What do people think when you wear knock offs? Do you even wear knock offs? Do you let people know that it’s a fake? Dan Ariely, the author of The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves, did a Q&A with The High Low about counterfeit fashion and the negative ways it impacts behavior of those who wear it.
In the first of a two-part Q&A, Ariely discusses fake fashion, why it presents a problem for the fashion industry, and how it affects those who wear it.
The Q&A is interesting and it does make you think about what’s counterfeit in your closet and what’s not. Ariely says, “Fashion is about the internal attributes, the story, what the item tells you.” He says the fake items will make the product and the person wearing it less appealing.
The issue is also how people react. “As long as people feel embarrassed, there’s something good, because it holds us back. When they don’t, it’s basically over, and it’s incredibly hard to fight and curb.” This is a good point and Ariely uses the example of illegal downloads and how none of his students would be embarrassed if someone found out about their illegal downloads.
In Part 1, there is also a discussion of wearing counterfeit products and how that will likely guide you to cheat elsewhere, the effect of how often you use your counterfeit products, and how counterfeit fashion has such an impact on the fashion industry.
In the last half of the Q&A, Ariely further explains the problem of ‘cheating’ and how the fashion industry can counteract this “fake-induced” behavior.
“…if everyone buys fake goods, the value of the originals is diminished”, says Ariely.
“These days there are more and more people buying counterfeit goods and proud of it,” Ariely replies to how cheating can be contagious.
You are what you wear. Ariely hopes to show people what it’s like when you embrace knockoffs and what harm it can cause.
I understand the need to stop people on rationalizing but I have to admit, I have counterfeit products, too. I don’t think it defines who I am…it was a wallet I got that looks real and I use it almost everyday (the real brand is around $900). I also feel that nowadays you can tell counterfeit products from the real products, depending on where you get it and what brand is being copied.
It will be hard to stop fake fashion but it’s definitely worth a try – I agree on how it changes the product and affects the business of the company. Ariely made a lot of good points – what does everyone think?
Here is the full two-part Q&A from The High Low, which I recommend checking out:
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