Seized counterfeits textiles to be distributed to families in need with project
ISTANBULCounterfeit textile products seized inside Turkey will not be destroyed but will be distributed to those in need though the Turkish relief agency, the Red Crescent, as part of an initiative by a lawyer.
Turkish lawyer Vehbi Kahveci said that after five years of work, he was able to secure approval from world-renowned textile brands to distribute the counterfeit products carrying their names to families in need rather than destroy the merchandise.
Saying he had been fighting for years for the rights of brands in the face of counterfeit productions, Kahveci said he was also pondering ways to benefit from such products instead of wasting them through incineration following their seizure.
Speaking at a retail fair in Istanbul on Nov. 23, Kahveci said the project would be carried out with the help of the Turkish Red Crescent but would only include textile products but would exclude shoes and bags as it is harder to hide the brands on the latter – something that “harms the brand owner.”
Elaborating on the plan, Kahveci said the brand tags would be removed from the seized jackets, shirts and T-shirts and that the tags of a new brand, created solely for this purpose, would be affixed to the products. The products will subsequently be handed to the Red Crescent to be distributed to families in need.
Kahveci also said showing a video of how the counterfeit products were burned after seizure was very effective in convincing the brand representatives to approve such a project.
“It is a very sad image. It requires labor, time and financial resources. The solution we found will not bother the real owners of the brands that are imitated. In fact, good will come out of a bad thing. Now brands are giving approval one by one. Our Kızılay [Red Crescent] handouts will begin soon,” said Kahveci.
The market value of counterfeit products in Turkey is worth around 17.2 billion dollars while the overall worldwide value is worth 1 trillion dollars, he said.