In the last two decades, counterfeit activities and products have grown. The counterfeiting of clothes and accessories have a significant contribution to the counterfeit market.

The act of counterfeiting inflicts heavy damage to the manufacturers operating in the different industries. Around 10 percent of the total world trade in fashion is predicted to be counterfeit. Based on the figures revealed by the World Customs Organization, Europe is the frontrunner in this market and the total value of the counterfeit fashion products in the region is predicted to be around $ 8 billion. E-commerce has boosted counterfeit activities. Around 25 percent sales of fashion products were through e-commerce. This has instigated the need to implement anti-counterfeit systems in place. A recent report published by Allied Market Research offers insights related to the anti-counterfeit clothing and accessories packaging market such as the market share, size and growth. The current industrial trends and growth opportunities are also highlighted in the report. 

Need to curb counterfeit products

The surge in counterfeit activities and products in the last decade has sent an alarming signal to the manufacturers operating in the fashion and accessory industry. Technology has made it easier for individuals involved in counterfeiting activities as e-commerce platforms have gained popularity. According to industry experts, counterfeit products sold online will exceed the same that are sold by vendors. Technology is constantly assisting counterfeiters to advertise, produce and distribute fake products. However, technology can also play a crucial role to curb the production and distribution of counterfeit goods in the fashion and accessory industry. 

In 2016, Jack Ma, chairman of the well renowned e-commerce giant, Alibaba, claimed that counterfeiters have the capability to produce cost-efficient, high-quality and real products. This statement from Ma indicates that the rapid advancement in technology has made the entire process of counterfeiting easier. Fashion and luxury brands have caught the eye of several counterfeiters as the original products manufactured by these brands are not affordable to all classes of consumers. The last decade has witnessed the growth of the internet and allowing brands to create marketplaces that can reach an audience of millions. The internet is also an essential tool for the counterfeiters as the best counterfeiters in the business are investing heavily in developing high quality websites, marketing messages and are adopting social media to lure customers. The sale of counterfeit products affects the brand name and reputation at a large scale.

At present, several clothing and accessory brands are implementing new technologies to tackle the issue of counterfeiting. Clothing and accessory manufacturers are adopting tracking technologies such as RFID and NFC chips to authenticate their products when they are offline. For online activities, clothing brands are making use of complex algorithms that will make it harder for counterfeiters to engage in counterfeiting activities easily. The arrival of advanced technologies such as RFID, NFC chips and QR codes are installed into products and contain data that is stored electronically. Smartphones have assisted to digitize the authentication process. A consumer can register a product by making use of the brand’s online authentication platform or the mobile app. In case the product is a counterfeit product, the customer and the brand will be informed. The new emerging solutions will equip the customer to decide whether the product they are purchasing is fake or not without relying on a specialist inspector. Kim Schneider, senior director, Avery Dennison, an established manufacturer of packaging technologies said, “In the past, field inspectors have had to individually analyze items… [using] stitch count or taking it back to a lab and ripping it completely apart to see if all the components matched.”

It is safe to say that the revolution in the digital world has helped clothing and accessory brands to maintain its desirability, brand reputation and name. By collecting the data related to how their goods can be counterfeited and what preventive measures must be taken to stop it, brands can counter counterfeiting in an efficient way. 

The global anti-counterfeiting clothing and accessories packaging market will witness a significant growth in the next decade. Technology has advance in several ways to offer useful solutions to the market players involved in the industry to develop reliable and efficient anti-counterfeiting techniques that will curb the issue. With progress in technology, multiple manufacturers in the clothing and accessories industry are adopting novel techniques to tackle the problem of counterfeiting.