The fashion sector is historically the most affected by the counterfeiting phenomenon, especially with regard to luxury goods, or however goods that make up particular and important market niches.
As shown in the chart below, in the last decade the Guardia di Finanza alone seized over 310 million items belonging to this product group:
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The trade in counterfeit products involves many problems ranging from tax evasion to exploiting of black labor, and financing organized crime.
What is more, the imprudent purchasers may seriously put their health at risk !
After each seizure, a thorough analysis of a technical and scientific nature is always carried out.
The studies showed that most of the fake clothing and accessories were found to contain the following substances in quantities exceeding the limits established by EC Directives:
• FORMALDEHYDE, a substance used as a bactericide employed to prevent the shrinking of clothes; since 2004, the AIRC (Italian Cancer Research Association) has identified it as a substance which is certainly cancerogenic for the human species;
• ALKYLPHENOLS, chemical compounds used especially in the textile industry in the washing and dyeing process; high quantities may damage the hormonal system in sexual development and the reproductive system;
  •  PHTHALATES, commonly used to make PVC more flexible; they are indispensable in textile factories for the processing of artificial and rubber products; they are used in many products, especially in children’s clothing. Some experts demonstrated that they are dangerous for the reproductive system.
  •  BROMINATED AND CHLORINATED FLAME RETARDANTS, that eliminate the risk of product inflammability for textile products, mainly used in working clothes to protect from flames and heat sources. Due to their mutagenic effect, these substances have been found to be highly toxic and cancerogenic;
  •  AZO DYES, the principal colorants in textiles industries, some of them can produce aromatic amines which, under certain conditions, are cancerogenic after prolonged contact with the skin. They are used in varnishes, are highly toxic and are considered by the Community legislation to be among the principal pollutants; they cause serious damage to the immune system.
  •  HEAVY METALS, are contained in some coloring pigments and can accumulate in the internal organs for a long time and are highly toxic. Here are some of the effects they produce:
    • mercury: destruction of the nervous system, brain damage, DNA damage
    • nickel: pulmonary embolism, breathing difficulty, asthma and chronic bronchitis, allergic skin reaction
    • chrome VI: kidney and liver damage, respiratory problems, lung cancer, death
    • thallium: used as poison for mice, damage to the stomach, nervous system, coma and death; for those who survive thallium, there is damage to the nervous system and paralysis.
Due to their profitability, counterfeit fashion items have attracted the attention of organized crime, which has invested in the fake industry all the resources that were previously dedicated to drug trafficking and cigarette smuggling.
Examples are given by the Guardia di Finanza enforcement operations named “VIA DELLA SETA” and “ALÌ BABÀ”, which resulted in the execution of 50 arrest warrants against important organized crime members in the Naples area in the beginning of 2014.
The investigations conducted in the field proved that the distribution channels for counterfeit products are not only exclusive to the pedlars but that the “fake distribution line” is firmly in the hands of organized crime, also international.
In the Operation “COMPAGNIA DELLE INDIE”, for example,  the Prosecutors Office in Naples ordered the execution of 35 warrants against the members of  a criminal enterprise whose components were predominantly from the Far East.
Ottieni Microsoft Silverlightvideo dell'operazione "VIA DELLA SETA"
Ottieni Microsoft Silverlightvideo dell'operazione "Alì Babà "

Link di approfondimento
- Guida realizzata a cura del Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico: IO NON VOGLIO IL FALSO - ABBIGLIAMENTO E ACCESSORI




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