Day 60 of 365

I’m going to get on my soapbox a little bit for today’s illustration, so please bear with me!

We went for a stroll two hour hike up and down the main strip of Koh Samui today and the amount of knock-off designer goods is startling! Apparently in busier parts of Thailand like Phuket there’s triple or quadruple the amount, this here is the little leagues!

I’ve always been deeply opposed to designer knock-offs but mostly from a designers point if view. Sure, I’ve never designed a handbag or a pair of sunglasses but I have designed things and I know the amount of work involved to get an idea from concept to finished product. It’s appalling to me that makers of crappy replicas think they have the right to swoop in and steal an artist or designers ideas and original work.

Now. All that aside. This afternoon I did some research on knock-off designer gear. I was horrified. I read articles about 8 year old children who’s legs were broken and were tied to production line tables all because they asked to go and play outside. I read about how the sales knock-off designer gear fund human trafficking, child labor, gang warfare and prostitution. I read about three or four dozen 10 year olds working in conditions we couldn’t imagine.

All to make a knock-off Gucci purse.

In one shop window today I saw a knock-off Hermes Kelly bag. I couldn’t tell you what they were asking for it but I can tell you that if you live in a mediocre suburb and you drive a mediocre kind of car and you live a mediocre kind of lifestyle, NO ONE is ever going to believe you paid $10,000 and waited on a three year waiting list for your handbag.

If you can’t afford luxury goods (and really, not many of us can!), just be happy buying the best quality goods your budget will allow.

Visit a country to experience its culture and it’s people, not to exploit its children and women. If you haven’t noticed this has really hit a soft spot with me, maybe because I now have a young child and such treatment of children can bring a tear to my eye.

Wow. Emotional blog entry today! Let’s get on with the drawing shall we?!

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