economic impact for the EU adds up further to an approximate total of $47.6 billion USD in losses. For further reading, check out the OHIM’s similar study on the infringement of the perfume, cosmetics, toiletries and personal care industry here.