Counterfeit clothing helps thousands of poor

Fiona Evans

Counterfeit clothing and footwear is to be donated to a Leeds-based charity after being seized by West Yorkshire Trading Standards. It is due to hand over the goods to Yorkshire Aid Convoy (YAC) this week.

Trading standards chief officer Graham Hebblethwaite said: “The production of counterfeit goods has a negative impact on both legitimate businesses and consumers alike. By making these donations to Yorkshire Aid Convoy it is wonderful to know that, in instances such as these, the illegal practice of counterfeiting goods can be utilised in a positive and beneficial way, by easing the burdens of those who are most in need.”

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The service regularly seizes counterfeit clothing with copies of sportswear brands appearing on items from T-shirts to tracksuit bottoms.

It is keen to see the articles of clothing help people rather than ending up in landfill sites The clothing and footwear is destined to be used to help the poor and needy throughout Romania and the Ukraine.

YAC trustee Mark Murphy said: “Yorkshire Aid Convoy has been able to clothe literally thousands of poor and needy people in Romania and the Ukraine through our charity links.

He said that trading standards’ ability to donate clothing fit for re-use has been invaluable over many years. “Their continued support is very much appreciated.” The charity, based at Grape Street in Leeds, was founded by entrepreneur Mark Murphy in an effort to relieve world-wide poverty, sickness, suffering and distress through the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid.

Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of trading standards, Coun Neil Taggart said: “While it is fantastic that trading standards can work closely with charities to make such contributions, consumers should be on-guard when considering buying items that they suspect to be counterfeit products.

“Those involved in the production of counterfeit goods are often involved in other serious criminal activity. If you have any suspicions, I would urge you to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.” The service made six donations to YAC in the last four years.