Trading Standards turn fakes into funds
Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards team has donated fake goods worth around £100,000 to charity.
Over the past 18 months, Trading Standards has seized thousands of fake designer items including clothes, household items, trainers, jewellery, sunglasses and DVDs. Fake Burberry, Chanel, Henry Lloyd, Dior, Nike, Lacoste and Ralph Lauren were among the donated haul.
The county council department is donating the items to International Aid Trust which helps people in need at home and abroad. The charity works in the UK and in over 40 other countries and has helped many thousands of people, including children in poverty. The items have been debranded or recycled before being distributed to those in need.
In addition around, 100 plastic household items that were seized by Trading Standards at last year's Appleby Horse Fair have also had their fake labels removed and are being donated to local charity Age UK in Appleby.
Angela Jones, Trading Standards Service Manager at Cumbria County Council said: "Counterfeit goods undermine the trade of legitimate businesses and although it may seem like a petty crime the truth is the production and sale of such items is often linked to organised crime and child exploitation in sweat shops.
"Rather than destroying or disposing of these fake goods in landfill, it is great that we can put the items to good use and support charities in this way."
County councillor Gary Strong, cabinet member for community safety and local services, said: "This is a great way to utilise the huge amounts of seized items that have been accumulated, rather than just disposing of them. It's giving the county council the opportunity to turn the original intention of the items on its head and have it benefit a charitable cause rather than a criminal one."
Photos available on request.
Media enquiries to Cumbria County Council communications adviser Charlotte Thompson on 01228 226325